Monsta X – “Hero” Review

Monsta X – Hero (Dance Practice Halloween
Version)

Monsta
X – Hero (Dance Practice)

Monsta X – Hero

Reviewed
on October 31, 2015

Personal Message: Truthfully, ZE:A’s “Ghost of the
Wind” was to be reviewed, but a change of plans occurred. Nevertheless, this
works out favorably: Halloween is directly related, and this review will be on
a relatively newer group and song (the group and song came out around September
if accurate). Most likely this will be a bonus review akin to the prior one, but I may decide to write it as a
standard review after all (in other words, more analysis will be given). If the
latter does occur, however, I will still be keeping it relatively concise so
that my piling list of homework shrinks, and of course, it is Halloween so I
wish to keep the review lighthearted. On that note, happy Halloween for those
who celebrate it, and for those who do not, hopefully this day is as fabulous
as previous days.

In truth, though, I expect readers
who celebrate Halloween to, at most, give out candy rather than
trick-or-treating themselves, and thus, there may not be a large “celebration”
after all. But, everyone is certainly free to do as they wish, such as
trick-or-treating despite being rather older. That said, I do anticipate many
readers being that of an age group of high school to college, but younger and
older readers are certainly welcomed. I hope my reviews do reach out to
everyone regardless of age, race, gender, and so forth. The sole restrictive barrier
may be that younger readers may struggle to comprehend and conceptualize
certain concepts I discuss, both musically and socially, but I very much do
hope I reach a variety of readers from all over.

Focusing back on the review, as it
is Halloween and I do wish to keep this review cheerful, I will tell a horror
story: I have actually never gone trick-or-treating in my 18 years of living.
Insert horror movie scream here. While my family has celebrated Halloween in
the context of giving out candy for school (during elementary), in terms of
trick-or-treating or giving out candy at home, neither were ever done. Many are
horrified at this “experience,” but this is merely a difference in culture,
and, as I always urge, it is about respecting differences. I very much still
consider myself an “American” despite not having ever celebrated Halloween (and
more so with discussing sensitive topics of race, gender, and so on), and that
I still had a “normal” and good childhood—even if it did not involve gorging
myself with Halloween treats.

Now for an actual story, especially
with Monsta X’s Halloween dance practice showcasing spider plushies all over (I
partially promise I am not using “plushy” to reduce fear), for a lack of a
better phrase, I did become slightly creeped out. If I had never shared yet
with readers, I do admit I have a fear of spiders. However, I would like to
believe my fear is justified and that, overall, I still do appreciate spiders.
Expanding on the latter, I appreciate spiders not quite because of their
purpose in the environment and keeping insects’ population in control (after
all, those obviously cannot be good reasons), but rather because a spider
allowed me to realize a hidden talent: amazing singing vocals—as a child that
is. Allow that to sink in. Though in my current time I am far from musically
talented and nowhere near possess ZE:A’s Kevin’s charming voice, as a child I
was hitting notes that MAMAMOO’s Solar hits (on a side note, she is amazing and
I aspire to be like her): incredibly high pitched and powerful note holds. It
just so happens I needed the encouragement from a spider to discover that. In
short, for what did occur as a four year old child, my mother failed to wash
away a spider that was in the bathtub. Therefore, when I was being bathed, I
had eye contact and saw in vivid detail a medium-sized brown spider on my knee.
Needless to say, I unleashed the mentioned inner Solar vocals I had.

Bad story aside, reflecting over my
theology professor’s incredibly jocular story of his “horror” Halloween
adventure, perhaps my spider incident is not worthy of justifying my current
fear of spiders after all, and that missing out on Halloween is not necessarily
unfortunate (and that I feel very grateful for having amazing professors, and
for having had an amazing professor and teachers). Transitioning to a more
serious topic (readers should skip to the review by now unless if interested),
with mentioning “theology,” readers may now become curious of multiple
subjects: the type of university I attend, or more generally, my thoughts on
religions.

Blatantly with K-Pop, it is seldom
for religion to be introduced unless if it is AOA’s Jimin praying in hopes that her cable ride would
not break during the show of “One Fine Day,”
and thus, I will take
advantage of this opportunity to discuss a rare, sensitive topic that is
exceptionally important—similar to how race, gender, sexual orientation, class,
and more should be discussed. First, with taking theology class, from my
understanding, it is true that religion cannot be taught in public schools
unless if in a secular context. For example, the teaching of the history and
facts behind religion is allowed versus, for example, teaching religious ideas,
such as with how the Catholic God wants people to side with those who are
excluded (such as by siding with homosexuals; if there are readers who wish to
discuss this idea of whether homosexuality is a “sin,” I am open to explain
this stance of how the Catholic God does, in fact, embrace homosexuality—more
will be explained later).

