I’ve been real hot and cold with MXM’s releases so far. I love the guys, but only their January Match Up mini album has really appealed to me. Rather than maintain that addictive funk pop sound, the duo seems more intent on a laid-back brand of hip-hop that emphasizes vibe over melody. New single Ya Ya Ya fits exactly within that mold, and doesn’t leave much of an impression.
Over a mid-tempo beat, most of the track is performed in a sing-talk style, perched halfway between rap and idol group crooning. However, the actual music doesn’t feel nearly playful enough to capitalize on this style. I was initially hard on Seventeen’s similarly-pitched Oh My, but that song contained so many little melodic surprises and variations that it became a total grower. I don’t see the same happening with Ya Ya Ya. Other than an interesting instrumental break during its bridge, the song is stalled at one energy level the entire time. If you’re looking for something to nonchalantly nod your head to, this is probably fine. But, I’ve never been a nonchalant head-nodder.
Ya Ya Ya’s central hook is essentially a repetition of its title in a chanted arrangement. Any element that repeats this many times is bound to become catchy, but it’s an easy sort of catchiness that feels throwaway. There is a brief chorus melody that precedes this segment, but it’s too unassuming to leave much of a mark. This is a shame, because MXM themselves are incredibly charismatic. Given the right material, their performance is irresistible. Unfortunately, Ya Ya Ya feels more like a time-filler than an actual song.
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