Playlist Roulette ~ Myself [Monsta X]

Oh my, can it be? The Playlist Roulette is making a return? Really? It has been so long and there has been so much music released  (along with new group debuts) during the long hiatus from this blog series that I had to spend a good deal of time adding more music to the Strictly Korean playlist (from where these songs shuffle their way out) to bring it current. Yet, as always, the shuffle gods have a mind of their own, and decided a great B-side from Monsta X’s second studio album, Take.1 Are You There? was the perfect choice to bring this series back. And, if you ask me, they chose well . . . really well.


Let me come clean. I have not always been a Monbebe (Monsta X’s fandom). In fact, I joined the party quite late. Monsta X debuted in May 2015. Geez, I was still all lost in my love and hope for a full MBLAQ return at that time, and while they did come back, it was as a trio with all three members (Seungho, G.O and Mir) easing close to military enlistment in any event. No other groups were on my radar. So I missed out and when I finally did come to my senses about these 7, it was after Wonho left the group. My first comeback with Monsta X was with the release of their 9th EP (One of a Kind) in June 2021, and the title track, Gambler. Sure, I could beat myself up for missing an entire 6 years with them, but when the fangirl is ready, the group appears! In any event, I caught up real quick. Watched No Mercy, the agonizing survival show from where the group was formed, bought everything they released, joined their official fan club and, last year saw them in concert…twice. It may have taken me a while, but now, I am happy to say that I am a legit Monbebe!

Anyway, where were we?

Ah yes, Take.1 Where Are You? This is the album that gave us the iconic and bombastic Shoot Out. I mean, even if you are a K-pop fan not so well-versed in Monsta X, you probably know Shoot Out. It was a helluva title track full of energy and angst along with some pretty memorable choreography. When you come to know Monsta X, you learn quickly how very well they all can dance. I will leave Shoot Out ~~> here, in case you want to check it out, or just revisit it, as I am here to talk about the glorious B-side, Myself, which the group promoted with Shoot Out during the October 2018 comeback.

I have seen this dynamic in the K-pop world where when a group has an explosive, high energy dance, rock or EDM-infused title track, they often balance it out on the comeback stage with something softer and more lyrical. Be it a ballad or slower grooved R&B track, it always brings balance to the stage. But, more importantly showcases the group’s versatility. Myself is a complex and melodic slow jam with poetic lyrics about a person who suffers with dreams of an obsessive desire to be healed by love. I particularly enjoy the poetic opening which seems so fitting for a B-side in general, yet lends itself to the overall shadowy vibe of the song:

모두가 잠들면 시작되는 my B side
[As everyone falls asleep, my B side begins]
무한의 우주로 끝도 없이 흘러가
[Flows in endlessly to the infinite universe]
낯선 음을 따라
[Following an unfamiliar tune]
두 눈을 감는다 떠내려가
[I close my eyes and drift away]

There is no MV for Myself, but there is a wonderful live stage version. As mentioned earlier, Monsta X performed it along with Shoot Out during promotions. Here is the October 30, 2018 The Show performance . . . oh, and I want to point out that many times these B-side accompaniment performance songs are usually cut short, or are simply a segment of the song. Not here. They performed the full four minutes and thirteen seconds.

Nice, right? Those opening drums set the tone leading us into this dreamscape with a very melodic verse. It just sends me. Myself is clearly a vocalist showcase piece and Kihyun just absolutely kills it. But all seven showed up here; the vocals across the board are solid, and raps on point.

Then again, with a group as talented as Monsta X, I suppose the same could be said of each and every one of their tracks – titles and B-sides alike. Well, at least know I know I could say that.



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