Song Review: Monsta X – One Day

Monsta X - One DayAfter a couple of years spent ignoring music from the west, I’ve started to listen to more American and European pop in 2021. You can thank standout releases by big acts like Dua Lipa and The Weeknd for that. Granted, my Western pop consumption is still ridiculously small when compared to K-Pop and J-Pop, but I’m pleased that the Billboard Top 100 doesn’t feel like a total stranger anymore.

However, one thing hasn’t changed: I’m still not sold on K-pop acts entering the U.S. market with English-language material. I don’t need to know that an idol act can pull off generic Top 40 fare as well as Americans. I don’t see how that’s something to brag about. Monsta X have cobbled together a pretty decent English-language discography so far, but new single One Day is utter schlock. Off the heels of the dynamic Gambler, this track removes any hint of identity in favor of reheated melodies and flat production.

One Day sounds like a cross between Maroon 5, Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber. I can’t think of a worse brew (even if Stay is a massive bop, and Peaches isn’t too bad either). The guys sound half-asleep during the dull verses, and when the energy perks up for the chorus their vocals are layered in a loud but disinterested fashion. At just over two-and-a-half minutes, the song has absolutely no room (or desire) to grow. It just limps forward and fizzles out. Monsta X remain great, but this is the definition of zero-effort pandering.

 Hooks 7
 Production 6
 Longevity 7
 Bias 6

41 thoughts on “Song Review: Monsta X – One Day

  1. quarantine has caused me to stop turning on the radio and dive into my kpop and jpop collection, and made me rarely listen to western acts too. the only reason i would ever check out an act from here is if they’re talked about enough, such as olivia rodrigo, and even then, i only like a few songs from her album (deja vu and good 4 u, and drivers license is alright).

    anyway, twice is releasing their first english song “the feels.” i just hope it actually has effort put into it and doesn’t end up like yet another shlockly english song from a kpop group *stares intensely at ptd*.

    Liked by 3 people

    • usually, my thoughts on many western songs (especially those happy-go-lucky sentimental ones) go like this; i’m bopping to it for the first few weeks, then they start to get boring, and then i absolutely hate it. usually it stems from overplayment in radio or commercials, or that i realize it’s not that good of a song. it’s what happened to songs like WAP and can’t stop the feeling, and it’s why i’m trying to preserve “butter’s” longevity by avoiding any commercials that contain it as much as possible.


      • I’ve been fortunate in quarantine to avoid most stores and store music, which includes all the crappy corporate western pop. Non US peeps: when we say a song sounds like a Target store, that is not a good thing. Except the other day, I actually went to the mall for the first time in forever, and the store was playing all Hall and Oates songs, as if the employees who did come to work that day decided to rebel in their own special way.

        I’ve managed to avoid Butter and Butter ads except for all the rando acapella group covers that appear in my feed.

        Oh this song. Yeah, its OK, it exists.

        Liked by 1 person

      • believe me, WAP was my shit when it was first released, but now i realize that i only enjoyed it because of how controversial it was among conservatives, and not because it was a good song. thats when it got boring.

        Liked by 1 person

    • It was more of a pre-quarantine thing for me. I fell out with Western pop around 2016, and REALLY fell out from 2018-19. I’m just now revisiting it here and there.


  2. Quarantine got me more into J-pop and early 2000s UK pop for whatever reason. Stuff like Sugababes, Girls’ Aloud, and a lot of Richard X produced classics like Me Plus One by Annie and Some Girls by Rachel Stevens. There’s a video about how impactful the Sugababes remake/mashup of “Freak Like Me” was for pop on youtube.

    Also, are you familiar with Tommy February6? She made a lot of amazing synthpop in the early and mid 2000s with classics like J’etaime J’etaime, Everyday At The Bus Stop, Love is Forever, and Lonely In Gorgeous. I feel like she’d be right up your alley though the sort of audience that stuck around is more of the indie-lite crowd


    • This whole comment resonates with me, as I love pretty much everything you mentioned. I’m not all that familiar with Tommy February6, though I remember sampling some of her music a few years ago. I’ll have to revisit it.

      My only difference is that I will always, always prefer the original Adina Howard version of Freak Like Me. It’s such a jam. I get why the Richard X version was important, but Howard’s vocal is just so good.


    • Lol I still remember always switching to my headphones to listen Tommy february6/heavenly6. I would always hide listening to Japanese music in the first few years after moving to the US since being a Caucasian born and raised in Japan made me enough of a curiosity to people on its own. She is massively talented. I also loved The Brilliant Green’s (she is/was the lead singer for them) two early 2000’s album, and her debut as two soloists under different personas was genius. The wide scope of genres she’s been able to write in is astounding. Definitely one of my favorite Japanese artists of all time. She’s like the female Yoshiki of X Japan with her songwriting skills.


