Our favorite underrated boy group has returned. MONSTA X is back to give us The Code, their fifth mini-album with the title track “Dramarama.”
MONSTA X is known for their cinematic and dramatic music videos. While their last comeback showed something different with a story-less “Beautiful,” “Dramarama” gives Monbebes the confusing story they’ve been yearning for. The music video shows the members playing around with time travel. It’s another well-produced production that urges you to watch it over and over again, just to try and catch every detail. The song itself is charismatic and mixes a new style with MONSTA X’s signature swag. The electric guitar riff is as catchy as the “dramamaramama” hook, which had me singing along at first listen. While the song itself isn’t anything too special, the music video and the rap verses help to make it stand out.
“Now or Never” is of usual MONSTA X fashion: powerful, badass, and loud. The electronic chorus breakdown begs for intense choreography, so I’m excited to see the dance for this track. The next track immediately intrigued me with its music box piano opening. “In Time” is a delicate track co-composed and co-written by Jooheon. A ballad equipped with soft vocals, the group proves that they do sentimental just as well as they do powerful. Jooheon’s rap verse is powerful (as expected from the rapper), and it merges quite lovely with the emotional vocals.
After this is “From Zero,” which is a song that Hyungwon and Wonho have performed live as a special stage; Wonho even co-wrote and co-composed the track. Some fans are upset that their lines were cut down to fit the other members on this studio version, but overall it’s still a solid track—one that shows off a new style for MONSTA X. It’s an electro-pop track that highlights soft and airy vocals and breaks down into a gorgeous tropical-electronic beat. “From Zero” may even be a favorite of mine on the album. Do I prefer the original Hyungwonho version like most Monbebes do? It’s hard to say. While the original version suits the two members perfectly, it’s also nice to hear all of the members come together.
As soon as “X” began, I started to move along with the strong beat; it’s hard not to. MONSTA X are truly the kings of powerful songs, and “X” showcases this wonderfully. Honestly, I think this track is better than the title track as it shows off the group’s charm a bit more. IM and Jooheon always blow me away with their rap verses. There’s something about their delivery and colorful vocals that make every word ooze with charisma.
“열대야 (Tropical Night)” starts off as a smooth R&B track but builds up to an electronic chorus. Honestly, since the name of the song suggested it, I expected the song to have more of a tropical beat than it does, and so I was a bit disappointed. However, the track has grown on me, probably thanks to IM and Jooheon’s rap verses (once again). “Deja Vu” is exactly what I wanted—a mix of strong raps and powerful vocals. The rap line shines brightest in this track. I know I keep bringing up Jooheon’s verses, but they really are something special (plus, I get chills when he rolls those r’s).
Overall, MONSTA X has come back with a strong mini-album with The Code. They have proven once again that they are underrated in Korea and deserve more appreciation. The rap line never disappoints, and honestly, in some tracks they really outshine the vocal line. However, this does not mean the vocalists do not deliver, because they are also incredibly strong. The Code is yet another solid release from MONSTA X. I hope that Wonho recovers from his sickness so that he can perform with the other members soon!
“Dramarama” Title Score: 7.5/10
Music Video Score: 9/10
The Code Album Score: 7.5/10