Jun 13, 2016

Monsta X Intrigues (And Confuses) With "All In"

Monsta X is one of those groups that I kind of have a hate-love relationship with, as I'm generally torn between my dislike of their music and my love for the members. They're still fairly new as they debuted only a year ago, but already they've managed to carve out a signature sound that they're making sure of sticking with. EDM-influenced songs with lots of electronic beats and samples in addition to a lot of rapping and instrumental breakdowns has become their thing, and it's honestly not my cup of tea. I've never so far liked their title tracks ("Hero" being the exception although it was actually a follow-up track rather than a title) and although I love watching their variety shows I can't stan them 100%. Now they've come back with "All In" and judging from the teaser pictures it was difficult to make out what concept they were going for, but boy was I surprised when I pressed play on their brand new MV.

Another thing that's always kind of bothered me about Monsta X was their image, which from the beginning was made clear to be "bad hip-hop boys" influenced by all kinds of stereotypical hip-hop/black culture gimmicks, and I didn't buy it. Those kind of concepts will always irk me and Monsta X was no exception, and I couldn't really buy them as a hip-hop group either since only two out of seven members are rappers and none of the members are particularly "bad". It was with this kind of mentality and skepticism I dove headfirst into this comeback, and I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised. The sound is still there but the image had changed completely and it made me so shocked I was left with my mouth hanging open after the MV had ended.

This music video is really something special, and I never thought Monsta X out of all groups would be the one to completely floor me the way they did. The song "All In" is actually really good too which I had not expected, but to be completely honest I didn't even pay attention to the song the first time I watched the MV, or even the second. It acted more as background noise for the story that makes up this video, and the story is definitely one to be discussed. This is said to the be the first part of a series called "The Clan" and this one is "Lost", meaning that there is even more to come which makes me very excited. It's also a relief to know this because the MV is not an easy one to figure out and to understand, and it even came to the point of Monsta X themselves having to release a video explaining the basic outline of the plot.

What they explain in the video is what most fans had already figure out, more or less, and me as well after watching it over and over again whilst reading fan comments and theories. It's to be said that the song and its lyrics are not related in any way to the video, which had it been related would've been nice, but it's a rich viewing experience nonetheless. Basically the video takes place in some kind of alternate world which does look seemingly dystopian, and the boys are a group of friends that are acting as rebels against the authorities (a.k.a the black soldiers) but they also have individual storylines.

In this video Shownu and Minhyuk and Hyungwon's stories are highlighted, but it's still unclear how they are related to each other and to the blue flower that seems to play a very important part as it appears to possess some kind of power. The scenes where the group actually does look like a witch clan brewing the juice of this flower confirms that as well. I'm also highly curious about the nature of Minhyuk and Hyungwon's relationship but most of all about the ending of the video. What are white suits all about? Who are they fighting against? What's with that alien heart-like creature in the night sky? So many questions that are yet to be answered.

I guess what makes this MV, and this comeback in general, so good is that they've clearly taken a step out of their box and went with something completely different. At least MV- and concept-wise Monsta X are showing a new side of themselves, a more mature and mysterious side that I think fits them much better. I won't say that the video is in any way perfect, as there is a lot of confusion and it could've been made much better production-wise but it's a step in the right direction and it makes me very hopeful for the group.

This comeback with "All In" has definitely left a lasting impression on me as the video literally left me speechless, and it's been a long time since I've felt so intrigued and full of anticipation for what might come next. I'm happy that the group gets to showcase more of their abilities and I'm happy that Starship didn't take the easy way out but actually put a lot of effort into this MV. I can't wait to see the next part and the continuation of this story, and I hope it wont' last too long until we get part 2 of "The Clan".

Song: 3,85/5
Video: 3,9/5

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