South Korean boygroup Monsta X have made a comeback with their latest EP ‘The Connect’, the follow up to their November 2017 release ‘The Code’. The EP completes the coming of age theme that has been present across previous Monsta X releases.
The EP opens up with title track ‘Jealousy’ which portrayed a much brighter release compared to previous lead singles such as ‘Dramarama’ and ‘Beautiful’. Jealousy is an R’n’B track with retro influences, showing a more diverse side to Monsta X. The clear stand out on this track was lead vocalist Kihyun; he truly flourished and solidified himself as one of the best vocalists in the new wave of K-POP groups through his impressive high notes and riffs throughout the lead single. Jooheon and I.M’s rap cannot be overlooked, once again bouncing off each other while simultaneously complimenting each other perfectly.
Each album track tackles a different genre as the main focus of the songs. Destroyer shows possibly the edgiest side of Monsta X to date. The punk influenced track features trap beats, which on paper sounds like an odd combination but it works perfectly when created. Fallin’ takes a turn to an EDM dance filled track, fitting with the bright image of the song. Crazy In Love steps back on the heavy production seen on the previous tracks and goes for a subtle tropical house vibe, which allows the lyrical melody to be the focal point of the song. Similarly this is mirrored in Lost in the Dream, which has a strong drum beat as the focal point of production.
The group’s creativity is explored towards the end of the album. Wonho’s composure on the track If Only displays the simplistic style he sides with on the tracks he participates in (as shown on From Zero on the last EP). If Only is a light R’n’B love song which he also participated in writing on and would easily fit in and Korean drama. Jooheon’s composing shows a sheer contrast and very strong album closure on Special, with heavy trap and bass influence for the hiphop influenced track.
The tracks allow the different lines of the group to stand out. The rapline (Jooheon and I.M) carry tracks such as Jealousy, Destroyer and Special, and their versatile rap styles show why the duo are some of the strongest in the idol rapper industry. Crazy in Love, Lost in the Dream and If Only allows vocalists Hyungwon, Shownu, Wonho and notably Kihyun to flourish.
Whilst ‘The Connect’ is only an EP, the seven tracks are enough to leave an impression of what group Monsta X are. The diversity displayed across each track shows the versatility that the seven-piece have and the potential that is still left to be uncovered. The album is also personal due to members Jooheon and I.M being present in the writing credits of each track, with Wonho also appearing. The EP is enough to show that Monsta X can only go up from here and are one of the KPOP acts to be keeping an eye on.
The Connect is available on iTunes worldwide.