[Review] Rush Hour – MONSTA X

MONSTA X is nominated for for Best Stage Presence and their single GAMBLER is nominated for Best Concept. MONSTA X member I.M is also nominated for Best Rapper, while God Damn is nominated for Best Rap or Hip-Hop song. Support MONSTA X, I.M and your other favourite acts by voting in the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Click here to vote now.

Yesterday, MONSTA X made their comeback with Rush Hour. This is the group’s first official comeback as a five member group, with Shownu enlisting into the military in July of this year. The group previous promoted as a five member group back during their GAMBLER comeback, which was their most recent comeback before this one as Shownu has to sit out of promotions due to health reasons. Since their last domestic comeback, the group has been busy with some solo work and preparation for an upcoming English album and documentary.

I have had a couple of listens to Rush Hour since its release yesterday, but I haven’t really been convinced that it is their next big track. But before I dwell on this point, there are still some aspects in Rush Hour that I still appreciated that I want to point out. The ‘stand out’ element of this song is Joohoney and I.M’s rapping. I really liked the dynamism they both brought to the song. Their aggressive energy is always present in MONSTA X’s title tracks at the very least, but I felt like they pushed themselves even more in Rush Hour. Per usual, Rush Hour is synonymous to other MONSTA X title tracks, with bolstering beats and intense electronic instrumentals. But what sets Rush Hour apart is some suspenseful whistling. While it isn’t a memorable tune, it gave Rush Hour an interesting airy vibe and is used sparingly throughout the song. It isn’t the main centerpiece of the song unlike many other tracks nowadays, and so it isn’t overused or overbearing. The chorus was pretty decent. I find the vocals to be the star element here, especially with Kihyun’s explosive and powerful vocals here. I felt he was on par with the rappers in this song. I also like the sharp beats in the chorus, which stands out in the crowd of the ‘noise’, as some might describe Rush Hour as (and MONSTA X’s title tracks overall). Unfortunately, the hooks and melodies are mildly memorable, which isn’t exactly ideal. I wished they were stronger and punchier, which would have made Rush Hour so much more memorable. I also find Rush Hour to lack cohesiveness overall and bit messy. I wished everything in Rush Hour was better pulled together. Overall, Rush Hour is a decent song with a few standout elements, but not their best work.

It seems like cowboys are the new big thing in KPOP, with a few music videos and comebacks over the years featuring the theme. But I feel MONSTA X’s version of the cowboys concept is more style rather than substance. I did like the dynamic vibes from the music video, which is thanks to the way the video was shot and the various moving camera angles. The industrial sets and the outside scenes also looked quite cool, though I think the lighting could have made the video a bit more interesting. Minhyuk also looks great throughout this video and I felt that he owns this comeback. I do wonder if this video connected to the events of GAMBLER. The police vehicle they step out of at the start of the video reminded me of the vehicles the members drove off in at the end of GAMBLER.

The performance looks fierce and aggressive, as you would expect from MONSTA X. Nothing really stands out, but it was a pretty decent routine overall.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.6/10

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