Review

Song Review: Kihyun (Monsta X) – Voyager

Kihyun (Monsta X) - VoyagerAs popular as Monsta X have become, the members haven’t released much solo music. And when it comes to individual name recognition, I hadn’t expected Kihyun to get the push. As the main vocal, he’s more than deserving of solo spotlight. And rather than pursue the predictable route of a balladeer, debut single Voyager embraces rock music.

This is a very welcome development, and turns out to be a great match for Kihyun’s vocals. It reminds me of when Infinite’s Sungkyu first went solo, though Kihyun offers a different spin on the genre. Voyager is upbeat and funky, culminating in a driving chorus that crystallizes the song’s punchy energy. To use a somewhat dated reference, it’s like a modern reinvention of the material on Maroon 5’s debut album. It’s a little jazzy in places, but rests most heavily on its upbeat groove.

I think I appreciate Voyager more than I enjoy it. The verses are my highlight– especially the opening where Kihyun’s voice glides over a spare funk-rock beat. He’s got such a dynamic style, accentuated by the nimble percussion. As the song continues, the arrangement begins to feel less thrilling and I’m reminded why I never really liked that old Maroon 5 music in the first place! Kihyun gives it his all (especially in the bridge), but I wish Voyager had a beefier lower end. A song like this needs a killer bassline to anchor its energy. At times, the song feels a little flimsy – more coffeeshop than rock show. Still, it’s a fun surprise and a peek at what Kihyun might deliver in the future.

Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8

5 thoughts on “Song Review: Kihyun (Monsta X) – Voyager

  1. i love monsta x and kihyun’s song is great. an 8.5/10 for me

    btw are you gonna review yurina kawaguchi (girls planet 999)’s solo debut when it comes out? the teaser looks promising and i hope it turns out good

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not too familiar with Kihyun as I’ve only heard about 2 or 3 Monsta X songs but I really liked this. He sounded great, song was catchy and well produced. Checks all the boxes for me for one of these pop-rock flavored tracks. It’s like a Chaser-lite.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I adore Kihyun’s voice and I hope he continues in a rock-inspired direction, but it does come across as a bit Maroon 5 or maybe a CNBLUE b-side on one of their stronger albums. The “whoa oh, whoa oh”s just aren’t quite enough of a hook for me and the guitars could be crunchier.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Kihyun is my favorite of favorites, so it would have taken a lot for me to not like this. From the choice of genre to the vocals, this is so him, and while the song itself is good, his performance is what really sells me on it. I like the verses more than the chorus because I feel like they show off his voice more. I especially love verse 2 when he’s harmonizing with himself. The use of both jazz and rock elements is really interesting, but I feel like they weren’t always combined in the most effective way. The sudden transition from the bridge to the last chorus for example, where it feels like it just jumps from jazz to rock and then sprinkles the piano back in underneath.
    It’s a great vocal performance, I only wish we could have heard more of how impressive his voice really is. I wanted it have a stronger hook and a bigger climax he could really run with. I enjoyed every song on the album, and I’m still trying to decide if Voyager or Comma is my favorite. I’m a very satisfied Kihyun fan at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

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