  3. Ooh, yeah as I got more into K-pop my interest in Western pop music has definitely declined, but as someone who keeps the radio on in the car and follows the Billboard Hot 100, I guess I’m still updated on what’s happening. Curious what Western pop hits have caught your interest this year?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wouldn’t necessarily call all of them “hits,” but these are the non-KP/JP singles I’ve actually downloaded this year:

      ABBA – I Still Have Faith In You / Don’t Shut Me Down
      Agnes – 24 Hours
      Dua Lipa – Levitating / Love Again / We’re Good
      Joel Herttua – Syntinen
      Jonasu – Black Magic
      The Kid Laroi & Justin Bieber – Stay
      Mabel – Let Them Know
      The Parity Complex – Move On Song
      Rat City – Rather Be
      Robin Packalen – Hard To Love / Sucker For That Love
      The Weeknd – Take My Breath

      Of course, I’ve listened to more than this. But, these are the ones that have actually found a place in my iTunes library.

      Liked by 1 person

            • Oh that’s definitely in my music library! All of her music is, actually!

              And living so close to Canada, I actually first knew her as this quirky acoustic singer-songwriter in the 2007 season of Canadian Idol. Back then, I never would have thought she’d transform into the kind of pop starlet she is now. It’s been so fun to watch the transformation over the years.

              Liked by 2 people

            • I hate it when people use this expression, but I can’t think of a better one. Emotion is just *chef’s kiss*. When people look back on this era musically, that will be one of the albums deemed a must listen and top critics’ list.


      • Ooh nice, thanks for leaving a list! I’ll check out the ones I haven’t heard. Like you and the rest of the commenters, I’m loving Dua and the Weeknd’s stuff from the last years! Levitating in particular, when I first listened to Future Nostalgia I was thinking what a killer single it would make, and lo and behold ;P

        Liked by 1 person

    • I like it too. It sounds like something that’d be pleasant to have playing in the background at the mall or while having coffee (which, on second thought, seems to be the whole thrust of the criticism…) But then again through ad blockers and home delivery my encounters with Western music remain rare and hence quite pleasant.


  4. I didn’t mind the MV so I decided to give it another listen on the good headphones, and yeah, underwhelming. It’s funny – I haven’t been in touch with top 40 pop in so many years that at this point I just assume it sounds like all these blah English-language k-pop songs. BIBI’s “Pado” popped up when “One Day” ended and that’s much more my speed. It’s not going to change my life, but at least it sounds like BIBI.


  5. Speaking of Western music, I was talked into going to a Phoebe Bridgers concert tonight (outdoors, masks and proof-of-vaxx required) and I have no idea what to expect. Should be interesting, though.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve actually been getting into western music more. Olivia Rodrigo, Kali Uchis, Troye Sivan and retro acts such as Bjork and talking heads (if they could can be considered pop).

    Anyways, this song is just radio play. I doubt I’ll be coming back to it.


      • Deja Vu and Good for you are very good picks for singles. Drivers license is okay but the other two pack a punch you know?
        I prefer jealousy and brutal. I’m in the demographic (teenage girl) to like this stuff so it’s not surprising that I like sour as a whole.


  7. Unlike everyone else, currently Butter is thriving more than ever for me. The Megan Thee Stallion remix fixes the underwhelming second verse, and I have a mute button on my laptop I use each time an ad comes lol.

    Unfortunately, Stay is not for me, I find it cringe and annoying, a little too shouty and trendy to build a timeless melody.

    Liked by 1 person

    • To be honest, I’m not quite sure what the ad that everyone is talking about is…I haven’t encountered it. Guessing its a Samsung ad or something?

      I still like Butter, but I don’t look to go play it anymore, it just appears in my playlists occasionally (or on the radio).


      • I haven’t heard/seen it either – the only place I get ads is YouTube and for some reason the algorithm hasn’t started throwing whatever it is at me.


  8. I’ve had this on repeat since it came out. It fits in well with their previous English album, which is definitely my favorite Monsta X album, and possibly my favorite album ever. There’s not really anything inherently special about One Day, so I understand why people might find it generic. But for me, I absolutely love this type of synth-based instrumental and super harmonic vocal. Add in Monsta X, & I’m instantly head over heels for it.
    The benefit of listening multiple times is really being able to hear the different harmonic lines and the nuance in the performance. I think Kihyun and Jooheon do a great job of delivering their lines with emotion. There are subtle things in their performances that make the lyrics resonate more. I do prefer the second chorus, where Shownu and Minhyuk swap lines and the harmony really kicks in. I also think a bridge with a climactic moment would have elevated the song in a great way (as well as made it longer).


    • Exactly , after gambler with completely different mood building kinda song it is … Always in love with whatever these boys brings as it has fresh n new flavour with emotion .


  9. Monsta X’s awkward push into the US market continues to confuse the hell out of me. It’s not like they are reaching out to new listeners. I’d bet almost every single purchase of their English album was already a fan of the group to begin with. All I can think is that US albums are far cheaper to produce and give the group enough material and justification for international touring. It’s not that their US output as been bad, it’s just that it kind of exists as a lesser reflection of their better works.


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