[#39] MONSTA X - "Hero"

From: "Singing Got Better"
Previous Best of Entries: First appearance
Other notable song(s) from 2015: "Trespass", "Perfect Girl", "Amen"

First up from the rookie boyband side: MONSTA X. Mnet and Starship's "No Mercy" was problematic at times, but MONSTA X's debut was sort of a signal for me: that Starship, as an agency, has joined the big leagues. Thanks to SISTAR's stellar sales, and a roster of acts as strong as they are diverse, this little agency I once maligned for disastrous debuts like SISTAR's "Push Push," can now afford to release productions like MONSTA X's rookie year EPs.

At the verses, "Hero" is your typical boyband power dance track—a heavy, multi-layered instrumentation with everything from heavy beats to addictive synth loops paired with intense melodies and rap verses that come in with guns blazing. But the pre-hook (it's either the bridge or the chorus, before the beat drops) has a melody reminiscent of 90s boyband tracks, and an instrumentation that sounds like it's straight from an early 2010s major-agency boyband track. The beat drop took some time to warm up to, especially when I just skimmed through the song the first time I heard it, but when you listen to it in relation to the rest of "Hero," it works.

If you asked me back in 2010 if I ever thought Starship could produce a debut like MONSTA X, with tracks as well-done as "Hero," I'd probably laugh at you for being so ridiculous. But it's a new generation of K-Pop acts, which also means new agencies rising to prominence. Starship is definitely one of them.


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