Song Review: Kihyun (Monsta X) – Youth

Kihyun (Monsta X) - YouthMonsta X’s Kihyun made his solo debut earlier this year with a rock sound. Voyager showed promise, but it didn’t stick around my playlist for long. Luckily, he’s doubled down on its strengths for follow-up Youth. This time, the melodies are stickier and the overall sound is more upbeat.

Kihyun has one of the more recognizable K-pop voices of his generation, often seizing the most dramatic climaxes in Monsta X’s music. He fits well with a traditional band sound, though I think he could tackle a heavier, more bombastic version of this template. Youth glides by on good vibes and sprightly percussion. It’s not likely to take permanent hold in your memory, but it’s relentlessly pleasant as it’s playing. In a move common to this era of pop music, the track clocks in at under three minutes. This is to its detriment, as Youth is never given space to build toward the knockout peak that might have elevated its appeal. Instead, the song plays as a toe-tapping jingle – its power blunted by its own innocuous choices.

Still, pleasant is pleasant – and I can’t really fault a song for delivering a burst of melodic charm and quickly moving on. Youth’s arrangement wastes no time unveiling its brisk groove and bolsters its appeal with a full-throated blend of instruments as we crash into the chorus. I’m especially partial to the jangly rhythm that brings us out of each chorus. As expected, Kihyun’s vocal is rich and expressive. He’s not given space to do to many acrobatics, but his performance still commands attention.

Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

Grade: B


6 thoughts on “Song Review: Kihyun (Monsta X) – Youth

  1. Its nice, and well done, and nicely well done. Radio-friendly too.

    For me, also another in a long line of solo male singers, so a pass for me. I just have too many filling up my ipods already, and its not compelling enough to make room for it.


  2. I think this appeals to me a lot cos it reminds me a lot of UK/US indie music, esp late 2000s-early 2010s era. I disagree with that it doesn’t stick to you, I find the melody, esp the chorus, memorable enough.

    The ending is kind of a letdown though.


  3. Disagree with Nick on this one. Although Voyager’s centerpiece arrangement was a letdown, it’s still present on my Spotify playlist. As for Youth, I can confirm it has got a ton of potential. However, the production is SOOOO fucking bland. Especially the instrumental doesn’t match the song’s cathartic chorus, and that’s a shame. Although I hope it will grow on me.
    Rating is too high, 7.75 at best for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, it’s a nice song but its arrangement prevents me from feeling empathy or that moving feeling that the lyrics seem to seek. Anyway, it’s not bad.


  4. This might or might not end up in my playlist. It sounds very radio-friendly, but it isn’t giving a lot of radio-friendly-sing-along cliches that might drive me away from it. I’m not sure if ‘Youth’ can define his sound, though, as the arrangement is pretty simple and other K-bands might do it better. I just wish it
    a final chorus, though, since that ending really left me hanging.

    Oh, and also, Kihyun’s voice has that airiness that reminded me of Yuri’s ‘Lovable’, but this is the case where the singer fits the arrangement and adds to the atmosphere.


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