As you might have noticed, I had not posted any reviews for any releases from last week. So this week will be an extra big week to catch up on those outstanding releases from last week on top of reviews for the new releases this week. Only then will I be able to review the even more outstanding releases that have been stockpiling. First up is XIUMIN with his solo comeback with the Brand New single and his solo debut mini-album that shares the same name as the lead single.
Whilst XIUMIN’s solo ventures have primarily come from OSTs or SM Station releases (i.e. Young & Free with Mark from NCT and You), Brand New encroaches onto new territory for the relatively new solo artist. Brand New is super upbeat dance track, kicking right into gear from the very start with the catchy and vibrant chorus chant that features prominently throughout the single. I like how this same chant brings forth old school vibes in the song and adds a energetic dimension to Brand New. The lyrical component of the chant is a bit questionable for what Brand New is trying to achieve in terms of the song’s meaning, but I like it more for the addition of much needed oomph to the song. XIUMIN was in charge of the rest of the vocals in the verses. And his vocals sounded so pleasant throughout Brand New. I did wish the melody was a bit heftier and had more body, just so that XIUMIN himself could have stood out more prominently. Alternatively, the bass could have been turned down a fair bit. It drowned out XIUMIN a certain parts of Brand New. But overall, Brand New is a fun and cool track at times, but also pleasant and soothing during other times.
Based on the song’s description, what I could get could out of the lyrics and the different scenes throughout the music video, my guess is that the video depicts the creation and delivery of a present that is XIUMIN himself. But apart from that, it is a fair video to watch and accompany the likes of Brand New. Nothing too mind-blowing, but not terrible in anyway where it deters me from watching it. It also has been a while since we have seen XIUMIN in the public eye (at least it has been a while for me), so it is great to see him again (and be reminded of his stunning visuals).
The choreography was pretty good. I really enjoyed the chorus of the routine, when the energy of the song and routine is at its peak. But I also enjoyed the smoothness of the dance choreography during the verses, as well.
Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.7/10