From what I’ve gathered from interviews, STAYC’s agency were opting for a sound closer to western pop when composing new single Beautiful Monster. The lines between music markets have blurred so much over the past few years that I’m not exactly sure what that means, but as long as it gives us a great chorus, I’m in! Ever since their late-2020 debut, STAYC’s music has reliably delivered the hooks.
Beautiful Monster is another Black Eyed Pilseung track, but takes the group’s music in a more subdued, emotional direction. The idiosyncrasies we’ve come to expect are present, yet feel a little buried this time around. Melody reigns supreme during the song’s chorus, though its endless stream of power notes threatens to become one-note. I would have cut the second half entirely and replaced it with something that acted as a memorable contrast.
Elsewhere, Beautiful Monster marries the acoustic to the electronic. It’s a successful combination, bringing depth to the instrumental. The verses don’t really go anywhere, but their evocative texture helps sell the sentiment. I especially enjoy the flute-like tones sprinkled throughout the song. However, I wish the arrangement would have committed to either being a full-on dance track or a moody slow-burn. It’s kind of stuck between the two, making it feel less impactful than most STAYC singles. In the end, I don’t see myself going back to Beautiful Monster often, though I can appreciate the skill and vision that went into its creation. I’m still waiting for another So Bad!