[Review] Beautiful Liar – MONSTA X

MONSTA X also made their comeback on Monday alongside SF9. Beautiful Liar is the title of their latest track and it leads the group’s 12th mini-album, Reason. It follows the group’s early 2022 comeback with LOVE (which I nominated as Best Rap or Hip Hop Song of 2022 in the 2022 KPOPREVIEWED Awards) and their 11th mini-album SHAPE OF LOVE, the release of Late Night Feels (a collaboration with San Feldt), and contracts renewal where all but one member renewed their contracts with Starship Entertainment (with the exception of I.M, who left Starship Entertainment but confirmed that he will continue to promote as part of MONSTA X).

The electric guitar start to Beautiful Liar and the punk rock influence from the electric guitar’s presence for the rest of the song has to be one the most exhilarating starts to a song. It leaves such a strong impression that it makes Beautiful Liar really irresistible to me. I really do want to say similar comments to Beautiful Liar‘s instrumental, but the choruses (which I will discuss a little later) do hold me back from saying that. Anyhow, the first verse (which is actually the first run of the chorus, but it is delivered in a manner that made it feel like a verse) features such a sleek vocal line from I.M, Minhyuk and Hyungwon, while I.M and Jooheon really takes it up a notch with a rap sequence in the second verse that really delivers impact. Each of the verses is followed by Kihyun, who blasts us with his powerful vocals as the electric guitars ramp up the song. The choruses had a neat melody that has a memorable ring and it felt emotional yet charming. However. if I had one complaint about Beautiful Liar, it is that the chorus could have more oomph in the instrumental department. This would forces the vocals to be more powerful, which I reckon would have done wonders to Beautiful Liar. The way the pre-choruses ramped up to the chorus suggested a continuation of that exhilarating start and an electrifying nature, but we never got to see that become reality. It was interesting that in place of a what should have been the second chorus (third, if you count the first verse – I do not), Beautiful Liar skips to a second rap verse before bringing back the chorus for a final run. But this is not a complaint, as this structure gives us a second dosage of awesome rapping from the rappers (which I am all for). I do think there was a missed opportunity for the group to have concentrated the momentum and energy to form part of the final chorus to give Beautiful Liar a more deserving and punchy end (just to end the song on a higher note). But overall, Beautiful Liar is still a strong song, which works really well for MONSTA X, despite the complaint and suggestion around the choruses.

I am not exactly sure what the video for this comeback is about. But I do have a theory. The cloaked people surrounding the the members throughout the video represent the lies MONSTA X’s partners have told them. At first, the members want to protect their love for said partner, thinking their love is real and the lies are lie themselves. A fight against the cloaked figures ensures. Note their red jackets, with the colour red being referenced in the lyrics through the line “At the end of your red tongue, like the color of red, you got sores, I will kiss, I love your lies.“, suggesting that the love the members have for their partner is still very real. But as the video progresses, we see the members change into outfits that have a black and white theme to them. The white in the middle of the video donned by I.M most likely represents a sense of innocence in their mind, whereas the all-black clothing worn by the other members represents a toxic version of themselves that has come about from the lies. We see the toxicity break loose (i.e. stomping to break the glass) and take over the minds of the members. In real life, this results in the members (once dressed in red) to become dressed in black and white checkered outfits, represents the lies/toxicity are slowly taking over and corrupting the members. And instead of a fight like at the start of the video, the members are hyping up the crowd of cloaked figures (i.e. lies), which may represent to us that the members are now embracing the lies that their partner once told them. And while we don’t see this, I think the members are supposed to become cloaked figures as well, once the lies/toxicity fully takes over. It is a bit of a crude theory and I may be wrong. But if I am right, I liked the idea of the symbolism.

From what we can see in the music video, the choreography for this comeback looks pretty decent. But as I have yet to see the full performance, I can’t say with 100% certainity whether there is anything that stands out or not. So I will comeback tomorrow or Friday once we do get a live performance to provide proper comments. But for now, accept my interim ratings.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 8.5/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.4/10

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