Just four months after One of a Kind, South Korean group MONSTA X is back with their 10th mini-album No Limit. The group is promoting as a five-member group since the group’s leader Shownu enlisted for mandatory military service in July 2021. No Limit was released on November 19, and it features seven tracks. Akin to the fiery energy that MONSTA X is synonymous with, No Limit opens with an energy-packed track ‘Rush Hour’. The members of MONSTA X have consistently contributed to their past albums, and again, they have participated as lyricists and composers on various songs throughout No Limit. ‘Rush Hour’ marks Joohoney’s second focus track that he’s produced, with I.M and Hyungwon self-producing ‘Just Love’ and ‘Mercy.’ Throughout this album, the group has made sure to dedicate multiple tracks to their fans, MONBEBE.
Throughout the lyrics, the members have expressed their thanks and longing to meet again in person soon, despite having been physically apart from their fans due to the pandemic. Let’s take closer look at MONSTA X’s No Limit.
‘Rush Hour’ brings back the foot-stomping music MONSTA X is known for. There is a great balance between the vocal and rap verses. The song uses electro-pop and hip-hop music to present a palatable set of music. The song makes use of ample driving references like gear, rush hour, etc to showcase a journey of success that is limitless. The lyrics “Push with double the power/ Toward you, pedal to the metal” exemplify the core message in the song. The song refers to a chaotic situation or time, emphasizing the group’s identity by comparing the current music industry to congested traffic during rush hour. Within the music video, the band members have competed nonstop in the cold grayish city, have pioneered a barren land and walked their own path. Their ambitious steps towards their final goals are portrayed as off-road driving, and the unchanging competitive society is depicted as hanging on by a thread from a high place.
An autobahn is a German word for a freeway which is limitless. Sticking to the theme of No Limit, ‘Autobahn’ is a stunning track. Using the staccato electro-synth beats, the song is perfect as a club dancing track. “I want you to do drive me hard / Only for you maximum / Step harder autobahn”– these lyrics further add in to the idea of being on a limitless freeway.
RIDE WITH U
‘Ride with U’ begins with a sweet surprise, as rapper I.M croons a few vocal lines. With this track, the rapper line proves that they can sing with equal ease. The song is slower in tempo in comparison to its predecessors, but nevertheless it is groovy. With hazy music and desire to go on a long ride with a loved one, the lyrics of ‘Ride with U’ – “It’s only you and me here / Let’s go ride tonight” – make it a great addition to the travel playlist!
GOT ME IN CHAINS
When the title is ‘Got me in Chains’, it instantly paints a picture of intense desire which borders to addiction. The song makes use of techno beats clubbed with R&B to make a hazy and fuzzy atmosphere which reflects the passionate lyrics – “I struck my entire heart and trapped in you like this/Got me in chains.”
‘Just Love’ is a smooth and slow track. The lyrics – “Just as painful days will come / There will also be happy days / Is it because the times in the past? / Have always been the same as always?” are simple, yet carry a profound meaning. The guitar strums stand out in the music, and the alternating R&B beats create a fuzzy vibe.
‘Mercy’ runs high on emotion. It is dramatic, it is strong and it gives the listener a helping hand. The emotions are dark, expressed in lyrics that go “Paint all over the torn scars with clouds / If you can hide it, never mind/In the pouring rain / May the pain be washed away.” The use of gothic elements in the music creates an atmosphere of dark foreboding.
I GOT LOVE
After a dramatic dose with ‘Mercy’, MONSTA X ventures off on a joyous path with ‘I Got Love’. The song is a continuation of ‘Heaven’ from the group’s previous album One of a Kind. The song encompasses of a summery and warm feeling. The song expresses the desire of being in love with that special person with lyrics like “Carve it inside me and feel the sweet love/I want you to stay everyday”.
With No Limit, MONSTA X proves their mettle once again. They showcased that be it rap or vocals, hip-hop or R&B, they can carry out the genres with ease. Starting with the high octane ‘No Rush’, to bringing a dramatic flair in ‘Mercy’ and finally concluding on a sweet note with ‘I got love’, the group navigates between different gears and presents the listeners with an ecstatic array of music. MONSTA X keeps the music rolling and when it comes it their artistic expressions, there is no limit.
Following No Limit, MONSTA X will drop their second English language album The Dreaming in December 2021.