Mono (RM album)

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Mono
RM Mono.png
Mixtape by
ReleasedOctober 23, 2018 (2018-10-23)
GenreHip hop[1]
Length24:47
Language
  • Korean
  • English
LabelBig Hit
Producer
  • RM (exec.)
  • Pdogg (co.)
  • Hiss Noise (co.)
RM chronology
RM
(2015)
Mono
(2018)
Singles from Mono
  1. "Forever Rain"
    Released: October 23, 2018 (2018-10-23)

Mono (stylized as mono.) is the second mixtape by South Korean rapper RM. It was released on October 23, 2018, through Big Hit Entertainment.[2] It features seven tracks and was accompanied by an animated music video for the final track, "Forever Rain".[2] RM has called Mono a playlist, while other publications have referred to it as a mixtape.[3] It features songs sung and rapped in both Korean and English.[4]

Background and release[edit]

RM first teased the mixtape and confirmed its production in March 2018 by posting a clip of an unnamed song through BTS' Twitter account.[5] In June 2018, British electropop duo Honne said in an interview that they had possibly worked on music with RM.[6] They initially gained an interest in collaborating with RM after discovering he was a fan of their music online, and meeting him in Seoul after performing there.[7]

The mixtape itself was first announced on October 20, 2018, along with its track listing, album cover, and release date, through the Big Hit Entertainment Twitter page.[8] The track listing was later shared by RM himself,[9] with Mono described as a "playlist" rather than a traditional mixtape.[10] It includes a track with production by Honne, as well as features the South Korean indie rock band Nell and singer eAeon.[11] Mono is RM's second mixtape, following the release of his 2015 self-titled RM,[9] and the first of his mixtapes to be released commercially.[12]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
NME4/5 stars[13]

MTV called the mixtape "equal parts wistful and weary, and the theme of loneliness is constant throughout", and said RM lays "his deep insecurities bare on songs like 'Tokyo' and 'Seoul'".[2] Vulture stated "these tracks are the free therapy your body, soul, and bank account collectively require to ease into whatever fresh hell this week will inevitably bring", also saying Mono "sounds like how settling into a lukewarm bath feels: cleansing, just the right amount of steamy, and soothing to the touch".[14] Vulture noted the mixtape contains "the slowest of bangers" and "moody bops", with RM whisper-rapping on "Forever Rain".[14] Billboard noted the mixtape is more introspective than RM's first mixtape, labeling "Moonchild" a "smooth bilingual alt R&B track", "Badbye" as "sorrowful", and "Uhgood" "pensive".[4]

Brandy Robidoux from Hollywood Life called "Forever Rain" one of his most honest tracks, with lyrics that state "When it rains, I feel as if I have some friends / You keep knocking on my windows and asking how am I doing / And I answer – I am still the hostage of life / I live not 'cause I can't die / But I'm still trapped on something".[15] Tamar Herman from Billboard called "Moonchild" an ambient hip hop track that reflects on the pain of existence and solace found in moonlight.[16] CelebMix described the Mixtape as, "The growing sensibility of an individual named Namjoon is clearly visible, making it a brilliant coming of age playlist of our time".[17]

Accolades[edit]

Year-end lists
Critic/Publication List Work Rank Ref.
Billboard The 20 Best K-Pop Albums of 2018: Critics' Picks mono 6 [1]
MTV The 18 Best K-pop B-sides Of 2018 "everythinggoes" 18 [18]
Thrillist The Best Music Videos of 2018 "forever rain" 48 [19]

Music videos[edit]

"Forever Rain" opens with a feeling of weariness and loneliness, with conscientious lyrics such as "I wish it rains all day / Cuz then people wouldn't stare at me / Cuz the umbrella would cover the sad face sad face / Cuz in the rain people are busy minding themselves."[4] It is an animated video directed by Choi Jaehoon, who also served as creative director. The animation supervisors were Lee Jinhee and PD Gim Boseong, while editing was completed by Lee Jonhoon. The animators for the music video were Gim Boseong, Kim Bom, Kim Jihwan, Shin Dohyun, Ahn Jaeyoon, Yoon Jongha, Yoon Juri, Lee Jinhee, Jeon Soeun. Jeong dawoon, Jeong Jimin, and Hyun Yujeong.[20]

The song "Seoul" is a lyric video, showing various famous places located in Seoul, such as the Han River, Cheonggyecheon stream, and Seonyudo Island. It features a brief shot of RM sitting in a car outside a convenience store and includes a short phone conversation where he describes his plans to leave. "Seoul" was directed by Choi Yongseok of Lumpens with assistant directors Guzza, Park Hyejeong and Jeong Minje, also from Lumpens. Nam Hyunwoo of GDW acted as the director of photography and Min Joonki of Sunshine Underground is credited with composition.[21]

