Two comebacks in, and it’s clear that Nu’est has fully reinvented their sound. I think this is smart. As labelmates Seventeen are going full pop, Nu’est are establishing a more mature, artistic style that sets them apart. But on a personal note, I’m realizing that this new Nu’est just isn’t going to be for me. I want to like it, and I do appreciate the gorgeous aesthetics and complex instrumentals, but like their last single, Love Paint just ultimately leaves me feeling cold.
Now, Overcome did end up growing on me, though it remains one of my least favorite singles from the group. Love Paint will probably do the same. Its lush, well-produced instrumental blends dynamic synths, gorgeous supporting vocals and a touch of classical ornamentation. In this way, it feels a bit warmer than its predecessor. My gripe is, yet again, with the melody. This is a matter of personal taste, but Love Paint revisits the lurching, almost formless melodic style as Overcome. To me, the entire tracks sounds like a series of ad-libs and runs, remaining elusive throughout. There’s no chance to build up any momentum because the track is constantly in flux. It’s not that I necessarily crave something more straightforward, but it just feels more like a performance than a song, if that makes any sense.
The frustrating thing is, when the guys pull in a greater sense of melody and focus, like on the excellent R.L.T.L and Look from this same mini album, this new sound is a total triumph. They tackle this more avant garde concept with confidence, and I’m ready to happily follow them down this road, but I’m waiting for the songs themselves to connect in the way their older material did.