It goes without saying that Nu’est’s career has been anything but typical. Their phoenix from the ashes story is the stuff of K-pop legends, and it all culminates today with their first full-group album in almost three years. After a highly successful 2017-18 in the form of sub-unit Nu’est W, the group’s reunion is also one of the most anticipated moments of the year. So, with all this momentum and excitement, why does Bet Bet feel so underwhelming?
There’s something to be said for sticking to your guns, and Nu’est have returned to the exact point they were at in 2016 before Produce 101 shot their popularity into the stratosphere. Bet Bet could easily be a b-side on either of their 2016 albums, and that’s okay. However, three years in the future, the K-pop landscape has changed quite a bit. What once sounded forward-thinking now feels over-saturated. Not only have we heard this exact sound from the group before, but Bet Bet’s moody future bass style has almost become commonplace. It leaves little impact.
Instrumental choices aside, Bet Bet’s biggest problem is that it just isn’t that memorable of a song. Though it took me a while to come around to them at first, I was blown away by each and every Nu’est W title track. All three carried the same signature style, but managed to play around with mood and genre in fresh ways. Bet Bet doesn’t stretch itself in any interesting directions. It’s simply a pleasant retread all the way through. The chorus is catchy but relatively one note, relying more on Baekho’s commanding voice than any surprising melodic construction. It all feels like a whimper when it should have been a bang. Nu’est have rocketed into the a-list, but K-pop tastes are fickle. I’d hate to see the group undone by lackluster material — especially when it’s taken so much work to get to the top.
I just don’t understand why they would choose Bet Bet as the title track when Bass, Different and Fine exist on the same album. Bass, especially.
I can’t agree more. The mini is way stronger than ‘Bet Bet’.
I’m not sure I’d agree with “way,” but there are definitely tracks on there that I much prefer.
Dejavu was on my personal top ten last year. Face, love that song, on my workout list. Literally everything else by Nu’est, I just can’t pick out as being them.
Dejavu was such a grower, and it came from a great album. As much as I appreciate them writing most (all?) of their music nowadays, sometimes I wish they’d bring in some new co-composers that might inspire more diverse sounds.
Why am I reminded of Vixx’s Scentist ?
Because neither song goes anywhere?
I completely agree. Such an annoying comeback.
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