In the video for "Moonchild", lyrics such as "You say you wanna die but live it much harder / You say you wanna let go but put on another weight / Thinking of not thinking at all is still a thinking, you know" flash across a screen full of glitching lights, pixelation, and bright graphics. Tamar Herman from Billboard stated that it felt like the music video was "offering a sense of provocative solace, with a figure of RM visible at some points".[16] The music video was also directed by Choi Yongseok of Lumpens with assistant directors Guzza, Park Hyejeong and Jeong Minje, also from Lumpens. Nam Hyunwoo of GDW acted as the director of photography and Min Joonki of Sunshine Underground is credited with composition. The construction manager was E Hyun Joon.[22]

Promotion[edit]

BTS' Twitter account posted a short message announcing the title and release date, along with an image displaying the track listing. RM did not further promote the mixtape, as the mixtape released alongside BTS' Love Yourself world tour.[3]

Track listing[edit]

All credits adapted from the digital download of the mixtape, released by Big Hit Entertainment.[23] Additional citations from SoundCloud.[24]

All tracks written by RM.

No.TitleProducer(s)Length
1."tokyo"
  • Supreme Boi
  • RM
3:28
2."seoul" (produced by Honne)
  • Honne
  • RM
4:35
3."moonchild"
  • RM
  • Hiss Noise
3:25
4."badbye" (with eAeon)
  • RM
  • El Capitan
1:52
5."uhgood" (어긋 / Eogeut [lit. "out of place"])
  • Sam Klempner
  • RM
3:14
6."everythingoes" (지나가 / Jinaga) (with Nell)
  • RM
  • JW of Nell
3:42
7."foreverain"
  • RM
  • Hiss Noise
  • Adora
4:31
Total length:24:47

Notes

  • ^[a] signifies an additional producer
  • All tracks are stylized in lowercase letters. For example, "Tokyo" is stylized as "tokyo".

Personnel[edit]

All credits adapted from the digital download of the mixtape, released by Big Hit Entertainment.[23] Additional credits from SoundCloud.[24]

Musicians[edit]

  • RM – main vocals (all tracks), whistle (track 1), keyboard (tracks 3, 4, and 7), synthesizer (tracks 3 and 4)
  • eAeon – main vocals (track 4)
  • JW – featured vocals (track 6)
  • Honne – keyboard, synthesizer, background vocals (track 2)
  • Supreme Boi – synthesizer (track 1)
  • Hiss noise – keyboard (track 3), synthesizer (tracks 3 and 7)
  • El Capitan – synthesizer, keyboard (track 4)
  • Lee Taewook – guitar (tracks 4 and 7)
  • Sam Klempner – keyboard, synthesizer (track 5)
  • Kim Jongwan – keyboard, synthesizer, guitar (track 6)
  • Lee Jaekyung – guitar (track 6)
  • Lee Junghoon – bass (track 6)
  • Jung Jaewon – drums (track 6)
  • Adora – keyboard, synthesizer (track 7)

Production[edit]

  • RM – executive production, composition
  • Pdogg – co-production
  • Hiss noise – co-production
  • Supreme Boi – production (track 1)
  • Honne – production (track 2)
  • El Capitan – production (track 4), additional production (track 5)
  • Sam Klempner – production (track 5)
  • JW – production (track 6)
  • Adora – production (track 7)

Technical[edit]

  • RM @ Rkive – rap and vocal arrangement, recording engineer (all tracks)
  • Yang Ga @ Big Hit Studio – mix engineer (tracks 1 and 4)
  • Ken Lewis – mix engineer (tracks 2, 3, 5, and 7)
  • Kim Jong Wan @ Koko Sound Studio – mix engineer (track 6)
  • Dr. Ko @ Koko Sound Studio – mix engineer (track 6)

Charts[edit]

Weekly[edit]

Chart (2018) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[25] 36
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[26] 22
Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI)[27] 31
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[28] 29
Estonian Albums (Eesti Ekspress)[29] 2
French Albums (SNEP)[30] 115
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)[31] 38
Irish Albums (IRMA)[32] 37
Italian Albums (FIMI)[33] 51
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[34] 17
Scottish Albums (OCC)[35] 21
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[36] 19
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[37] 28
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[38] 20
US Billboard 200[39] 26
US World Albums (Billboard)[40] 2

Yearly[edit]

Chart (2018) Position
US World Albums (Billboard)[41] 9

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Various October 23, 2018[12] Big Hit

