Starting off the week is NMIXX, the latest rookies under JYP Entertainment. For those who missed their debut (it was very hard to miss, but just in case you did), NMIXX made their debut with O.O in February this year. Yesterday, they returned with their first comeback – the single album is titled Entwurf, while the title track for the comeback (and focus of this review) is titled DICE.
Given the likes of O.O and hearing that DICE would be of a similar formula, I think the bracing yourself for the likes of DICE would be an appropriate response. The mash up style that NMIXX is going to be known for at this rate begins from the very beginning, with a short-lived and unnecessary theatre-like beginning. I thought it was an opening for the music video, but it made its way into the actual song. Things started to look up ever so briefly for DICE, with the first verse and chorus being perfectly fine. The first verse, which brought a hip-hop tinge to the song, flowed well into the Latin inspired chorus. I found the two parts used similar deep tones, which might have been the common string. The rapping in the first verse was fine and dynamic. The delivery in the chorus, on the other hand, attempted to hype you up by being shouty and loud. While there was some charm to this, it disabled any attempt for a hook to form. Instead, I find DICE‘s chorus to be memorable thanks to the instrumentation. The second verse is where DICE starts to crumble for me and become erratic. At least, they were being explicit with their change with the ‘NMIXX Change Up‘ transition. We are initially treated to a different, intensified and darker rap verse. It had potential to be good on its own (Kyujin’s ‘Big Wave, Big Wave‘ line was quite memorable). But its presence in DICE just didn’t click for me. We then continue back to the Latin influence with an overly explosive set of vocals from Lily. Again, this was pretty good. It is the flick between the rap to the Latin influence that doesn’t sit well with me in this section. The second pre-chorus bypasses the chorus and goes into an instrumental break, which is a whole different style altogether. I am not surprised by this difference, but the synths (one of them reminds me of ITZY’s WANNABE) was a bit sparse and weak. Something tighter, more intense and exhilarating would have served DICE better, just so the momentum of the song is continued. Similarly with the final chorus. I loved that we returned to the Latin infusion, but as it is the final chorus, it needed a bit more to end DICE on a high note.
I quite liked the circus -like machinery at the start of the video. It was definitely intriguing intro and looked very cool. The video then takes us through MIXXTOPIA (another universe in KPOP), which has its own theatre, a colourful Dr. Suess-like outdoor and a dark whirly location. The latter is quite cool, but I feel like this is a bit mixed up. I would expected the hip-hop and rap parts of the song to feature in that dark whirly location, while the Latin influence segments of the song (as they are brighter segments of DICE) to be associated with that Dr. Suess like outdoor set. Not the other way around. But to each their own. Not exactly sure what the ending signifies. But overall, it was a visually pleasing video to watch.
The choreography aspect of this comeback was top notch. No particular move really stood out, but I liked the routine as a whole piece. Just like the song, there is a lot going on. But all showed potential for the group in the performance aspect.
Song – 5.5/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 6.9/10