[Album Review] Fatal Love (3rd Studio Album) – MONSTA X

MONSTA X is nominated for Best Male Group and Best Concept for Love Killa, while Joohoney is nominated for Best Raps in the 2020 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Support MONSTA X and Joohoney. Click here to support MONSTA X and Joohoney by voting for them and your other favourite artists.

As mentioned yesterday, I have a lot of album reviews to get through. While I do have many more October albums to get through, I also need to make a start on the albums that were released in the month of November. I have fast tracked two, but that is not enough given the amount of comebacks that occurred in November. Today, I start off with MONSTA X’s 3rd studio album, Fatal Love, which features the title track Love Killa. Alongside the title track, MONSTA X’s new album also features nine other new songs. Keep on reading if you want to know what I thought about each song.

Fatal Love Album Cover

1. Love Killa (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of Love Killa. (9/10)

2. Gasoline (갈증)Gasoline has the big job of following the title track. It may not be as bold or as powerful as Love Killa, but Gasoline does a pretty good job of following the likes of the title track. Most notably, this song tones down the intensity and opts for some Latin flair. Thankfully, this flair is not explicit and hence, it doesn’t jump on board that trend train that dominated Summer 2020 once again. The subtle Latin flair helps gives the song some rhythm and groove, which makes it really enjoyable. There is also a sleekness to it, which I find very alluring. The vocals and rapping follow this momentum, fitting nicely into the song. (9/10)

3. ThrillerThriller takes a while to really hits its epic stride in the form of its chorus. But that is only because we have to make it through some of song’s finest moments (i.e. its verses). This includes intense percussions, amazing vocals from the vocalists and a pre-chorus segment that starts off with equally as powerful raps and jaw-dropping theatrical / opera-like violins that really grab your attention. The chorus takes on board all of that dramatic energy and compact it into an amazing chorus that is solidly produce and really shows off the power of MONSTA X. (10/10)

4. Guess Who – If you thought Thriller was the album’s strongest song, you are in for a surprise. Guess Who manages to one-up Thriller. I personally attribute this feat to the song’s instrumental, which I thought was extremely robust. There was this hypnotic effect in the chorus that really reeled me in, which contrasted with Jooheon’s texturally exciting ‘X X X’ repetition. The verses itself was also filled with texture, thanks to that very abrasive buzz. The rest of the members are really dynamic delivery with their vocals and raps, pulling this song together. (10/10)

5. Nobody ElseNobody Else capitalizes on the vocals of MONSTA X. There is a level of smoothness to the song that enables their vocals to become even more velvety. There is still rapping in the song (of course). The song is very atmospheric, which I really like. If you focus on the instrumental, there are also subtle touches to it, such as the return of dramatic violins and this very deep grumbling synth. Without them, the song wouldn’t be the same. And with the focus on velvety vocals comes a sensual vibe that I am sure fans will enjoy. (9/10)

6. Beastmode – MONSTA X has definitely grown as artists over the years since their debut. And I am sure everyone can agree that MONSTA X is at their best when their songs are powerful. Beastmode is direct proof of that. Beastmode just keeps throwing all this powerful and explosive energy at your from start to end, never really giving us a moment of relief until the song ends. This may be overwhelming for some, but I am totally okay with all of this ‘musical assault’. Once the song ends, I feel like I just emerged successfully from a fight. The song’s main vibe is epic and blastful. What I love best is that the song gives the rappers a chance to really show their all, with Jooheon and I.M’s growling rap sequences being the highlights of the song for me. (10/10)

7. Stand Together (대동단결) Stand Together gets right to the point with its powerful nature. Not sure if this is a good thing or not, but there are only two elements that I remember when I finishing listening to the song. The first is the rapping. You will have to be quite oblivious to miss what felt like it dominated 90% of the song. The vocals, which felt only got 10% of the song, was blurred out and felt missing in this song. The other element worth remembering was the selection of instruments. Upon research, it seems like MONSTA X used traditional Korean instruments for the chorus, mixed into the powerful hip-hop sound. While I do like the creativity, I have to admit it felt odd. I am slowly warming up to it, though. (8/10)

8. Night View – It comes as no surprise to me that Night View is suitable for a night drive under the starry night. That is the initial hope I had for the song when I first saw the title of the side track. While Night View does opt for EDM in the form of the house genre, the song actually is the album’s airiest song. The song focuses more of the vocals, giving the vocal line of the group more opportunities to shine. That being said, the rapping in this song felt classy and pleasant. What also really stands out is that Night View seems to be MONSTA X’s answer for the groovy trend that has re-emerged in KPOP. (9/10)

9. Last Carnival – The shortest song on the album also has the album’s most haunting start. I honestly don’t really know what the purpose of this introductory sequence, as it didn’t feel fitting for the rest of the song. The rest of the song was absolutely fine, with the members going for a R&B smoothness that I thought had a nice level of aesthetic. The choice of traditional instruments felt fitting for the song, giving Last Carnival an extra bit of oriental flavour. Otherwise, I would have considered it a boring track. (8/10)

10. Sorry I’m Not Sorry – MONSTA X’s final song on the album is the most different of all. It is the only acoustic song on this album and its appearance is much appreciated. Especially after all the EDM and electronic influence we got on this album. I really like the simplicity of the instrumental, made up of a consistent beat and acoustic guitars. There is also some jazzy notes, which were a nice touch. What makes Sorry I’m Not Sorry is that it is truly vocal centric with all members singing in the song. The fade out was also super nice. (10/10)

Overall Album Rating – 9.2/10

Fatal Love Teaser Image

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