Song Review: Monsta X – Kiss Or Death

Monsta X - Kiss Or DeathIn a month lacking K-pop releases, the Universe app is offering some of July’s few big-name “comebacks.” That’s a pretty sad state of affairs, especially since the full music videos aren’t even made available outside the app. Regardless, it’s always nice to hear from Monsta X – even more so on the heels of their spectacular June single Gambler. I hope the group feels buoyed by having more creative control over their discography. We’ll see what musical fruit that bears down the line. For now, the outsourced Kiss Or Death feels like a placeholder.

This song embraces many Monsta X tropes I dislike. It’s noisy and piecemeal, with each segment operating independent of the others. Kiss Or Death lacks the flowing momentum that really sucks me into a track. Instead, it lurches here and there, delivering a few highlights but mostly regurgitating sounds the group has already explored. This isn’t unusual when it comes to Universe releases. I mean, why bury your best work on an app most listeners aren’t even using?

Kiss Or Death’s bridge brings a dose of satisfying synth, building an effective sense of drama as we move toward the final chorus. Apart from that moment, the rest of the song is “in one ear, out the other.” Compared to something as dynamic as Gambler, Kiss Or Death runs on autopilot. The guys don’t even sound all that engaged. The longer this Universe app roles out, the less enthused I am. I hope the groups are at least collecting a nice paycheck for their effort.

 Hooks 7
 Production 7
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7

5 thoughts on “Song Review: Monsta X – Kiss Or Death

  1. It’s a perfectly fine kpop song, but it doesn’t sound like a song that matches the stature that Monsta X has in the industry. This song could be performed by a dozen other younger groups and sound more or less like how this one turned out. Yeah, I sure hope they got payed well for it.

    The funny thing is, I had first listened to the 90sec “preview”, and honestly that’s all one needs to listen to. When I found the “full version”, the extra time doesn’t improve the song.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I does so much sound like some kind of recent boy group debut song doesn’t it? It has all the elements really.

      I don’t mind it much, I do like most of the song, but it definitely feels less like a Monsta X song just a random boy group song they decided to cover.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Apart from Jooheon’s/I.M’s rapping, I wouldn’t be able to tell this was a MX track. I don’t even think it has that classic MX “noise”, it’s kinda flat for me. They must be just giving Universe the bare minimum to fulfil the contract.


  3. I liked the song and the graphics. I am loving more creative control to the group. Pretty much excited about the future.


  4. This is an 8 for me. Monsta X is one of my favorite groups, and, as someone who wasn’t really a fan of Gambler, this is more in line with the songs I enjoy from them. This is also the kind of performance I prefer from the rap line. The pre-chorus is my favorite part, & Hyungwon especially sounds great. Plus, I always love their time travelling music videos. I agree that it’s not as dynamic as Gambler. Overall, there’s too much falsetto for my taste. I feel like the chorus is the weakest part of the song & it would be stronger if it was more full-voiced.


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