Monsta X’s “All In” more cohesive than it appears, which helps it succeed

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“All In” by Monsta X is best experienced as an overly dramatic, trap filled whole. When broken down into parts, it’s merely an adequately done trap/EDM song set over a slightly melodramatic video. However, when one enjoys it as a cohesive experience, it has an undeniable impact.

As a stand-alone song, “All In” is a solid effort by Monsta X. It, much like “Hero”, is a club-friendly mix of rap and R&B-esque breakdowns. The rapping matches the punchy nature of the backing drums and, in so doing, allows these verses to carry much of the song.

Rapping aside, the song is expertly paced. Much of “All In” is spent building layers of both rapping and instrumentals until they hit their peak. Unlike other songs, where the crescendo is overly drawn out, “All In” is a show of how to be restrained while still maintaining ‘hype’. The breakdowns are never too slow nor are the non-rapping portions out of place. Instead, the duality bolsters the track’s inherent emotionality.


Speaking of emotionality, the music video does not shy away from drama. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Shin Dong Keul, the MV chronicles the development and subsequent misadventures of Monsta X’s ‘clan’. Said clan makes psychedelic potions from a purple plant, practices what I assume is Santeria, and burns money. It’s all badass, needlessly dramatic, and as well paced as the song itself.

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Story aside, the MV was shot and directed beautifully. The usage of colors, from sparse whites to vibrant purples, is hauntingly beautiful.

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There also seems to be a floating, pulsating hemorrhoid.

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When confronted with yet another boy group EDM/trap song, the initial reaction is to expect relative mediocrity that we’ve seen dozens of times before. However, Monsta X break the mold a bit by not making everything so perfunctory and by utilizing the music video to enhance the concept.

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