K-pop supergroup Monsta X have released their eighth mini-album Fantasia X which picks up right where last year’s Follow left off. The album combines the explosive energy the group is known for with a feel-good soundscape to ease the world of its trouble with its seven tracks.
Opening with the title track “Fantasia,” an energetic rhythm gives way to the lighter sounds of “Flow” which establishes itself as an early stand-out. The EP is a journey – with “Fantasia” providing a jolting awakening before the following tracks soothe frayed, buzzing nerves with gentle musicality.
In contrast to the lull and sentimentality of “Flow,” following track “Zone” is the epitome of a fun banger. The purpose of this track on the EP is to stimulate an atmosphere without worries. Fantasia X is meant to motivate, liberate, and focus on the good things in life, as such, there is no place for sad, introspective ballads on this collection of anthemic bangers.
“It Ain’t Over” is a realistic take on the way of life – living isn’t easy and clinging onto the past will never make it easier. While “Stand Up” with the perfect juxtaposition of sonic simplicity and lyrical genius is easily the best track of the lot.
Set against a light melody, powerful lyrics imagine sunshine after a storm on “Stand Up.” Monsta X encourages listeners to pick themselves up to face the world after a bad period. It’s a melancholic offering the manages to leave behind an imprint of hope; a much-needed commodity in the world we live in today.
With Fantasia X, the K-pop veterans deliver a characteristically upbeat, rap-heavy sound while managing to still play around with impactful lyricism and imagery.
With relatively repetitive hip-hop tinges that rarely move into experimentation, the EP is imperfect but it’s the culmination of everything Monsta X’s music has been up till now and a path to a future filled with music that’s even better.