After 10 years, NU’EST has wrapped up promotions as a group and have agreed to part ways. It was announced at the end of February that the group would officially disband once their contracts finish up mid-March. While this was a bitter pill to swallow for some fans (and quite unexpected), it was then announced that the group would release one last album before disbanding on 15 March 2022 to coincide with their 10 year anniversary. Titled Needle & Bubble, the special compilation album featured remakes of their past hits and two new songs, one of them being Again (the title track for this album release). Member Baekho and Minhyun have signed on to stay at Pledis Entertainment, with Aron, JR (now Kim Jonghyun) and Ren leaving the company.
Again continues the string of pleasant singles that we have heard over the last few weeks. For those who knows my blog well, I use the word ‘pleasant’ in either a positive or negative manner. In Again‘s case, I use it in a positive manner. Again falls into the category of a pop ballad and sounds very reflective throughout, ideal for the circumstances that NU’EST finds themselves in. Regardless of how you view the situation surrounding the release of Again, its tone and flowy nature is quite effective. It might be able to bring back some happy memories, which I am sure fans of the group (L.O.Λ.E) are happily reliving. But as this is the group’s final track (barring any potential reunion or regroup in the future), it might also lead to some listeners shedding a few tears due to the bittersweet feeling Again might bring about. The song’s instrumental, as a whole, was very inviting and warming to listen to. I quite enjoyed the piano in the instrumental. It adds a beautiful touch to the song, especially as it peeks through from underneath the other instruments. Vocally, the reflective tone the members bring to the song really helps boost up the song and emphasise a lot of the descriptors words I have already used to describe Again. The melodies were also quite soothing and easy on the ears. I quite like how the focus on the vocals and that the instrumental was not overpowering. Everything was well-balance, and made for an enjoyable and pleasant listen. Overall, Again is a fitting track for NU’EST to end their time together as a group with.
The music video was just as I had expected it to be – reflective and pleasing to watch. What really got me was the ending, with Minhyun’s warm smile when he saw the other members of the group approach him. That scene, though its intention was probably to be lighthearted and warm, really hurt me. Not to the point where I was in tears, but it really put everything about this release into perspective for me. In addition to that, I believe this music video references a few of their past releases. Aron’s scene with the payphone seemed to allude towards their Hello release. JR’s solo scene with him on top of the stacked mattresses and Baekho’s scene with the reflection of light off the surface of water on the walls (and the coloured Blue walls) reminded me of Where You At‘s music video. The chess board in Ren’s solo scenes might pay homage to some of their videos that featured chess game, such as HELP ME and BET BET. Minhyun’s scenes behind the broken windows might be reference to the broken glass concept images NU’EST W had for their Where You At comeback. These might just be coincidences, but given that this is their last release as a group, it would make sense to why they might have included these subtle touches that refer back to their old releases. Either way, they make for a great video.
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9/10