On topic, because it is a theology
class and thus, is related to the teachings of religion directly, this does
showcase that I am attending a private university. As my review of GOT7’s “Just
Right” will explain in the lens of beauty, I do acknowledge being privileged in
class (I am able to afford being fashionable, for example). Even with
scholarships, my family being middle-classed greatly increases my chance of
being able to attend a private university (though I have been in public schools
my whole life prior to recently). Therefore, likewise with being privileged in
gender and sexual orientation (male and heterosexual) and other categories,
even if minoritized in race, I openly acknowledge the unfair privileges that I
do have and wish to share these personal facts with readers.

Continuing, for those curious at my
religious affiliation, I have shifted all over: I was raised with Buddhism, but
then transitioned to atheism, and then later, switched to being agnostic.
However, for what I consider myself now, it is a surprising, unusual stance: agnostic,
Buddhist, and Catholic. All simultaneously. This should sound as entirely
ridiculous and that I am confused and fail to understand what religion is as
all three cannot co-exist—especially with being agnostic as that would
contradict also being Catholic and Buddhist.

Defending this absurd position, I
will first explain the background that has influenced me to now adopt my supposedly
“wrong” affiliations. As stated and to intimately share, I used to be an
atheist—the one that was misguided with what atheism was. I used to be very
firm in the idea that no divine beings existed, and that if anyone did believe
in such, they were merely silly. Atheism may be the perspective that no divine
beings exist, but the latter idea is not a part of it; being an atheist does
not mean bashing and degrading religious affiliations that do indeed worship
divine beings—it solely means not believing in said divine beings. I was
limited in view and failed to respect differences. If this stance was applied to
other lenses, the damages I brought are further accentuated: my bashing of
other religious affiliations was like bashing females, non-Asians/non-Whites
(depending on which group is the “dominant” race; refer to other reviews for
this concept), non-heterosexuals, and so forth. Thankfully, as I became
educated in the common areas of race, gender, and class during senior year of
high school, I expanded on such via also looking at religion (and other
categories). In the end, a replayed message is seen: respecting and attempting
to understand different views and opinions.

As a result, for the ultimate point,
with finally learning to embrace differences and to love said differences, I
adopted my current three religious affiliations as I find myself believing in
all three. I am agnostic because there are instances where I neither deny nor
believe of a divine being, such as perhaps with scientific ideas. Homogenously,
though, I still believe in the Catholic God existing and guiding those who
follow Her/Him/It (and notice, another interpretation; rather than just Him, my
view involves Her and It) to be allies with those who are minoritized for
whatever reason (be it race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc.).
Lastly, Buddhism is also believed in as I find it important to connect with
everything around so that kindness and understanding are gleaned—to others and
one’s own self.

Overall, it is not “wrong” to be an
atheist or agnostic, nor is it wrong to be a Muslim or Christian. What is
wrong, however, is when differences are not tolerated—when different religious
affiliations, genders, races, classes, and so on, are not equally respected. With
religion, no religious affiliation is superior or more “right” than another,
and furthermore, for the interpretations within a religious affiliation, every
view also has to be accepted and understood. Returning to the earlier point of
how I stated the Catholic God wishes for privileged people to reside with those
who are excluded so that everyone can be within Her/His/It’s embrace, I also
have to hear from the perspective that states that the Catholic God does find
certain groups of people as “sinful” and deserving to be outside of “kinship.”

It is all about treating and seeing
everything with equal respect, even when it can be enraging to do so, such as
with hearing out the perspective that females are inherently inferior to males.
This all does not mean to be passive (I will passionately disagree with the
prior example as I believe both females and males are equally worthy), but it
does mean that rather than entirely ignoring various, disagreeable
perspectives, genuine discussion and thinking should take place so that
understanding is met.

Discussions of religion aside, of
which I do hope readers find interesting and thought-provoking (also, I do
apologize if any reader feels uncomfortable with me bringing in religious
examples; this is for the purpose of context, not to “force” readers to believe
in certain stances and religions), Monsta X will finally be of spotlight.
Biasedly, I do adore “Hero” and am glad the seven men of Monsta X released a
Halloween special since if it were not for that, I would not have heard this
song. With such, though I personally enjoy the song, this review will,
obviously, be impartial and solely of systematic grading.

