With few exceptions, a title like “Nunu Nana” tells me exactly what to expect from the song. It’s unlikely to be the kind of melodically robust pop track I tend to gravitate toward. Its chorus will almost certainly be a repetitive jumble of nonsense words tied to a rhythmic beat drop. And in this regard, Jessi’s new single doesn’t defy expectations. Though I’ve been a fan of her persona for some time, I can’t say that I’ve often connected with her music.
Nunu Nana (눈누난나) continues along the same route as previous singles Who Dat B and Drip, both released under PSY’s P Nation label. While I’ll always appreciate a dose of killer Jessi attitude, this whole swag-happy phase she’s going through isn’t for me. Nunu Nana has a few nice moments – mostly during the pre and post chorus melodies – but overall it feels like a lot of posing and twerking without much of a song to back it up.
Jessi doesn’t always get the respect she deserves as a vocalist. Not only is she technically solid, but she’s able to infuse her vocals with incredible character. That unique personality salvages much of Nunu Nana. I love her raspy tone during the song’s more vocal-heavy moments. She really commands attention. Unfortunately, that blazing charisma is wasted on an unimaginative “put your hands in the air” hook that staggers over a lifeless beat. At one point, she declares “I’m trying to give you something more.” But, Nunu Nana offers no real surprises. It makes me wonder if this new P Nation venture was really worth it. Sure, PSY’s collected a strong roster of talent. But, the agency has yet to deliver anything we haven’t heard before.
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