Kpop Quick Review: Monster by Big Bang


Monster is a track from Big Bang’s “Still Alive – Special Addition” EP.

(Left to right: T.O.P, G-Dragon, Taeyang, Daesung, and Seungri. Image credit allkpop.com)

POINTS

  • Their hair… I thought I had enough with Fantastic Baby…
  • It’s a mid tempo listen: DJs, look elsewhere for energetic kpop.
  • Agh, this song is so angsty!
  • I LOVE the lyrics though…
  • The video was pretty creepy and scary… Yet, it has interesting details that had me watching again and again as I tried to catch all the minor details (and hairstyles)…
  • The lyrics… It’s like Beauty and the Beast and The Hunchback of Notre Dame combined.
  • WARNING! Screencap edit alert BELOW!

QUICK REVIEW BELOW

ABOUT: Monster is a love song. A somewhat clingy, heartbreaking, lonely little love song. Big Bang observes their object of affection… Who seems to harbor ill feelings towards them, to their despair. The lyrics are quite interesting, really, and thus I will describe them in detail. The lyrics are like a story themselves: after a long while, Boy meets Girl. Boy is happy to see Girl, and wants to know how she’s been. However, Girl seems to not want to associate with Boy. Boy is insecure about her feelings, and hesitates. Girl admits she doesn’t like him… But the Boy loves her (and thus, “I. Love. You. Baby, I’m not a monster”). It seems that the Boy has changed, but his feelings haven’t. The Boy then begs to be together forever (sang in a way that is a bit more stalkerish than romantic, though)… And says that although the world is against him, that didn’t upset him: it was Girl treating him the same that’s killing him inside. After another angsty chorus, Boy says (minus the repetition) “don’t go, don’t do it, don’t look for me, remember the old me, don’t forget me…” After a final chorus, they repeat in English “I think, I’m sick. I think I’m sick”.

It’s obvious that I like the lyrics. It’s a whole new story! It’s like if Bell from Beauty and the Beast rejected the beast in the end… And if the beast so happened to be Quasimodo of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Or if Tohru Honda chose to reject Kyo in his real cat form. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about… I don’t know how to explain it, Monster is like a fairytale (or any sort of love) gone wrong. Now, THE VIDEO on the other hand…

OPINION: Well… Before we dive into my perception of the video, let’s listen to the song. I noticed that many fans were disappointed because they expected something more catchy or upbeat because of Big Bang’s previous track, Fantastic Baby. While Fantastic Baby called out to the party animal in all of us, I feel that Monster cries to that darker part of us. The song starts with a piano introduction and a heartbeat growing in a steady crescendo. After a few lines of a pained G-Dragon, the piano continues, accompanied by a prominent, and catchy beat. It’s definitely NOT something you can dance to, but it isn’t a mellow ballad either. Ballad pop, is that the name? I’m not sure.

Anyway, here’s the gist of the video. Monochrome. Trying to escape en enclosed minefield? Or is it a battle field? After evading many explosions, there go the typical shots. Big Bang anxiously attempting to hide in ruined and collapsing buildings. Big Bang posing and lip syncing all passionately on an explosion covered battlefield. Big Bang destroying mannequins in various ways and styles. Big Bang with strange, glowing characters on their bodies (equations? Or brands, like how ranchers label cows?). Big Bang with glowing eyes as well. It’s all really cool and mysterious, right? But when you watch it… If you aren’t paying attention to these details, you will see Big Bang with… STRANGE, STRANGE HAIR (which isn’t the point of the review… But it gives many good screenshots)!

^… They couldn’t do much with Seungri. So I suppose his hair is pretty ordinary, especially compared to the rest.

^ “Ah, let’s give T.O.P a hat,” they said.

^I thought Daesung’s hair was fine… But that nose equipment…

^For some reason, I really like that red hair on him.

^Spiky Hawk? Yes. BINOCULARS? No. I found this hair more shocking than G-Dragon’s volcanic hair in Fantastic Baby… Which means A LOT to me.

FAVORITE: I’m not sure why, but recently in every new Big Bang song, I have always liked Seungri’s parts the best. His part after the 1st chorus is my favorite, to be specific.

OVERALL: Maybe it’s because I’m a more mellow type of person, but I like Monster. It’s nothing too different from other kpop songs, to be honest. I really liked the lyrics. Although I’m sure that there are plenty of songs deeper than Monster, I found this to be a pleasant change from all of the recent typical love tracks the kpop industry has been spewing out recently. I didn’t mean to be so critical on the hair… But a review is a review. Anyway, one may not be hooked on the 1st few listens… But whenever you’re in a more somber mood, give it a go. Like the creepy glowing eyes in the video, it may call out to that monster within you.

(annotated English Subs credit KwonJiyong33)

(images screencapped and edited by Izzy)

About Isabella

Occupation: Student.

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