2019 has been a big year for rookies, particularly the ones formed featuring the members of Wanna One. All of the members have released music in the past year and many have or are gearing up for their second comeback. Joining this list is CIX, which features Bae Jin Young. Alongside BX, Seunghun, Yonghee and Hyunsuk, CIX returns today with Numb, and their second mini-album, Hello Chapter 2: Hello, Strange Place. This follows CIX’s Korean and Japanese debut with Movie Star.
Numb felt like a smooth song at first. The verses give off a nice melodic feel, which made the song feel promising for me and potentially a great followup to Movie Star. But the EDM drop that featured in the song dispelled this quite quickly. It did break that promising feeling and it feels very different to their debut track. But it isn’t all bad news. Instead, it introduces a new level of intensity, which makes the song feel intriguing. It all leads the song into unexpected territory for me (relative to how the song started). I just felt there should have been a transition between the verses and chorus to make the song feel more cohesive. Instead, the chorus is literally detached from the rest of the track. I also felt like the song could have been a little more catchy as I find it hard to identify any strong hooks in the song minus the foreign influence in the chorus. The vocals and rapping are great. The lyrics of the song also seem to add an extra layer of tension, with it looking like the lyrics are taking a stab at modern societal pressures of students in a school setting, around friends, bullies and overall doing well at school.
The music video even goes to that length of depicting a school setting. But in a very dramatic and almost apocalyptic way. I think it shows the members being friends at one point. But I think the way the Korean education system operates is a competition between students to see who is the best, with parents assisting their children in any way possible to place their kids on top of the others. It seems like this drove a stake into the friendship of the members, as seen by the building being torn apart with two students on each half of the building. Using the school logic, if something was to happen to the other then you push ahead to place higher than them. But Bae Jin Young takes a stand in the music video, offering a hand to the friend who would have fallen to their death in the music video, which I think is a subtle way of saying that things should be just that one way. It is a video concept that depicts the problem in an extreme manner. But it effortlessly makes the point clear.
I thought the dance for this was really good. The chorus routine was very powerful, fitting for the EDM that the song opted for in that section. The verses were good but I don’t think they were amazing standout parts like the chorus. I also think the choreographers/company are favouring Bae Jin Young a little too much. He was in the centre of the performance a fair bit, leaving the best of the members with little centre time. Not his fault though, as this would be at the discretion of their company and production team.
Song – 7/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 7.5/10
Overall Rating – 7.7/10