It was February 14, 2020 when Monsta X released their first album sang in English. Although there was no need for such a feat, the group opted for this strategy to reach and win even more the North American market, which already bows before the group’s charm and humility. “All About Luv” is not the first album entirely in English released by a K-Pop group. In 2010, JYJ released “The Beginning” by Vitamin Entertainment, with 8 tracks sung in English only, and “Ayyy Girl” featured Kanye West.
Hired by Epic Records, Monsta X went through days filled with a series of events where they promoted the album in the biggest spots in the United States, a strategy that guaranteed the group an incredible debut in fifth place on the Billboard 200.
Unlike the usual style of the group in their Korean albums, “All About Luv” does not disappoint, and successfully emphasizes the evolution of the group, not only in music – where they manage to be versatile and dominate all the genres they have tried – but also in the foreign language, a feat that is not so simple when their schedules are filled with consecutive comebacks, concerts, festivals and presentations around the world: Monsta X has not taken a vacation since its debut in 2015.
Despite suffering strong hits such as the loss of one member last October and the hiatus of another due to health problems, the group continued with its agenda always with a smile on their faces, energetic presentations and full of charisma, supported by an audience in love with the members and each of their peculiarities.
“All About Luv” is not just an album for promotion in the foreign market, it follows a concept and shows in each of its 33 minutes of duration some of the most common types of “love”. With perfect pronunciation, and songs already known to fans, such as “Who Do U Love?”, “Love U”, “Someone’s Someone” and “Middle Of The Night”, the album is for lovers of all musical genres. Composed by the members themselves, the album still contains the vocals of former member Wonho, which brought an air of longing to anyone who follows Monsta X.
The first track is “Who Do U Love?”, A feat with rapper French Montana, and the voice in question asks the loved one if she loves him or is escaping through his fingers towards a new love. It’s an ultimatum for a relationship: is it him or me?
“Love U” is cute, to say the least. Far from romantic love, the group talks more about that moment where you meet the person who physically attracts you, and who corresponds to that attraction. Dancing, with easy lyrics, it is as catchy as all the songs on the album: you listen once and spend the rest of the week singing it.
In the third track we contemplate the voice of the song talking about an ill-resolved ending, where clearly one of the parties overcame the end of the relationship very well, while the other still spends the days rolling the updates of the ex’s social networks. “Happy Without Me” has that air of jealousy, of non-conformity, when one of the parties still feels that almost regret for having let their love go. Seeing the ex’s happy pictures, at parties, and getting over the narrator does not make him happy at all. After all, how dare she be happy without him?
Particularly one of the best songs on the album, “Got My Number” is one of the songs that are new to the public. It’s about being in love with a person who is in a relationship, and still hoping that they will end you. It is a suggestion, “if you need someone who can love you while he is gone, baby you got my number”. We will never know if the suggestion was accepted, but we do know that the Monbebe would certainly give them that call.
“Someone’s Someone” talks about that desire to have someone to warm you up in during the cold days, to have ice cream in the summer, to walk hand in hand and give you all the love you know you deserve. The question that lingers is: is there really someone for everyone? Are we someone’s someone? Everyone – according to the song – wants to be someone’s someone. Do you?
In “Middle Of The Night” your someone is there, and that someone is so irresistible that you go out in the middle of the night to meet that person. It is such an uncontrollable and boundless love that you need to be together at all times, even if it’s not fully reciprocated. The voice is more invested in this relationship than the person for whom it is sung.
The next track is probably the kind of love that everyone has been in: only you know you’re in love. The other person? Not yet. With a touch that reminds One Direction and reminds us of all the power of Monsta X’s main vocal – Yoo Kihyun – “She’s The One” brings that warm feeling in your chest to hear your friend tell about the girl he is in love with, and say that “she probably doesn’t even know this song is about her”.
And if “She’s The One” is about falling in love, “You Can’t Hold My Heart” is about a relationship that is over. All attempts to make it work have been made, and the voice of the song is just waiting for the other party to admit that it doesn’t work anymore. She no longer has power over his heart, over his feelings. “And I am waiting for your arms to fall, you can’t hold my heart no more”, he says.
And there are also those who confuse an obsession with love, as in the case of “Misbehave”, which is powerful and with impeccable vocals, but talks about toxic love. It is a relationship where there is no peace, and both start fights, get hurt and then make up, without being able to get out of this unhealthy cycle. “We could talk it out, but you love to fight, right?”
The peak of the album is for what is possibly the most significant K-Pop partnership nowadays: Monsta X and Pitbull! “Beside U” talks in a fun way about the need to be with the person you care about, wherever you are, anywhere in the world. In this song there is a willingness to leave where you are and cross oceans just to be physically close to the one you love. Pitbull‘s rap combines perfectly with the group’s vocals, the beats sound like Monsta X‘s Korean titles, and reminds us of the fun and spontaneous side of the group that has been conquering the world. At their pace, in their own rhythm, without losing their identities.
“All About Luv” is available on all streaming platforms, and is the perfect opportunity to introduce K-Pop to those friends who enjoy a softer pop with more Western features. North American promotions will be paused this week, but the group has already said that they are preparing for a Korean comeback, the launch of a Japanese single and fansign by their sponsoring brand, Twotuckgom.
We hope so!