I’m not against English-language releases by K-pop groups, and I even liked Monsta X’s “Who Do U Love?”, but if there’s ever an example of K-pop group with a developed identity that gets completely neutered by an attempt to appeal to the American Top 40 trends, it’s their “One Day” release.
The Bias List basically said it all in his review.
I don’t need to know that an idol act can pull off generic Top 40 fare as well as Americans. I don’t see how that’s something to brag about. Monsta X have cobbled together a pretty decent English-language discography so far, but new single One Day is utter schlock. Off the heels of the dynamic Gambler, this track removes any hint of identity in favor of reheated melodies and flat production. One Day sounds like a cross between Maroon 5, Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber. I can’t think of a worse brew (even if Stay is a massive bop, and Peaches isn’t too bad either). The guys sound half-asleep during the dull verses, and when the energy perks up for the chorus their vocals are layered in a loud but disinterested fashion. At just over two-and-a-half minutes, the song has absolutely no room (or desire) to grow. It just limps forward and fizzles out. Monsta X remain great, but this is the definition of zero-effort pandering.
People often counter criticisms of the pandering to overseas by saying “pop is pop”, and to some extent that can be true. Good music is good music, but this is a prime and clear example of how it can completely change an artist’s sound to be completely generic. It’s Monsta X in name, sure, but it’s something that feels like could be even to any C-list singer to fill out an album. Compare that with their discography in Asia and it’s just completely unrecognizable.