Lately, it seems like we’re getting a lot of pre-releases and sort-of-but-not-really comebacks masquerading as “fan songs.” Pop duo MXM are the latest to follow this path, making a quick turnaround from their January comeback Diamond Girl before a promised full-length release later in the year. I happened to love the funk-laced makeover of their last album, so when it was announced that Gone Cold (식어버린 온도) would be of a completely new genre, I was kind of bummed.
If Diamond Girl offered a burst of retro fun, Cold brings us the exact opposite. Here, it’s all about the brooding and introspection, as the tempo is slowed significantly for a r&b inspired track that focuses more strongly on the duo’s vocals than their fun-loving personalities. Over a plaintive hip-hop beat augmented with moody keys, the guys deliver a barely-there melody that opts for sentiment over dynamic construction. This would feel perfectly placed as an album track, but doesn’t make for a particularly striking single.
That said, Gone Cold drifts pleasantly towards its engaging hook, even if the energy never rises to anything spectacular. The guys give a polished performance (especially when it comes to the rap segments), but they’re much better suited to playful tracks that can fully harness their charisma. As it stands, the song feels very much like an idol group cosplaying as a “cool” indie r&b act. They can emulate the style just fine, but they’re missing that extra something special that would make the track uniquely their own.