single review: NMIXX “AD MARE”

I am back, and I’ve finally gotten things together to put full focus on reviewing! And, frankly, what a better way to get back into it than reviewing one of the most controversial debuts ever to hit the K-pop scene?

Introduced as a ‘blind package’ concept back sometime in early 2021 (probably even earlier, if I can recall), JYP girl group NMIXX became one of the most anticipated groups to enter into 2022, and each member was no joke – you’ve got your visuals, your charismatic performers, and perhaps some of the best vocalists of the generation. So, when their debut single “AD MARE” hit center stage, no one expected it to be received as negatively as it should.

I guess that’s what you sort of get for promoting it ‘blindly’, but can you blame JYP? He’s got your attention, whether it’s bad or not.

That said, what do I really think of this situation? Well, you’re just gonna have to read on…


NMIXX
AD MARE
Released: 2022/02/22

Jeom (TANK)
O.O


NMIXX promoting AD MARE

占 (TANK)

Jeom (TANK)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

INCOMING… it’s “Jeom (TANK)“, the introductory track on the single, and the track that would be used to overlay the teasers to the single in promotions.

It’s a fun track that is absolutely jarring on first listen… with its booming tick-tick of an underlying melody, “Jeom (TANK)” holds no punches when it comes to attacking the ear-drums. Vocally, each member delivers; no one is off, everyone is on point, and the girls all sound fierce. Raps are delivered with the kind of power you’d expect from an upcoming 4th-gen group. Drumrolls and snares abound, “Jeom (TANK)” goes hard.

My only complaint is the chorus, from the freaky to the fishy to whatever-the-hell-is-being-chanted; I get that the 4th generation of groups likes to incorporate weird onomatopoeias, but we need to stop relying on it for catchiness factor… it’s savagely tired going into 2022 (did you catch that?).

Otherwise, let’s get this tank moving…


O.O

Rating: 3 out of 5.

From that atmospheric horn to its absolute thump of a beat intro, “O.O” does not hold back. It’s quite the introduction, and it slaps hard. I live. The lyrics, questionable, but it doesn’t detract from how awesome the first verse into its chorus is, as it goes full throttle into hip-hop dance territory before we’re somehow thrust into… what the heck?

This is where the problems arise. “O.O” wants to be “I Got A Boy”, “Zimzalabim”, “NEXT LEVEL”, among other tracks… and it absolutely fails.

The transition doesn’t smoothly flow into the next part of the song, which is a complete contrast to its prior verse: a rock-tinged dance track that was ripped straight out of ITZY’s playbook… it’s so jarring, and so poorly placed, that it just doesn’t make any sense. Now, don’t get me wrong… both parts separately are great. Yet, JYP couldn’t think of doing a dance-to-rock transition? Is this what the MIXX is in reference too? Is this what we’re gonna see from now on?

We’re thrown right back to the feel of the first verse, but by this point, it’s just closing up the song, and… I don’t really know. Let me tell you… first listen, I was thrown back… they’ve literally got me going O.O.


OVERVIEW

Now, I can see why there’s all this discourse around it… with a ‘blind package’ concept, you have no idea what to expect after buying until it, “AD MARE“, comes out… and for it to come out like this? JYP is a brave soul, but I don’t know if there’s any saving him from this (haha).

Jokes aside, it’s not an absolutely terrible debut. “O.O” is actually growing on me as we speak, and I’m finding myself to vibe well to both parts (which should just be ‘songs’, really). The problem here is that it just transitions so poorly – there’s no flow, there’s not even a pause to signify the end of a part… it just… goes in, and that hurts (please don’t think what you’re thinking).

“Jeom (TANK)” is slightly better, but as it has all the makings of an introductory track… let’s just say that it’s telling that the intro song is better than the actual track being promoted. So, uh… this is not recommended, but it’s still worth a listen or two.

Anyway, to the sea we go… I’m hoping that our journey with NMIXX will, at least, have something good along the way.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

MUST-LISTEN: none… 😦

For more NMIXX reviews, visit the archive!

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