[Review] Love Me Like This – NMIXX

A week after their Young, Dumb, Stupid pre-release, NMIXX has officially returned with their latest single, Love Me Like This, and their 1st mini-album, Expérgo. Both the new single and first mini-album follows the releases of O.O, DICE and Funky Glitter Christmas. It is also the first major comeback to not feature former member Jinni, who left the group following the release of Funky Glitter Christmas at the end of last year. NMIXX has since reformed into a six-member group.

It appears that the producers behind NMIXX have learnt what stability is. During the entire first listen I gave to Love Me Like This, I was bracing for that wild and unexpecting change in the instrumentation and sound. But we never got that. Instead, Love Me Like This stayed relatively consistent and cohesive throughout, which I really appreciated. Love Me Like This is described as an upbeat R&B pop track, however I got more of a hip-hop impression initially through the bouncy beat and delivery that Love Me Like This adopts in its verses. The vocals and rapping in the verses do give the song character, however their delivery during the verses could have been strength somehow to give more of a wow factor. The pre-choruses was a definite highlight for me, with the melody and vocals here giving such a nice pop to the song. Lily’s delivery of the first pre-chorus, in particular, is my favourite part in this entire song. Then, the song slips into a chanty refrain for the chorus. Here, I can feel more of the R&B coming through. And although, “Love me like this, Love me like that” does come off as repetitive, I find this super effective. Give me by the end of the review and I will probably have the chorus keyed into my head. I did want more body to the instrumentation for the chorus, as it just doesn’t carry on the momentum that the pre-chorus was pushing the song towards. The touch of rock that we get in the second half of the chorus was ideal and it really helped strength Love Me Like This further. The weakest point of the song for me was the bridge. It was a very neutral part of the song that didn’t get a much of a reaction out of me. Overall, every release that NMIXX has made since their debut has shown improvement, with Love Me Like This their best effort yet. Compared to their debut, I am actually excited to see what their next release is like based on this trajectory.

Like the bridge of the song, the music video doesn’t get much out of me. I just didn’t find much of a connection to the sets used. I did like the brief Wizard of Oz type of set for the one-liner about a tin heart and I felt the white choreography set had impact. But the hallway and bedroom were a bit of a miss for me. Aside of that, I thought their stylists did an awesome job of showing off an edgy, hip-hop vibe with some of the outfits. But I also liked the pop of colour that some of the outfits had, which is fitting for the group and their youthful charms.

Choreography for this comeback looks awesome. I liked the entire chorus routine, as it makes such a strong impression and helps raise the impact level of the chorus. It also relieves some of that repetitiveness that the lyrics and beat brings, as each move was different and prevented the over-emphasis of repetition.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 7.8/10

[Review] Young, Dumb, Stupid – NMIXX

Just right after their fellow labelmates made their comeback at the end of last week, NMIXX is gearing up for their their second comeback. Ahead of the comeback which will occur in a week’s time, NMIXX has released Young, Dumb, Stupid as a pre-release single to get us all excited for the upcoming return of the group. This upcoming comeback also is their first release since the departure of Jinni, who exited the group back in December following the release of Funky Glitter Christmas.

Young, Dumb, Stupid is quite different from their previous tracks, which have attempted to mash up multiple different styles into one song. Instead, this pre-release offering keeps it relatively consistent, which I appreciated. But then again, this is just the pre-release – we just don’t know what is lurking around the corner just yet. Young, Dumb, Stupid is not bad, just a more standard affair, even in the realm of consistent songs. We had a strong opening with the rapping, before the song becomes more like your cutesy KPOP track. This is backed up by the chorus of the song, which samples the Brother John nursery rhyme, which ultimately gives the first half of the chorus and the rest of the song a very child-like exterior – miles away from the stronger and attitude-heavy driven title tracks NMIXX has put out previously. What I personally don’t like is how the lyrics of that very segment conforms to their usual messaging, yet fills at odds with the sound. It just isn’t a combination that works with me. The second half of the chorus attempts to unravel that child-like first half by giving us a meatier melody that doesn’t have the same connotations as the first half. I personally liked this half a lot more, especially when it came to Lily’s execution of it. But it was just so brief and didn’t have enough time to be digested before we are going back to the verse and bridge (which were okay). Haewon’s final sequence in the song was also a positive that I must commend on. Overall, I am not troubled by Young, Dumb, Stupid. It might be the fact that the song is a side track on the mini-album, and not the title track. Had it been the title track, I think this entire section would be written very differently with the common theme of disappointment. But that was not the case, and so guess we got to see what NMIXX and their producers have in store for us next week.

Pink and purple is the colour scheme of this music video. It seems a bit cliché, but I guess that is the typical colour scheme for feminine youth. Aside from that, the music video features a pair of glasses that some of the members don to discover a different world around them. I wished they kept with the concept, as it was there one second and gone the next. The post-production was pretty solid, with the visual effects giving this video a bit more substance than the members being cutesy, closeup and choreography shots.

Based on what I could see in the music video, the choreography looked good. Nothing stands out as an iconic move, but it felt fun, cute and lively, all of which works well with the song.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.3/10

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!!

As you may be already aware, I am currently on a break from the blog to spend some time with family and friends this Christmas. But this does not mean I can’t celebrate the holidays with you, as well. And I do this by sharing a whole bunch of festive themed songs that our favourite and beloved KPOP artists (and companies) have released this year.

Again, I wish you all a Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays full of joy, laughter and the company of family and friends. If today is business as usual for you or you don’t celebrate the festive season, then I hope today goes seamlessly for you.