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The 20 Best K-Pop Albums of 2018: Critics' Picks". Billboard. December 17, 2018. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Bell, Crystal (October 22, 2018). "BTS' RM Just Dropped His Solo Playlist Mono And It's Like Free Therapy". MTV. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  3. ^ a b McIntyre, Hugh (October 20, 2018). "BTS Member RM Announces Surprise Project 'Mono' Slated To Drop In Just A Few Days". Forbes. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Herman, Tamar (October 22, 2018). "BTS' RM Releases 'Mono' Mixtape and 'Forever Rain' Music Video: Watch". Billboard. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  5. ^ Herman, Tamar (March 20, 2018). "RM of BTS Announces Plans for Second Mixtape 'RM 2'". Billboard. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  6. ^ Rahmawati Putri, Ekarista (July 4, 2018). "BTS Dikabarkan akan Kolaborasi dengan HONNE, Electronic Duo Asal Inggris" [BTS Reportedly Collaborate with HONNE, Electronic Duo from England]. Tribun News (in Taglong). Retrieved October 20, 2018.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
  7. ^ Kenney, Kevan (June 28, 2018). Honne on Their New Album, 'Love Me/Love Me Not' (Video). Build. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  8. ^ Stiernberg, Bonnie (October 20, 2018). "BTS' RM Announces New Solo Mixtape". Billboard. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Hwang, Hye-jin (October 21, 2018). "방탄소년단 RM, 23일 두번째 믹스테이프 발표 '혼네·넬 참여'[뮤직와치]" [BTS RM, second mixtape on the 23rd 'Honne and Nell Participate' [Music Watch]] (in Korean). Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  10. ^ McIntyre, Hugh (October 20, 2018). "BTS Member RM Announces Surprise Project 'Mono' Slated To Drop In Just A Few Days". Forbes. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  11. ^ Matheson, Anna (October 20, 2018). "BTS's RM announces new solo mix tape, reveals track list and collaborations". NME. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  12. ^ a b McIntyre, Hugh (October 22, 2018). "After Scoring Two No. 1 Albums With BTS, Can RM Reach The Top With His New Solo Project". Forbes. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  13. ^ Daly, Rhian (October 29, 2018). "RM – 'Mono' review". NME. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  14. ^ a b Lockett, Dee (October 22, 2018). "BTS Leader RM Drops Extremely Chill New Mixtape, mono". Vulture. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  15. ^ Robidoux, Brandy (October 22, 2018). "BTS' RM Sings About Feeling Friendless In Devastating Song 'Forever Rain' & Fans Are Literally Crying". Hollywood Life. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  16. ^ a b Herman, Tamar (October 24, 2018). "BTS' RM Shares Lyric Video for 'Moonchild': Watch". Billboard. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  17. ^ Ayushi (October 22, 2018). "CelebMix Review: RM releases his playlist "Mono" and the music video for "Forever Rain"". Celeb Mix. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  18. ^ Bell, Crystal (December 27, 2018). "From BTS To Red Velvet, Here Are The 18 Best K-pop B-sides Of 2018". MTV. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  19. ^ Schneck, Anthony (January 2, 2019). "The Best Music Videos of 2018". Thrillist. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  20. ^ "RM 'forever rain' MV" (Video). ibighit (Big Hit Entertainment). October 24, 2018. Retrieved October 24, 2018 – via YouTube.
  21. ^ Herman, Tamar (October 23, 2018). "BTS' RM Reflects on His Relationship With 'Seoul' In Lyric-Focused Video: Watch". Billboard. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  22. ^ "RM 'moonchild' Lyric Video". ibighit (Big Hit Entertainment). October 24, 2018. Retrieved October 25, 2018 – via YouTube.
  23. ^ a b "RM - mono". Big Hit Entertainment. October 23, 2018. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  24. ^ a b "RM - mono. by BTS on SoundCloud". BTS. October 23, 2018. Retrieved October 23, 2018 – via SoundCloud.
  25. ^ "Australiancharts.com – RM – Mono.". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  26. ^ "Billboard Canadian Albums". FYIMusicNews. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  27. ^ "Czech Albums – Top 100". ČNS IFPI. Note: On the chart page, select 201843 on the field besides the word "Zobrazit", and then click over the word to retrieve the correct chart data. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  28. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – RM – Mono." (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  29. ^ "EESTI TIPP-40 MUUSIKAS: hevi tuleb ja proovib räppi tappa!". Eesti Ekspress (in Estonian). October 30, 2018. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  30. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums – SNEP (Week 43, 2018)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  31. ^ "Top 40 album DVD és válogatáslemez-lista – 2018. 43. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  32. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography RM". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  33. ^ "Italiancharts.com – RM – Mono.". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  34. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – RM – Mono.". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  35. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  36. ^ "Top 100 Albumes – Semana 43: del 19.10.2018 al 25.10.2018" (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  37. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – RM – Mono.". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  38. ^ "Swisscharts.com – RM – Mono.". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  39. ^ "Billboard 200: November 3, 2018". Billboard. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  40. ^ "World Albums: November 3, 2018". Billboard. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  41. ^ "YEAR-END CHARTS WORLD ALBUMS". Billboard. Retrieved December 5, 2018.