K-Pop Comeback Spotlight: MONSTA X Presents Top-Notch Pieces With 8th Mini-Album “FANTASIA X”
Nothing less than fantastic—as expected—was what MONSTA X showed in their latest comeback once again.
Absolute gold is what MONSTA X presented in their latest series of new songs for the mini-album FANTASIA X. Together with the music video for its lead track “FANTASIA”, the group’s newest release was a grand galore of quality and talent.
Comeback Countdown Timeline
On April 13, MONSTA X powered up with their comeback announcement for FANTASIA X, which serves as their eight mini-album after the successful Follow: Find You in 2019. Bearing the same sparkly image from the announcement poster, the group also shared their teaser scheduler on the day after.
Pumping up great excitement from fans, the group then shared consecutive trailer releases from April 19 to 24. Branded as “chapters”, the black-and-white clip focused on one member each and served as a spoiler for the tune and titles of some of their new songs.
On April 27, MONSTA X then revealed the titles and writing credits for the seven stunning songs that they prepared for FANTASIA X.
Afterward, the group blessed fans with three glorious teaser photo version sets. The first, revealed from April 28 to 30 through unit and solo teaser images, showed the members luxuriously decked in gold.
Encountering a short break and adjusting their teaser schedule after pushing back their comeback date to May 26, MONSTA X then resumed with their last teaser photo version reveal from May 18 to 20 through a set of summer-themed snapshots.
The group then unveiled a thunderous beat in their sneak peek of the music video for “FANTASIA” in a teaser clip on May 23. Featuring a rhythm that will give listeners shivers, “FANTASIA” serves as the title track for the highly-anticipated mini-album.
Lastly, MONSTA X pushed the excitement for their comeback even further by revealing an album preview with audio cuts of their powerful and captivating new tracks on May 24.
FANTASIA X First Impression
As usual, all of the seven songs on MONSTA X’s latest mini-album had the participation of Joohoney and I.M in the lyric-writing process. Moreover, Joohoney co-composed the tracks “Flow” and “Stand Up”, while I.M co-composed and co-arranged “Zone” from FANTASIA X.
Boasting of attention-grabbing energy and power in MONSTA X’s signature style, the mini-album’s lead track “FANTASIA” radiated a unique intensity of its own and seemed to contain a mix of several tunes and different styles.
It was on my second listen to the song that I actually realized how it sounded closer to their Japanese releases than their usual Korean title tracks. “X-Phenomenon” vibes, anyone?
“Flow”, in all honesty, was softer than I expected. It has a really emotional melody, and spreads a warm and sentimental feeling to the listener.
Meanwhile, “Zone” takes on an EDM tune which totally elevates the mood and turns up the energy even more.
“CHAOTIC”, which combines dubstep and rock sound to present a “grand scale”, definitely caught our attention with the impressive adlibs that MONSTA X’s vocalists dropped every now and then. I personally love the “layered” feel of some of the lines from the song—and don’t even get me started on the high notes.
Setting a different atmosphere compared to the other tracks, “Beautiful Night” blends a light-hearted rhythm and soft melody in the house dance genre to produce a calming and heart-fluttering tune.
Hooking listeners in from the very start, “It Ain’t Over” plays on a sophisticated synth-pop-style rhythm that contains a glimpse of MONSTA X’s teasing sultriness. Trust me, one listen is enough to have “It ain’t over/ ‘Til it’s over” playing in your head over and over again for a good couple of hours.
Lastly, the way “Stand Up” started was something that I loved, loved, loved a lot. The bright energy that it gave off through its exciting guitar riff and clear tropical sound definitely left a long-lasting impression.
“FANTASIA” MV Afterthoughts
First of all, we didn’t know how much we needed Joohoney in a cowboy hat until “FANTASIA” happened. Putting a dance break at the very beginning, which is usually placed at the middle or end, also marked a success in capturing even more attention for the music video.
As mentioned earlier, the tune of “FANTASIA” sounded closer to MONSTA X’s Japanese releases, and so did its music video. The settings, the lights, the transitions, and the energy—all of these brought an era reminiscent of music videos like “X-Phenomenon” or “Livin’ It Up”, but there were also some visual parallels to “Follow” and “Alligator”.
Matching with their luxurious styling, the individual charisma of each member shone brightly in the music video as well.
The passionate choreography for “FANTASIA” also didn’t fail to catch the attention of viewers, especially as it was an element that was made very prominent in the clip. I can see why this snappy and footwork-heavy choreography was called difficult by the group in their prior interviews, and it just makes me more amazed.
Overall, “FANTASIA” and FANTASIA X were spectacular showcases of many different elements that can be simplified in three Gs: glorious, grand, and golden.
Photos and videos from Starship Entertainment