Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber’s “Monster” Music Video Unpacks Fame


It’s been another big week for popular music, with Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes, BTS, Megan Thee Stallion, Miley Cyrus and Dua Lipa, and more dropping major hits. They run the thematic gamut, from songs about the plight of being famous to songs about the plight of being human.

Meanwhile, Chloe x Halle cover a Zhané classic, and CNCO put their own twist on Big Boy and Angel Lopez’s “Mis Ojos Lloran Por Ti.” Dive into all the new music you should be listening to this week with Teen Vogue’s Best New Music Friday.

Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes, “Monster”

On the heels of Justin Bieber’s recent fame musing “Lonely” comes surreal Shawn/Justin collab “Monster,” from Shawn’s forthcoming album Wonder. The angsty power ballad sees Justin and Shawn — career mirrors of each other, in many ways — climb atop a lifted platform as they sing about falling from the pedestal fans put them on. The (Fame) is implied in “Monster,” just as Lady Gaga foresaw years ago, and the two former teenage sensations try to parse out the longterm effects of this very public life they’ve ended up in. “And what if I sin?” Shawn asks in the chorus. “And what if I break? Then am I the monster? Just let me know.”

Megan Thee Stallion feat. SZA, “Freaky Girls”

“I feel like I had to name my album Good News because we’ve been hearing so much bad news and it’s like, okay, look, Megan Thee Stallion finally coming with the good news,” Megan told Apple Music about how she named her album. Her description is right on the money: Good News is much-needed from start to finish. “Freaky Girls,” a collab with SZA, is a highlight — the song’s bobbing beat and winding melodies stick immediately in the brain.

CNCO, “Mis Ojos Lloran Por Ti”

CNCO’s newest song from their forthcoming album Déjà Vu is a reimagining of the 1996 song by Puerto Rican rapper Big Boy and Angel Lopez. The group puts their own vibrant spin on the classic, paying homage to the original while expanding on its love-stricken vibe. And the harmonies are absolutely it.

Chloe X Halle, “Sending My Love”

For Spotify Singles, Chloe x Halle took on Zhané’s classic “Sending My Love,” opening it up with their spacious voices and pretty vocal runs. “We first fell in love with ‘Sending My Love’ by Zhané because our parents would blast it all around our house in Atlanta,” Chloe x Halle shared in a statement. “We fell in love with the fact that they’re a duo as well, and how their voices blended so nicely together.” That continues to ring true for Chloe x Halle, too.

Kali Uchis, “la luna enamorada”

Colombian-American singer Kali Uchis is back with new album Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios), her follow-up to 2018’s Isolation. The title translates to “Without Fear (Of Love And Other Demons)” and song “la luna enamorada” is an early favorite. The cinematic, plucked-guitar intro feels straight out of film noir, and the ballad itself is incredibly haunting. “Revelation that enraptures me/Strange splendor of fantasy,” the lyric translation reads, gorgeous imagery inside a song brimming with imagination.

Miley Cyrus feat. Dua Lipa “Prisoner”

Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber aren’t the only big pop collaboration this week. Miley and Dua teamed up for an anthemic rock kiss-off from Miley’s upcoming album, and the result is a chaotic ‘80s rock ‘n roll biopic of a music video, the pair’s own version of The Runaways. Your move, Kstew and Dakota Fanning.

BTS, “Life Goes On”

The long-awaited BTS album BE is finally here, and with it lead single “Life Goes On.” It’s just an extremely nice vibe, with a slow pop/hip-hop beat and ethereal production to go alongside the song’s message of, well, life going on despite hardship. A timeless message? Sure, but a vital one nonetheless.

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