Song Review: Monsta X – Wanted

After a week devoid of new releases, attention turns to Japan as Monsta X drop their music video for new J-pop single Wanted. Like their Korean career, the group’s Japanese output has been quite prolific. And, their characteristic sound has translated to the new market without many changes. Wanted continues that brand and acts as a solid – if not spectacular – addition to their discography.

This isn’t a critique of Monsta X specifically, but I hope we can claw out of this rut where every boy group release feels like the soundtrack for battle preparations. I’m really tiring of this same sound palette, built upon hulking EDM elements, brassy distortion, and furious percussion. NCT’s upcoming J-pop single seems like it will be more of the same, and it makes me wonder how great these tracks might sound if given a sonic makeover that incorporates textures we haven’t heard over and over again.

In Wanted’s case, this production is countered by a welcome sense of propulsion that keeps the track afloat. I especially appreciate the heavy kick in the chorus. It’s nice to hear a song pound forward rather than lurch back and forth as if uncertain of its own power. Moments of layered vocals lend the verses a nice airy style, and I can hear elements of psytrance in the synth underlining much of the track. However, Wanted could do with a stronger chorus. It’s arranged with enough drama to compensate for its lack of melodic variety, but you know I’m a stickler for fleshed out refrains. Thankfully, Wanted is brisk and exciting throughout. That alone makes it a highlight during this dry week of music.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

7 thoughts on “Song Review: Monsta X – Wanted

  1. I didn’t realize this was released…..

    Nick don’t worry, Just two more days and February will explode with releases…I just hope they are good enough…..

    But this Monsta X song is actually pretty good! sounds like something B.A.P would release.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hey, this is actually pretty good! Monsta X, for better or for worse, has a very particular concept and sound that they have never really strayed from. In that regard this song does not stand out at all in their discography.

    The psytrance elements and the heavy constant beat make this just unique enough and really enjoyable for me. It’s big and dramatic but it keeps up the pace.

    This week has really been dry indeed. I don’t keep up with releases actively but even I noticed. Either way, that has given me more mental space to get excited for SHINee’s comeback, and I have been spending my free time rediscovering my love for them and their music.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I can see why. They deliver such quality and have so much chemistry as a group. I first discovered them around.. 2015/16? The Good Evening comeback(s) did not connect with me, also because of the circumstances. I was not really ready to return to their music until now. How long have you been a fan?


  3. As someone who follows Monsta X really closely, this feels kind of like a return to form. I haven’t really heard this energetic, bombastic sound from them since Phenomenon, their Japanese album from 2019. I definitely enjoyed Follow, Fantasia, & Love Killa, but those were more of a twist on the Monsta X sound while Wanted is purely that sound. The song is nice & cohesive, & I especially love how the rap is incorporated so that it’s a natural part of the song. The performance throughout is great. The harmonies in Kihyun’s pre-chorus are my favorite part.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This certainly goes in line with their “sound.” The begining reminded me of Fantasia. Or at least the instrumental had some similarities to Fantasia in my head. Similar texture (if I am making any sense).

    Now as for my opinion on the song. I think it’s pretty alright. The rap segments are solid as always and the song pushes forward nicely. No weird sections that stick out to me and it overall flows well. However, I just was not wowed in any way. I was like ah this is a monsta x song…yes.

    However, the PRECHORUS is the star of the show for me. It does a really good job at building hype in the song. And vocals are powerful as usual. So despite the style on song not being my thing, I think they did a pretty good job executing it.


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