CIX are one of those 2019 debuts with a fan base already baked in. Their roster includes former contestants of Produce 101, Mix Nine and YG Treasure Box. They’re a hodgepodge of already-known personas, which makes it easy to root for them. This name recognition helped secure a quick Japanese debut, with My New World tacked on to their first mini album as a special J-pop single.
Despite all of this hype, I found CIX’s Korean debut to be one of the most uninteresting and generic works of the past summer. Unfortunately, My New World follows a similar trajectory. Listening to it is like trudging through musical murk. Sonically, the song aims for militant, EXO-esque r&b pop. Its opening verse slavishly apes EXO’s core sound. It’s basically a cover of their 2016 hit Monster, but it’s also World’s high point. From here, the track gets lost in a ho-hum chorus that feels dark and edgy but struggles to find a captivating melody.
Verse two is dedicated almost wholly to rap. It’s polished and performed well, but doesn’t offer anything we haven’t heard a million times before. The energy slows for a harmonic bridge, only to climb toward a pounding build that connects with the climactic chorus. The problem here isn’t one of style. I enjoy a good EXO pastiche as much as anyone. But those old EXO tracks delivered knockout choruses. They also had Baekhyun’s inimitable power notes, and a cavalcade of unique vocalists that lent the songs instant texture. CIX haven’t quite found their signature style. So as a result, something like My New World comes off as a less-than-inspiring replica.
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I can’t help but think that you were a little harsh on CIX’s debut mini, although I get that it contains sounds that aren’t generally in your wheelhouse. There are some solid tracks on there like the fun “Imagine” and enough polish production-wise for me to enjoy it and for CIX as a group to capture my attention.
I’ve been rooting for them to prove they can do even better with their follow-up material though, and sadly I have to agree this isn’t it yet. I wanted to like this but it all comes up as a bland mush in my head whenever I try to recall the melody or anything else. Here’s hoping their Korean comeback harnesses the best parts of their efforts so far and adds a little more to give them their own standout energy.
This song and the Ariaz song autoplayed one right after the other on youtube yesterday. I couldn’t help but thinking that I had entered an alternate universe where these two songs sound like every kpop song out there right now and yet I hadn’t quite heard these versions but then again maybe I had. I really don’t know how the kids distinguish all these groups from each other.
My bae jin young 😘
I have a few questions and comments on your blog’s end year post.
1. First, are rookies aloud in the top 10 artists of the year?
2. Are you going to review bts’ make it right and the monsta x songs?
3. Since SM owns woolim, in your agency grades, can you combine them?
4. Jellyfish, Stone music and swing music are owned by the cj group, can you combine them in your agency grades?
5. Big hit is considered one of the big 4, could you give them their own page in the agency grades?
I’ll give you my best answers!
1. Nope. That’s a separate list, which lets me spotlight more artists. A group has to past their debut year to be eligible for the top ten artists list.
2. Not planning on reviewing Make It Right. The “remix” didn’t feel different enough to warrant it. I still consider it a b-side, even though it has the behind-the-scenes video. (Plus, I hate the added English in the new version. I’m just pretending it doesn’t exist.) I’ll definitely be reviewing Monsta X’s Follow, but probably won’t do Find Me. There’s no official audio yet and the video has so many cuts that it’s hard to get a sense of how the song actually sounds.
3. SM and Woollim parted ways awhile ago, so that won’t be happening.
4. From what I understand, entities like CJ act more as distributors than decision-makers when it comes to creative processes within these agencies, so I’ll be keeping them separate.
5. I’ll give it some thought. They’re definitely part of the Big 4, so there’s no hang-up there. The problem is that they really only have two active groups. I’m not sure I’d have enough to write about. We’ll see!
Hey Nick, gonna reply to your reply to my comment.
2. Okay, get your point
3. Albeit they parted, SM still owns most of Woolim’s stock
4. CJ actually owns the company and manages everything
5. Actually Big hit owns source music and thus GFriend so 3 groups.