And given that from tomorrow we are in an awkward limbo state between Christmas and New Years (honestly, what do we do in during this period?), I will also wish everyone a happy new year.

See you all with new reviews/posts in 2023!

[Review] Funky Glitter Christmas – NMIXX

NMIXX is nominated for Best New Female Group of 2022 in the 2022 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Support NMIXX and your other favourite artists, songs and performances in the 2022 KPOPREVIEWED by clicking the link here to vote.

NMIXX is back with the first holiday-themed KPOP track of the season. There is definitely a few more confirmed holiday-themed releases coming out way, so definitely keep your eyes open for those. But the focus today is on NMIXX and their new single Funky Glitter Christmas. This comeback follows the likes of O.O (their debut single) and DICE (their first comeback single).

NMIXX definitely made a splash in the industry for their uniqueness in smashing different sounds and styles into one singular song each time. This time around, the group turns down the exact thing that drew attention to them, instead opting for a more ‘standard’ sounding track to close out the year. And I quite like it. Not only was Funky Glitter Christmas was cheerful, upbeat, wholesome and bubbly, it was also stable and enabled a focus on the group’s vocals. On the stable front, we did get a bit of familiar melodies and classical carols mashed into the song, which is similar to the approach that NMIXX and their producers have taken for their other tracks. But it isn’t exactly jarring and comes off as cohesive, hence it feels stable. As for the vocal front, we have heard potential from the members in their past promoted tracks, but Funky Glitter Christmas is my first time hear a substantial vocal piece from the group. And I am very impressed with the flair and prowess that the group brought to Funky Glitter Christmas. I was particularly impressed with the the way the song swung back from the Christmas carol slowdown of the bridge to the final chorus, especially when it came to Lily’s high note. The rapping, whilst quite good, felt like it could have been a little more naturally incorporated into the song. Also, I feel that Funky Glitter Christmas could have more funkiness. This would have really made Funky Glitter Christmas more enjoyable, stronger and stand out more. Overall, a great track for us to acclimate to the holiday season and the countdown to the new year.

The entire music video showed the members getting ready for a party, and ultimately ends with that party showing everyone having fun and enjoying their time. This music video is no serious video, just telling you (visually) to have fun and enjoy the final moments of 2022 in the best way possible. It intends to be lighthearted and send out a happy message. It works well with the song and seeing the members have fun left a smile on my face.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.3/10

[Review] DICE – NMIXX

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

[Review] O.O – NMIXX

A new player is on the playing field! JYP Entertainment’s latets female group, NMIXX, make their debut today with O.O, which is featured on the group’s debut single album, Ad Mare. NIMIXX is a seven members female group consisting of Haewon, Lily, Sullyoon, Jinni, BAE, Jiwoo and Kyujin. While the release dropped today, NMIXX unfortunately hasn’t been able to start off their careers as planned with a debut showcase as some of the members have tested positive for COVID-19. Unsure what that means for their promotions for this week, but hopefully the affected members recover quickly to be able to perform O.O on stage for us soon.

Hang tight, as there is a lot of unpack from O.O. When I listened to the song, it sounds like three songs were mashed into one. We have heard this before and sometimes it works (unexpectedly). O.O is one that doesn’t not work for me, and is not a good first step for a debut. I have listened to it a few times and I just can’t get over how distinct each section of the song. The first third of O.O was this edgy and powerful sound that I was not a fan of. It was quite overwhelming on many fronts, such as the vocals and rapping. They were poorly processed and sounded quite strained for the most part. It was a bit ‘try-hard’, if you wanted me to be direct about the sequence. The second third of the song was much more likeable and enjoyable, in comparison to the preceding sequence. It was a lot brighter, taking on a pop profile with hints of rock. The vocals and rapping were better here, but they still felt they were pushed too far. If there was a takeaway from this middle sequence, it is that they are youthful. The final (and third) sequence went down more of the hip-hop route. This also wasn’t that bad, but it lies in between the first and second sections of the song in terms of likeability for me. It was noisy, it was intense, it was overwhelming as well. It sounded like they were competing with the music, and I wished the producers had went with a slightly milder sound so we could hear more of NMIXX. Attitude and sassy also come to mind. When you consider the three parts as a whole, as intended, it felt like the whoever put the three pieces together were trying to fit three puzzle pieces together that were never going to fit. I am hoping that with time, O.O becomes a bit more bearable and that I find myself enjoying it more. Time after time, my reviews have turned up side down as a result to second chances and repeat listens. I personally think that O.O has a lot of warming up to do in order to recover, but who knows.

Like the song, it made sense that the music video would be in three segments as well. To match that edgy and powerful tone in the first sequence, we got a mysterious visual piece. Members are running into walls, colours are all very neutral and dominos are falling throughout the city. Personally, I found this sequence to be the coolest of the three when it came to the visual aid. In comparison to the first sequence, the second sequence of the video (for the second segment of O.O) felt like a unicorn did its business. It was super colourful and really encapsulated an innocent and youthful vibe (just like the song). For the third part of the song, the video adopted a darker vibe to compliment the noisy hip-hop sound. I do wonder what the final scene to the video is about. It is a bit ambiguous, but also very mysterious at the same time.

The choreography aspect also felt promising. One of the perks of having what felt like three different songs in one is that you can do a fair bit on stage. The start of the performances looks very cool, while the swing in the second sequence looks quite unique. I also liked how powerful the routine looked.

Song – 4/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 6/10