MONSTA X make their first comeback since Shownu’s enlistment with their tenth mini album No Limit and title track Rush Hour.
Monsta X are a classic favourite here on the blog and so the anticipation for their comeback is always big. Their Gambler ended up being one of my 2021 favourites, growing slowly and then all of a sudden on me, so Rush Hour had a lot to achieve and it somewhat partly manages to do so. It maintains that recognizable Monsta X sound and attitude and while this exact sound has been quite popular this year (The Boyz, Cravity, P1Harmony) you can definitely tell Monsta X are the seniors by the way they carry out such melody and concept. It takes a lot of confidence and experience to be able to sell me something like this and Monsta X definitely have that. Let’s get deeper into the review of the title and their tenth mini album.
Rush Hour delivers us a Monsta X-typical rap-heavy verses sprinkled with a melodic chorus and I’m glad to hear Kihyun’s vocals being used to the maximum here, as much as this kind of concept allows it. The first part of the chorus is really good, catchy and a solid foundation for the song, while the second part makes sure you leave the song with at least one line stuck in your head. I like the attitude-driven rap verses by the incredible Joohoney and I.M but my favourite parts have to be Kihyun’s ones as they really bring so much flavour to the song. Rush Hour serves some nice energy and attitude but I’d say Gambler is still a lot stronger in both structure and hook – Rush Hour does a lot of things right but what’s left is to see how well it will age. So far I have always grown to love Monsta X titles even when I wasn’t blown away on the first listen and I’m hoping Rush Hour will be better as time progresses. Shownu’s vocals definitely would’ve fit the song as well. Is this my favourite Monsta X song? Not really, but there isn’t anything wrong with it – I think it’s just suffering from coming after a massive banger like Gambler and that’s hard to follow.
Now if you know me, you know that I’m a sucker for Monsta X b-sides (their Chaotic was one of my Top 20 songs of last year) and this mini album surely delivers quite a few solid tracks. I think the album progresses nicely and offers a variety of sounds while still sounding very much like Monsta X. My favourite b-side has to be the mysterious, enchanting Mercy as it screams MX b-side excellency. The vocals, the almost haunting instrumental, Kihyun absolutely doing his best during the chorus – Mercy surely ticks off a lot of my favourite things – but above everything else I have to compliment the stunning rap sections which really surprised me. I think this one will be on repeat for a while. Another solid album by Monsta X.
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