Song Review: MUSTB – Royalty

MUSTB - RoyaltyEven though they’ve been around since 2019, I’ve never written about MUSTB before. On busy K-pop days, I don’t often get to the industry’s more underrated groups, but that doesn’t mean they’re incapable of releasing good music.

With no expectations going in, I’m actually quite charmed by Royalty. Its piano loop and full-throated vocal performance pull me right back to K-pop’s fabled “2nd Generation.” It’s a song that could have been released back in 2013, and I mean that as a compliment. Even better, Royalty blossoms into a chugging rock track as it goes on. The hearty percussion driving the second verse is a great way to bolster the song’s momentum. The chorus doesn’t quite hit the mark and the overall execution has some rough edges. But overall, this track is stronger than most K-pop released by bigger artists in 2023.

Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 9

Grade: B


12 thoughts on “Song Review: MUSTB – Royalty

  1. Ha! This group is so underappreciated, it didn’t even hit my youtube suggestions this morning, or my usual go to new release list on kpopmap. (Taeyang’s teaser did hit though, and its 20sec slays.)

    Ha! OK, yes, this gives me a nice smile. Back when songs were songs. The nostalgia for late 2nd gen is strong here. I am hearing ZE:A by way of Big Bang with the obligatory fast rap of that era dropped in. “Heart for 2” or “Aftermath” with minor instrumental arrangement changes. “Love Dust” without the emo and deep voice only half-TOP deep. (Perhaps SPEED “It’s Over” or “Pain”, but that ref is a bit more obscure. ) I mean, they even do the thing with the microphone stands like SuJu “This is Love” circa 2014.

    And with that, it is time to start my personal festival of ZE:A again. =sharing= because sharing is caring.
    “Aftermath” is here, live live singing with minimal backing vocal. Kim Dong Jun is a rather stable singer, as the expression goes, doing all the heavy lifting on the chorus and many other parts. I like the part where they put hot honey Im Siwan as the center with Dong Jun left of center doing the actual singing (for example at 2:30).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Have you heard the “new” Oasis album? I knew this was coming, but I didn’t know it would arrive so soon. This will have profound implications on K-pop & music in general. We no longer have to wait for Sweetune & Infinite to get together. We can just make it ourselves:

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is fantastic and delightful! The first time I listened to it I was like “the rap actually fits into the song and isn’t shoehorned into some random place???” Wow.

    This song is not going to be challenging to the ear of a pop music-listener, but maybe that’s actually revolutionary in kpop these days, lol.

    I feel like kpop companies are maybe trying to push the envelope so much that they forget how to do the thing. Like, Picasso was a classically-trained painter before he was Picasso! Kpop is trying to jump into its Picasso era without a solid foundation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And even Picasso when he was in his cubist and abstract phases gave enough clues for structure of a human, even if only one kind of eye askew, looks like three arms or so, that is an approximation of a nose, that a section of hair = person.
      Here is a song that actually sounds like a song.


  4. It’s very charming and despite being able to hear their circumstances through the song I would listen to this over a lot of the stuff released in the last few months


  5. I think this would have been a homerun if they harmonized on the chorus. Like you said it doesn’t quite hit the mark but a harmony would have given it the feeling of the best jpop boy group songs.

    Liked by 1 person

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