In terms of Monsta X, I have watched
their first appearance on the variety show of “Weekly Idol” when their senior
label group, Sistar, accompanied them (and AOA with N.Flying and Secret with
Sonamoo). While they did elicit laughter, in honesty, I did not find them
distinctive (nor N.Flying and Sonamoo; the episode, while comical, did not
personally lure me into the newer groups). Optimistically, with this song,
Monsta X has finally caught my attention. Whether with their prettiness (refer
to Teen Top’s “Ah Ah” for a discussion of homophobia;
there is no problem with me, a heterosexual boy, complimenting the men’s
beauty), their powerful and swift dancing, or their admirable vocals, Monsta X
has much potential considering they are new in the K-Pop industry.

Before finally beginning the actual
review (at this point, every reader should just read the review now and then
return here later), there is one minor note to make: the lyrics to “Hero,” once
critically analyzed, are slightly questionable. Infinite’s “The Chaser” possess similar lyrics, and thus, I
will simply refer to it, but in short, the lyrics do—most likely
unintentionally—objectify females in a sense. The problem is not that females
should not be “protected” by males or that females should not want to be
“protected”—this is all up to a female’s decision—but the problem is that
females are equated to trophies. The idea of “protecting” is not inherently bad
if it includes the idea that both males and females can “protect” (physically
and emotionally) and that both males and females can be protectors (there are,
after all, many songs where the lyrics are of a lady protecting her lovely
boy), the issue is where the protecting stems from and how it varies per gender:
for females, objectification; that women are trophies to be hoarded, won, and
protected.

When a male is being “protected,” it
is usually out of general love and other romantic-related ideas and seldom due
to “owning the boy.” Conversely, when a female is being “protected,” the same
word suddenly connotes a new meaning: it is protection because a “man” has to
do such; it is because a man “must possess her as his”; it is because “others
will claim her.” Definitely, there is the rebuttal that “protecting” is
necessary as males desire to “claim” women and that “protecting” repels those
unwanted acts, but if no boy in the first place decided to objectify females,
and thus, no “claiming” ever took place, the need for protecting will also fade
away. The Lyrics category may not be affected in score whatsoever due to
social-level analysis, but it is still very much worthy to be critical of what
songs perpetuate. In “Hero” ‘s case, though seemingly romantic, the lyrics are
merely recycling an arguably misleading idea of what love is for females.
Monsta X are certainly not to blame as they are solely performers, but the song
producer (or lyrics composer) is worthy of questioning. More largely, society
in general is worthy of critiquing as the song producer may have simply got
her/his idea from asking, “What do females consider romantic?” And that answer
has been unfairly established.

Definitely beginning the review, in
addition to how I urge readers to be critical and open for differences, I now
have also displayed the result of what stress due to overworking leads to excessively digressing.
I will be more organized in future reviews, but I always do hope my words
provide new insights. After
all, how often do you hear an 18 year old boy claiming he is Catholic,
Buddhist, and agnostic—without him being drunk
. Pitiful jokes aside,
this review will determine if “Hero” will receive horrific ratings or not.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 6/10
(6.4/10 raw score) – “Slightly above average”


Vocals: 7/10


Sections: 6/10
(6.14/10 raw score)

Introduction, Verse,
Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Rap, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Rap, Bridge, Conclusion
(Chorus)

1.     Introduction:
6/10

2.     Verse: 6/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 8/10

4.     Chorus: 5/10

5.     Rap: 6/10

6.     Bridge: 6/10

7.     Conclusion (Chorus): 6/10


Line Distribution: 9/10

Shownu:
Verse 1, Verse 2 (Total: 2)

Wonho:
Verse 1 (Total: 1)

Minhyuk:
Verse 1 (Total: 1)

Kihyun:
Pre-Chorus 1, Pre-Chorus 2 (Total: 2)

Hyungwon:
Verse 1, Verse 2 (Total: 2)

Jooheon:
Rap 2 (Total: 1)

IM:
Rap 1 (Total: 1)

All:
Choruses, Conclusion (Chorus)  


Instrumental: 6/10


Lyrics: 4/10

Y’all know what it is
Monsta, Monsta
Monsta X is a pitch(?) right here
(What, what, what, what)
Look at me, let’s go

As I watched over you all day
I discovered just one problem, yeah
All those fake, wolf-like guys
who keep bothering you
No, you’re mine
I have the duty to protect you
I’ll protect you
so no one can ever take you easily

