EXO are coming back with their third album, ‘EX’ACT‘, and one of the double title tracks off that album is “Monster“. Earlier, they released “Lucky One“, which left my thoroughly unimpressed. Fortunately, I don’t feel the same about “Monster”.
“Monster” starts rather sterile with just an the beat and the vocals, but the relatively simple instrumental works because the bassline sets an aggressive tone that builds to abrupt and almost angry chorus. Despite its notable dark and brooding tone, the track had nice melodies throughout, even if they did come in bursts.
You. Call. Me. Mon. Ster.
It just worked.
There are enough changes of pace throughout to help it avoid monotony, and while it’s a shame that EXO don’t have a real rapper to cap this beat off, the rap itself doesn’t sound nearly as awkward as in other tracks as its impact is geared up by the fact that it comes right after a vocal done over a bare-bones instrumental interlude. I would’ve loved if they got an actual rapper to feature on this to put the cherry on top, but of course that’s a pipe dream.
All of this goes remarkably well with the music video, which includes impressive-looking choreography that definitely matches up well with the tone of the song. I can’t imagine this not being the shit to see performed live, which is always a way to tell the music video left an impression.
Speaking of the impact, the visual concept was well done. While there are some filters, a lot of the aesthetic does come from the sets and camera work.
If there was a deeper meaning behind the story that wasn’t a typical plot then I missed it, but that wasn’t all that important to me enjoying the overall effort put into this.
Everything about this played up a bit because of the epic feeling of a build throughout the song, helped along by the way the song was effectively layered to give it a feel of depth even though most of the track had a tone of aggressive isolation. Combine that with the visuals of the music video and the quality of the choreo and it’s difficult to not come away impressed with “Monster”.