Song Review: Joohoney (Monsta X) – Freedom

Joohoney - FreedomWhile it might not be fair or realistic, I’ll always compare idol-rappers-turned-soloists to Bigbang’s G-Dragon. That’s a product of my age, but it’s also testament to how compelling and genre-blending GD’s work was. He wrote the template, and you can feel his influence all over songs like Joohoney’s debut solo single Freedom.

At the risk of belaboring the comparison, Freedom feels like several GD tracks mashed into one. Its introduction offers soul-baring balladry performed with a raw vocal. This segues into a more rousing segment underlined by anthemic percussion. Then, symphonic elements enter the arrangement for a theatrical crescendo before Freedom punctuates its message with rock guitar. I admire the ambition that went into this ever-changing arrangement. But, the underlying song doesn’t feel as developed as its instrumental.

Joohoney is multi-talented in a number of musical fields, and I imagine this makes it difficult to hone in on what to portray on an all-important debut single. He’s gone buffet-style with Freedom, which makes the track play a bit like an album sampler. I enjoy portions of it. I just don’t think it comes together into the kind of song I’ll desperately want to replay without its accompanying visuals and performance.

Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 7.75

Grade: C+


11 thoughts on “Song Review: Joohoney (Monsta X) – Freedom

  1. I agree it sounds like a GD with Taeyang duo song.

    Full marks for ambition. The change ups mostly work here. Minus a point for keeping the energy at 9. The song has structure to turn up to 11, doesn’t.

    I find it interesting to skim through comment sections from time to time, check out the stan demographic. To be honest, sometimes (sometimes usually) to learn what group the soloist is from, because I can’t keep track. This one here has mostly comments in Russian.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is the year where every kpop artist and group will sing a song about being free. You could literally do a top 10 “songs about being free” list at the end of the year. This song is good. Nothing amazing but nothing I’d begrudge anyone for playing.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I like the first rap part. That’s what I love Jooheon for. Not a big fan of those dramatic ballad-parts, especially the beginning… Also the whole freedom thing feels very gimmicky

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really applaud him for going for it, you can tell he put his all into this! I love the Big Bang influences throughout. Agree that it sounds a little disjointed, with a lot of different parts that don’t quite fit together. It’s more of a performance statement or artist trailer or something.

    Also, I prefer my rap uptempo so I don’t think this will stick around on my playlist.


  5. Fabulous video. Very mediocre song. Not enough rap. That’s the complaint I have with the whole album. Starts off hot, and then, uh. I know you can do different things, Joohoney, but I wanted to not have to turn to my Gwanjil Jo or Monsta X playlists for once to hear someone spit fire.


  6. I have to disagree with the comments that state Freedom’s musical styles are discordant. I think music is evolving to include many layers of styles that contain a synergistic harmony. Freedom carries the listener on an full sensory adventure & is an awesome balance between Jooheon’s sensitive & powerful sides. It’s very well crafted, both visually and musically.


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