MONSTA X dropped their 10th mini-album, “NO LIMIT” in November 2021, and it has been on heavy rotation on my Spotify ever since. This album picks up where “One of a Kind” left off in May 2021. It proves MONSTA X has real staying power within the K-Pop industry, while still being true to their adrenaline-rushing music. It’s also, unfortunately, the first in the series of many albums in the foreseeable future that doesn’t feature Shownu, who enlisted in July 2021. They’ve spent nearly a decade together honing their craft as musicians and a sound that is uniquely their own.
Through seven sensation tracks, MONSTA X – currently comprised of Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Jooheon, and Changkyun – the album declares what fans have known since their debut. There are no limits to where MONSTA X can take their music.
Skillfully written by Jooheon, Kihyun, and Changkyun, the title track, “Rush Hour” showcases MONSTA X’s identity as a group in an era that is flooded with competitors. It makes clever use of metaphors, comparing the K-Pop industry to rush hour traffic. The song’s confidence and boastfulness are reminiscent of MONSTA X’s debut song, “Trespass,” and that snap of energy is just what it needed. Rush Hour is now MONSTA X’s most winningest song on music shows.
“Autobahn” starts off as an electronic song before transitioning into a sultry dance track with just the right amount of intensity. The song is aptly named, after the German freeway, the Autobahn because I can’t imagine listening to this song at normal speeds. The lyrics are unapologetically provocative and rappers Jooheon and Changkyun nailed their rap sequence which further added flow and energy to the song.
Ride with U
“Ride with U” is the perfect song to follow the previous two. It’s a groovy instrumental that really comes through during the chorus. We also get to see the diverse skillset and a more even line distribution of lyrics through all the members. It’s not only vocally strong but the rapping stands out as a key point to draw you to the song.
Got Me in Chains
“Got Me in Chains” oozes MONSTA X. From the raw instrumental portions you can hear throughout to the textured beats of techno and R&B, this song is anything but simple. But then again it shouldn’t be. The lyrics showcase a desire for someone so deeply that it’s overwhelming, that the song needs to be tight, punch and hit at just the right spots – which it does.
“Just Love” is probably my favorite song on this album. It kicks off with tender guitar sounds that effortlessly meld pop and R&B sounds. It’s a fitting backdrop to the lyrics, that highlight the vocals of each member and yes that includes the rappers. Jooheon and Changkyun lend both their rapping and lyrical prowess to this track making it satisfying from start to finish.
“Mercy” shifts away from the previous R&B style of the previous tracks and turns up the drama to the nth degree. Its combination of orchestra and electronic instruments gives this song a different style of intensity that feels like the pivotal scene in a K-Drama or film. The vocals coupled with the impactful lyrics and rapping make “Mercy” not only a thrilling track but also feels like the next step in the relationship previewed in MONSTA X’s song “Jealousy” from 2018.
I Got Love
“I Got Love” is a perfect conclusion. It feels optimistic, yet includes a similar blend of trap and hip-hop we’ve heard throughout the album. The song focuses on each member’s unique vocal ability and has a sleekness to it that the other songs did not. It’s a perfect interlude if you will to MONSTA X’s 2nd English Album, “The Dreaming” that dropped in December 2021.
How did you like MONSTA X’s new album? Let us know in the comments below!