Nu’est have finally returned after nearly two years since their last Korean album. Many fans have been waiting for their comeback, and I’m definitely one of them. I’ve followed the group for some time and liked pretty much everything they’ve released so far. But I’m disappointed to say that I don’t think Overcome will ever fully click with me.
There are many people who will love this song for exactly what it is, and I expect I’ll be somewhat in the minority here. I can get behind the intricate, tempo-shifting production and general style of the arrangement. After all, it’s a sound groups like Exo and Shinee have used to great success in the past. And there’s no denying that the guys’ vocals are on the top of their game. The track sounds absolutely marvelous. High budget. Impeccably produced.
However, a great song should sound just as good backed by a simple acoustic guitar or piano. And the thing is, if you stripped Overcome of all those skittering beats and overdubs, I’m not sure you’d be left with much of a song at all. The track is about its big sound and, even more than that, its artsy steampunk-influenced video. There isn’t much of a melody to be found amidst all the drama. It plays more like an extended exercise in vocal adlibs. The song gets by on the strength of those very vocals and the novelty of its production, but those aspects can only take it so far. Think back to Face or Action, or even Good Bye Bye, and you can still hum those indelible melodies. Despite its vocal bombast, Overcome sort of disintegrates right after you listen to it. To a certain extent, the song feels mired in the weight of its own concept and desire to try something avant garde. Heaps of style, and tons of elements that sound awesome together, but not enough meat for me to sink my teeth into. It’s a shame, because it’s a track I’ve been looking forward to and an obvious evolution for the group.
EDIT: Two days later and I found myself randomly humming the chorus. I’m not going to change my review (as I still stand by most of my criticism), but this track is sneaking up on me more than I first thought it would…