Song Review: Monsta X – Beautiful Liar

Monsta X - Beautiful LiarAfter eight years in the industry, Monsta X’s sound has evolved in a way that feels natural and satisfying. Members have begun taking more creative control of their music, so I’m surprised to see their names credited only to the lyrics of new single Beautiful Liar. The song borrows hallmarks from some of their biggest highlights, yet falls short of greatness due to a melodic vacuum at its core.

Look, you’re always going to get me with electric guitar. I’m a sucker for this sound, probably because I grew up in the age of schlocky 80’s rock. The dramatic solo that opens Beautiful Liar promises amazing things to come, giving way to a pulsing beat reminiscent of the group’s 2021 highlight Gambler. The pre-chorus reintroduces that guitar in a big way and delivers the song’s strongest vocal moment. Everything is building to such anthemic heights. I’m literally sitting on the edge of my seat.

Then, Beautiful Liar wiffs the chance to build upon this potential. Its chorus is mysteriously subdued. Not only does the music pull back, but the melody seems to lose its purpose. Instead, the hook revolves around lackadaisical sing-talk, circling the bassline but never drawing attention to itself. I’m baffled by this structural approach and it’s near-impossible for the song to regain its footing after this moment. The force of the instrumental is enough to keep me listening, but I so badly want to rewrite this with a different chorus and elevate it from a solid “B” to an outstanding “A.”

Hooks 7
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9

Grade: B


18 thoughts on “Song Review: Monsta X – Beautiful Liar

  1. Yes, the instrumental does a lot of heavy lifting, but I am not complaining. It is nice to have a solid base double (perhaps triple) for once in kpop these days.
    Rating feels about right for now, maybe it will grow on me higher.


  2. This was a cool song for me. I had to write down the structure to even follow it. Intro – verse 1 – prechorus – chorus – verse 2 (all rapping) – prechorus – a third rap – return of melody from verse 1 – chorus – verse one melody again.

    I didn’t mind that there was no big chorus, because the rhythm section made such a cool foundation for them to put anything on top of, and the whole song chugged along. For me, A 9 for inventiveness.


  3. The instrumental… I think the guitars alone get most of the points on this one lol. It was still a pretty fun track though! A lot of rap parts coming in at unexpected places so not exactly what I would classify structurally as a perfect song for me – but they all sounded great anyways.

    The prechorus was quite good really and as my sibling pointed out the chorus part had a few touches of Oneus’s TBONTB sounds lol. I really liked the MV – the vibe was pretty perfect! It could grow with a few more listens.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I share a lot of your thoughts on this one. I got very excited immediately, then the pre-chorus built this fantastic tension. But when the chorus started it was such a letdown for me. I was not even surprised, in the way I could be by an anti-drop or some radical tonal shift, it was just disappointing because it could have been MASSIVE. I am sure it will be a grower though, once I get used to the song structure. The verses are very strong and make up for the subdued chorus.


    • I have just listened to the EP and gotta say, I am really loving it. I liked every track and It’s been quite some time since I enjoyed a Monsta X release this much.
      My money is on LONE RANGER for a buried treasure entry.


  5. If the track’s centerpiece wasn’t so dull, would be a true standout and a great sequel of Gambler. As a result, I end up liking this song, but, unfortunately, not loving it. Agree with the rating.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I didn’t have high expectations after their last two releases (Love was far better than Rush Hour, but didn’t have that addictive replay value like Gambler). But I was pleasantly surprised by this one. There’s this deep pulsing seductiveness in the instrumental that reminds me of Taemin’s Criminal but with a rockier feel with the guitar and drums. Not a complete fan of the raps but it’s a Monsta X signature. I quite like the subdued vocals and melodies though, it’s mysterious and for some reason, feels nostalgic? It’s the same feeling I felt about Criminal. High 8s for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was too caught up with ATEEZ’s ‘Halazia’ comeback to realize that Monsta X was also having a comeback.

    I don’t know what happened with the chorus but everything else about this song was solid. It’s intense and has parts that hit you unexpectedly. The rapping was great and didn’t take away from the song like they sometimes do.

    8.25 sound about right for this song for me but it’ll definitely rise as I listen to it more and more.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m a monbebe so my viewpoint is gonna be very biased but I love this song. Im a sucker for the electric guitar too since its used in kpop but not too frequently and it feels authentically monsta x. The last few comebacks they’ve had have been really fantastic. Also, Jooheon and Changkyun are such fantastic rappers that their raps actually add so much to the song. This whole album is incredible! Another comeback that im very pleased with.


  9. If only they didn’t pull away from the chorus…
    I wish I can talk to current K-pop producers and let them know we appreciate
    more maximum choruses without containing anything trendy and shouty.

    Still, this is a solid song that can either be a grower or “it’s strong but what could’ve been”


  10. Objectively the WayV and SF9 tracks of late are better-constructed. But this song is so hypnotic, the raps so sharp and well-timed, and the groove so tough that I’m completely addicted to this song.


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