You’re so beautiful that I have many enemies
It’s like playing a game to protect the princess
Don’t worry, I’m your man, I can be your hero

I can be your hero
I can be your hero
I can be your hero, I can be your man
I can be your hero, I can be your man
I can be your hero, I can be your man
I can be your hero, I can be your man

I can be your hero, all villains get back
I’ll wrap up all the bad guys
and put them in the next truck
Every single one of them look like a beast,
throw ‘em away at the zoo
They’re just all talk,
spitting out nonsense to have you
(What?) If you thought I was easy,
eat a mushroom and grow bigger
Put on underwear over your pants and put on a cape
Sometimes wear a suit,
shine a light from your chest, we shine
Everyone bow your head

This is my last warning
When I get mad, I change scarily
I’ll protect you
so no one can ever take you easily

You’re so beautiful that I have many enemies
It’s like playing a game to protect the princess
Don’t worry, I’m your man, I can be your hero

I can be your hero
I can be your hero
I can be your hero, I can be your man
I can be your hero, I can be your man
I can be your hero, I can be your man
I can be your hero, I can be your man

I’ll take out all your villains
like bang bang bang bang
I’ll fly around
in the sky like Superman
I’m gonna hang on the edge of your lips
and make you smile like Batman
I’ll tell all the villains
who make you cry to go away

I can be your hero
I can be your hero, I can be your man
I can be your hero, I can be your man
I can be your hero, I can be your man
I can be your hero, I can be your man

– Choreography Score: 8/10

Overall Score: 7/10
(7/10 raw score)

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: Beginning
with the Lyrics category since it appears that I am being hypocritical with
scoring, to be direct: the lower rating is not because of the earlier tangent
involving the lyrics. Also to note, I am uncertain on the introduction’s word
of “pitch”; admittedly I do hear “b****,” but since I am in doubt, I will leave
it as “pitch” to be safe. Regardless, again, social analysis will not influence
the score if it does turn out to be “b****” (also I would prefer to not censor
the word as it is being used maturely and academically, but I will do so that
every reader is comfortable). On topic, to explain the lyrics’ lower rating,
the ideas are highly basic, and worsening the situation, those ideas become
reiterated often. For example, besides the transparent example of how the
chorus endlessly recycles “I can be your hero, I can be your man,” a line that
is overly used and plain, other sections include the pre-choruses. If more
depth were to be added to the lyrics, and if less repetition occurred of using
exact lines, then perhaps the rating would be higher. However, with the current
lyrics, the plot is too simplistic and the given details fail to bring any
unique points.

Addressing
the vocals, Monsta X’s singing for “Hero” can be considered above average.
Vocals may not be extensive and strenuous such as with superb note control, note
stretches and note holds, but all of the singing definitely remain melodic. Whether
it is the raps, verses, or even the straightforward choruses, and most certainly
the pre-choruses, all of “Hero” contains vocals that are alluring, diverse, and
powerful. No point in the song showcases vocals that are bereft of tune or of
an absurd, unwelcomed singing style. Relating the instrumental, a six is in place.
When it comes to meshing with the vocals, the instrumental perfectly blends
and, additionally, augments the vocals in that power and rhythm are now added
to the vocals’ flow. This is flawlessly seen in how the pre-choruses are
conducted, of which will be explained later. Explaining why the instrumental
score is not to a higher tier, the choruses are to blame. Excluding that
section, the instrumental is catchy, powerful, melodic, and it provides “Hero” ‘s
soothing, deeper frequencies, but once the choruses’ instrumental piece is
factored in, it does become slightly chaotic and mundane. Nevertheless, it is overall
an impressive EDM instrumental (if that is accurate).

Quickly
running through the Line Distribution, miraculously despite a few members
having exactly one section, the lines are all evenly split. Although Monsta X comes
very close to a ten, as discussed in my prior review of f(x), unless if every
member has the exact number of sections, the highest possible is a nine.
Nonetheless, a nine is fantastic and will greatly aid the Song Score.

