Monsta X has had a busy year, entering uncharted territory for a K-pop act by appearing on a number of high-profile TV shows as well as collaborating with pop heavy hitters like French Montana and Steve Aoki.
And the seven-piece group is back again with its new album “Follow: Find You.”
The septet became the first K-pop act to perform at the iHeart Radio Music Festival this year and performed on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” in September.
Behind its growing popularity is its uplifting and powerful dance-pop sound, carefully established over the years since its debut in 2015.
With the group showing no signs of stopping, here is a list of some of its best dance-pop tracks.
Kicking off the list is the latest single from the group, “Follow.” The electro dance-pop number incorporates traditional Korean music with modern pop sound.
Giving a twist to Monsta X’s signature aggressive sound, the song is further elevated with heavy beats and brass riffs.
The video, released with the EP “Follow: Find You,” features the bandmates pulling off dance moves in sync.
The group was heavily involved in the making of the album, and the lead track is no exception -- with Jooheon and I.M. having written the lyrics.
“Play It Cool” (English version)
Produced by Steve Aoki, the smooth electronic dance track makes for an essential song on a driving playlist.
It was first released in Korean in February as part of the album “Take.2 We Are Here,” which is a continuation of the group’s second studio album, “Are You There?”
The music video for the English version of the track features the group and the DJ in separate locations.
The party-themed video is packed with dancing, pillow feathers as well as subtle references to the drinking culture in Korea.
“Who Do U Love”
The English-language track, released in June, saw the band team up with French Montana. Featuring a heavy dose of powerful beats and rich bass, the rhythmic mid-tempo tune came on the heels of news that the band had signed on with Epic Records, home to the likes of Celine Dion and Mariah Carey, to pursue its career in the US.
The group has performed the song on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” The septet also became the first K-pop act to perform at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in September this year.
The 2018 track checks all the boxes for a great dance-pop tune -- a catchy melody, addictive hooks, upbeat beats and fun lyrics.
As the title suggests, the lyrics talk about a guy who is jealous of those who have caught the attention of his crush.
The rather intense premise sees the guy going green with envy. The song’s straight-forward melody is reminiscent of the pop sounds that dominated the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The 2015 single is one of the biggest hits from the group, skillfully switching between hip-hop and pop. Shot on a rooftop showcasing Seoul’s skyline, the video for the single has racked up over 92 million views.
The track is laden with extremely catchy sax riffs. In a mere four minutes, the group, which had been in the game for only a few months at the time of release, manages to show off its vocal, rap and dance skills.
A version of the song was subsequently released as the band’s first Japanese single, which enjoyed moderate success in Japan, reaching No. 2 on Oricon’s weekly singles chart.
“Shoot Out” is the lead single from the group’s second studio album, “Take.1 Are You There?”
The hip-hop-tinged dance track is heavy with both rap and beats, presenting an overall aggressive yet catchy sound.
The song starts with a speedy rap before the bridge explodes into an irresistibly hooky chorus.
Adding to the intensity are the tightly choreographed dance moves, which the bandmates show off in the video sporting all-black outfits.
The music video, which switches between brightly colored and black-and-white scenes, has racked up over 43 million views.
As the main concept of “Take.2 We Are Here” is finding hope, the reptilian-inspired lead track is a fitting choice; it sees the bandmates singing from the perspective of an alligator to describe the feelings of being deeply in love.
The metaphor-rich electropop tune was a commercial success, topping the charts on multiple music programs, including Mnet’s “M! Countdown” and KBS2’s “Music Bank.”
The album also performed well on the charts, debuting at No. 1 on both weekly and monthly Gaon Album Charts in February.
“Beautiful” is yet another track from Monsta X that features various musical elements, such as strong beats, collectively sung choruses and catchy melodies.
However, what makes the 2017 single stand out among other tracks is its delicate melody and lyrics.
One line goes, “You’re so beautiful/I can’t take my eyes off you/Like a thorn on a flower/I know I’ll get pricked but I want you.”
The song is from the group’s first studio album, “The Clan Pt. 2.5: The Final Chapter,” released in 2017 and ending the Clan series.
“Love U” is full of electro-pop vibes and seriously hooky beats.
Arriving on the other side of summer, the song is more of a grower and a far cry from the group’s signature intense and powerful sound.
Yet, the mid-tempo track does the job of getting you in the dancing mood.
As evident in lyrics like “But I can’t say the word I want to (want to)/‘Cause they won’t play it on the radio,” the song’s playful tone highlights the feelings of someone feeling soppy toward a crush.
The digital single also came with a remix of “Who Do U Love?” by Will.i.am, giving the track an intense and powerful feeling.
By Yim Hyun-su (firstname.lastname@example.org)