[Album Review] Take 2. We Are Here (2nd Studio Album) – MONSTA X

MONSTA X returned last week with Alligator and the second half to their second album, We Are Here. The first half of the second album was titled Are You There? and featured their hit track, Shoot Out. I was a little confused as I did not register that this was a two-part release at first. I honestly thought Are You There? was an album on its own due to the number of songs already on the album. Nonetheless, they have returned and that is what matters. On with the album review!

Take 2. We Are Here Album Cover

2. Alligator (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of Alligator. (7.5/10)

3. Ghost (악몽) – Personally, I liked how the song takes on the ‘Ghost’ title and really give the song some creepy vibes, which I think make this track even more powerful. For the most part, I found the track to be satisfying. The whisper-like ‘Ghost Ghost Ghost’ keeps on ringing in my head after the song is finished and I think this is purely their intention. The chorus had this repetitive nature, which I thought was really cool. It wasn’t overdone in a way that it got annoying, so it is a plus for that. I just felt the song could have used a breakdown or some sort of intensified injection to really bring the track together and make it even more impactfully creepy. (8/10)

4. Play It CoolPlay It Cool is a collaborative track between Monsta X and Steve Aoki. And this collaboration resulted in a very clean and stylish track. Opening the track is Joohoney (formerly Jooheon) with his vocals. After their Versace On The Floor performance which Joohoney pretty much rocked the fandom with, I have been dying to hear his vocals in full within their next release. Well, here is that track and it does not disappoint. I thought the vocals in this song were good, pairing well with the club vibes the song featured. I really like the chorus drop, which gave the song that centrepiece that attracts attention. I also thought I.M and his deep voice got to shine more with Joohoney singing in this song. And his deep voice shined brightly. (8.5/10)

5. No ReasonNo Reason gives an opportunity for the group to really showcase the vocalists of the group (particularly Minhyuk, who got a fair amount of line this time around). Instead of power vocals which would be unfair for some members, the members do with an easy-going yet slightly different tone (i.e. higher) than usual to keep the song interesting. They do keep the electronic instrumental as per their usual style but keep it extremely light and hence not overpowering any of the member’s voices. The rappers do their thing but they aren’t overly powering or too dominant in order to keep that light balance that the song has. (8/10)

6. Give Me DatGive Me Dat returns the hard dance style that we associate with Monsta X. I did find that Give Me Dat fails to really offer anything new to listeners, however, which is a little disappointing. I wanted the song to have a kick as the song progressed but that didn’t get fulfilled. It remained too consistent for my liking, like my straight-line analogy that I used to refer to often. The vocals and rapping in this song were quite ordinary and once again felt too consistent. I don’t hate it for that, but it is a pretty much passable track considering what Monsta X has done in the past. (6/10)

7. Turbulence (난기류)Turbulence doesn’t get turbulent in the instrumental. It is more to do with their crush is the cause of all their turbulence in their lives and them wanting more. It does still feel safe as I expected the instrumental to really go hard or haywire but that did not happen. Instead, it kept its cool and I think that makes the track a little more direct rather than what I thought might have happened. I also found the vocals and rapping style in this song a little more interesting than the previous song, which gives the song a nice appealing sound. I thought the rapping was more impactful in this song and the build-up to the final chorus was extremely satisfying. (7/10)

8. Rodeo – Prepare to be blasted with Rodeo. It kicks off with some Spanish guitars and quickly progresses into an intense hype track. To me, the song reminds me of Big Bang’s Bang Bang Bang, where both songs would get a similar response from the crowd. I really liked the “Boom’ in the chorus, followed by Joohoney’s short Korean phrases. Quite impactful and very memorable if you ask me. Come to the think of it, the song has the familiar intensity that I think really suits Joohoney’s style. I also think the vocals in the song during their respective parts were really good, particularly since they aren’t the main attraction (that honor goes to the already discussed chorus). (9/10)

9. StealerStealer is also quite intense but it is a different intensity that hasn’t been touched upon in this album. And it has a kick that I wanted before making this a very memorable track to my ears. The ‘Dang Dang Dang…’, ‘Bam Bam Bam…’ in the pre-chorus and the repetition of the title in the chorus was extremely addictive. The instrumental had the intention of being ‘in your face’ but it still managed to stay in the background of the track and not overpower the vocals/raps. Talking about the vocals and the raps, I thought they were very dynamic in this track. I am not too fond of the pauses right after the first chorus as they do cut the flow but they do provide some relief after a jam-packed first verse/chorus. (9/10)

10. Party Time – Drawing the album to a close is Party Time, which features a casual and more relaxed tune. I honestly thought that this would be more of a party anthem, given how the album has been mostly filled with dance tracks. But it opts for a R&B beat and soft vocals. Even the rapping was toned down to fit the song. I liked the melody of the chorus and ‘Dalala-lala-lalala’ hook that follows the chorus. I also liked how they also sing part of the chorus together and that hook that I just mentioned. It is a pleasant sound that eases us off the album well. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.9/10

Take 2. We Are Here Teaser Images

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