Discussing
the sections, many are rated at a six. Overall, the main, consistent reason for
those sixes is: those sections fall short due to lacking an aspect of some kind.
Nearly all of the sixes sections nearly meet a seven rating. Using an example,
the introduction delivers charisma and power, and additionally, seamlessly initiates
the song, but the introduced instrumental lacks in a sonic context, hence the
decreased score. Furthermore, in opposite, the verses are attractive sonically
due to the excellent vocals, but structurally the verses carry no distinctive
form. The conclusion is also identical with the verses: solid singing and a
proper closure, but nothing else proves special. Predictably, the rap and
bridge follow suit in lacking a minor yet important detail. Specifically, the
raps could be more enticing with delivery, especially through being more cohesive
as the current pacings’ and stressing points’ fluctuations are hectic, and for
the bridge, while the unique structure is appreciated, it does fail to be
infatuating in sound as it does rely upon the instrumental, of which is not the
strongest by itself.

Peering
at the choruses, I did foresee a significantly lower score due to the
instrumental, but with the added vocals, the choruses are saved. Combining both
the choruses’ lines and the prominent, dynamic instrumental that occurs, while
both are mediocre individually, in cooperation both allow the choruses to
thrive as the section becomes a powerful, rhythmic and contrasting point for “Hero.”
Every other section is melody-oriented, and thus, with the choruses differing, variety
is extracted for the song in whole, and also, the contrast creates emphasis for
both parts: melodic sections are seemingly more so, and the choruses are
seemingly more powerful and beat-based. Ending on an exceptionally promising section,
the pre-choruses reap a high score of an eight. Why this is the case was hinted
at earlier: perfect synergy with instrumental and vocals. First, the
pre-choruses adopt a traditional form in that a lighter tone is adopted, and
that beats accelerate in rate. Though such is normally despised as it lacks
originality, “Hero” manages to execute it. The main driving force behind the
success is Kihyun’s singing. Upon the pre-choruses taking place, Kihyun’s
singing follows the trend of becoming higher pitched and gentler, but
simultaneously, his vocals equally picks up in intensity and melody as the
section continues. Thus, for an outcome, the pre-choruses become a perfect mix
of vocals and instrumental working with one another. Organized, lively and
tuneful, and very much unique.

Finally
ending the review with the choreography, an eight is earned for the dance’s
score. Arrogantly (and cheesily) said, the dance speaks for itself. Both main
categories of the choreography are exceled at, whether it is the key points or
syncing. “Hero” ‘s key points remain varied, as noticed by how every section type
includes its own exclusive dance point. Even if repeats within a section type
(pre-chorus, chorus, etc.) occur, due to how complex and detailed each dance
set is, appeal remains in place. Syncing is also stunning as every single
maneuver reflects back to the song’s audio. There are no points in which any
movement is off-sync. Now, shifting away from a robotic analysis, in an
overarching view, the dance is truly phenomenal. It is powerful and fun, and
with the choreography disclosing movements of all kinds and speed, anything
less than an eight for a score would be misleading. The dance is a flashy,
seducing dance that perfectly showcases Monsta X’s skills and ability to match
with song.

_______________________________________________________

Concluding,
Monsta X’s song of “Hero” finishes out with an overall seven, of which
indicates it is an above average song. Musically, it does hold as slightly
above average, but the weaker lyrics are at fault. Sonically—pure sonically with
solely sound—the song is impressive, though to confess, still repetitive at
times. Regarding Monsta X, with the seven gentlemen being classified as rookies
yet showcasing stellar singing and dancing, I hold high anticipation for future
releases.

Thank
you very much for reading, and for many readers, this review may come as
surprising: it is released right after the last one. Seven hours of grinding
writing will be of credit. Unfortunately, I did brush aside homework for the
purpose of finishing this on time for Halloween, but positively, if I was able
to write for a total of seven hours in one day, I can do the same with homework.
On point, thank you very much for reading any bit of this review.

November
is arriving, and I do have a few reviews in mind already. Reflecting over this
current review outline, I greatly appreciate what it brings. Reviews are more
concise, and most strikingly, are now even more fun to write. At times in the
past, reviews did feel laborious, but due to this shorter format, I feel that I
am able to get to the main points of a song without feeling bored. Also, I
managed to reach my goal of five reviews—though, of course, I did “cheat” with
having two shorter reviews. Nevertheless, this creates more potential of the
number of songs I am now able to review within a month. Once again, thank you
for reading, and for the upcoming review of November, GOT7’s “Just Right” can
be expected. While “I can be your hero,” and “I can be your man,” I will
clarify that the two phrases translate as: I will continue writing reviews as a
“reviewer hero,” and that my “being a man” is simply continuing to love fashion
and makeup, and to speak out against social inequalities and inequities—since doing
those things is, in fact, masculine. Stay tuned and keep checking back.