After a two-week delay, Monsta X has returned with their eighth (!) mini album. At this point, there’s not a lot to say about their title tracks. Apart from the occasional shift in sound, they’ve tended to follow the same general formula. If you like the Monsta X brand, you’re probably going to like “Fantasia“. They have a remarkable consistency as a group, and that’s not a bad thing.
“Fantasia” follows right where last year’s “Follow” left off, and apparently both songs were in contention to be the title track from that album. That’s not too surprising. They carry the same percussive energy, but I think “Follow” was a much stronger choice. “Fantasia” has a lot of style and attitude, but is relatively light on melody. In some ways, Monsta X almost play second fiddle to the instrumental, riffing on its beat-heavy brew rather than delivering the kind of thrilling hook that might have elevated the song.
Much of the vocal-led segments on “Fantasia” come in the form of chants or repetitions of the title. In between, the song injects a full dose of the swaggy hip-hop we’ve come to expect from the group. It’s fine, but fails to offer any surprising or iconic moments (thankfully, no cringy “alli-alligator” moments). The production is largely a holdover from ‘Follow,” leveraging a few high-pitched synths to give the hulking instrumental some character. But overall, this is just Monsta X being Monsta X, which makes it hard to feel anything but ambivalent about the song as a whole.
IATFB says: I’ve long felt like their hype tracks are what they are and that’s fine, but they’ve excelled recently when scaling it back a bit and I wouldn’t mind if they explored that further as a part of the maturation of their sound.