Review

Song Review: NMIXX – O.O

NMIXX - O.OIt’s been a very slow month (or year?) for K-pop, but the arrival of new JYP girl group NMIXX feels like 2022’s first big moment. Debuts from agencies of JYP’s caliber always bring a ton of hype, even if the song itself doesn’t meet expectations. With O.O, NMIXX deliver an attention-grabbing track, but I expect fans’ reactions to be more satisfying than the song itself.

Having been a K-pop fan for a decade or so, I’ve watched industry trends switch with new generations. O.O is emblematic of where K-pop has been heading for a while. It’s less about the song than it is about imagery, concept and energy. Heck, “O.O” isn’t even a full word! The track wants to feel provocative and complex, but skips the basic elements that give pop music its potency. I’d almost call it punk rock, except nothing this carefully produced and market-researched could ever be considered “punk.” O.O plays like a highlight medley, stuffing three disparate pieces together. I admire the ambition, but ambition without execution comes across as messy. The track wants to be JYP’s version of I Got A Boy — or even Next Level. Those songs could certainly be called “scattershot,” but each individual piece had its charms.

With O.O, we’ve got a very cool rock-inspired verse stuffed between two cacophonic sing-shout segments. Unfortunately, the centerpiece outshines everything around it. This melodic oasis is not nearly long enough. Instead, O.O’s lean running time is largely comprised of boisterous cries and chants. There’s not much structure here – no direction or purpose for all this raging and posturing. A stronger song would have harnessed this energy to full effect, drawing contrast with a dynamic arrangement. O.O’s pots-and-pans instrumental is just as deafening as NMIXX’s performance. Loud + Loud = Boring (which might as well be the name of the group’s next single…). And with eleven credited songwriters, O.O’s Frankenstein-like sound is no surprise. A song this daring needs a clear, singular vision. Instead, it feels like an audition reel for all the concepts NMIXX hope to tackle. If that’s the case, I’ll be waiting until they get to the “cool rocker chick” stage of their career.

Hooks 6
 Production 7
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7

82 thoughts on “Song Review: NMIXX – O.O

  1. There was a time back when when I would listen to Metallica while studying, Lars Ulrich going all double kick drums and Hetfield screaming at me, so who am I to judge. But sweet baby hey zeus this one and especially Tank are noisy af. Dentist drill and jackhammers going on, both on computer speakers and earbuds.

    Then the song goes through its I Got a Boy moments, shifting gears to something more melodic, which is slightly better on the ears but still half grating.

    So, do I like the song? Honestly, I can’t imagine listening to it again.

    Eleven songwriters? Good god.

    Tank: fully made for the TikTok era. Really, the one minute long spoiler was already long enough, the full 3:30 song is just more of the same.

    Liked by 7 people

    • You nailed it. You’re assessment is a nutshell version of what I was going to write about at length but decided against; you’re welcome, Nick. This is a TikTok release. As such, it is a highly segmented, sloppily edited, barely cohesive cacophony of chaos; with compulsory product placement. Ergo, it is a meticulously prepared gift for the post-2000 borne. The portion of civilization that was raised with the internet as their teacher, mentor, and friend. An entire generation raised on 6/15/30 second video ads leading to content with ads served between paragraphs of pointless content created to serve ads; with ads in the margins.

      It is often said that a particular release may “worm” its way into your head, but the truth is that all recent content is already worm-like. Haphazardly segmented pieces all stitched together to provide multiple pieces of material in the smallest package possible. Decades ago, parents and conspiracy fanatics looked for devil lyrics hidden in albums played slower or backwards. Then there was the belief that subconscious messaging was being pumped into us with barely audible inclusions and/or nanosecond video stills. The truth is, none of that media trickery was necessary. We just needed to wait for the internet to become a thing, then raise our children on it; the rest would take care of itself.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Me too I was excited because of the hype but this song is just weird a total mess I don’t think I’ll ever hear it again and the video well it’s stolen material from so many especially ATEEZ so don’t wanna see that either lol

      Like

  2. the mv began with a disclaimer “this video continues paid promotion” then in verse 1 you get the “pop corn and zero coke” line as they open coke cans in front of a coke machine.

    only a good song can redeem that, which is not present here.

    as the kids say jyp “misunderstood the assignment”

    there are really cool moments, but there just isn’t a song here to keep it afloat.
    also is it just me or did no members really stand out here individually? I feel like I’d only have a sense of who is who if I’d paid attention to debut (versus Twice/ITZY debuts, which are chock full of each member’s ‘personality’ )

    Liked by 8 people

    • CHUNG HA’s “Be Yourself” has popped up a couple times recently on my funky dance playlist, and in spite of the fact that it *literally* includes the sound of a can being opened and a soda being poured, I will maintain that it is still a bop. This… is not a bop, just a really puzzling choice from JYPE.

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      • Oh yes. I don’t mind a soda reference or even blatant paid promotions in music. For instance, the Soyou/Izone Pepsi “Zero:attidue” track that came out last year was kinda my jam. But that was so overt, it wasn’t attempting to be anything else but catch and in ad. so it was a good jingle.

        I just don’t like the idea of a group having a product placement in the first 45 seconds of their debut, but guess I’m just a little out of touch with what JYP is thinking….

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  3. Separate parts are not that bad. I really liked the middle bright pop rock part, but there is no proper transition so it feels more like separate songs, and I don’t like the sing – shout segments, so jarring to the ear.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. This song is lacking something that is almost criminal: a lack of any catchy melodies. After listening to this song I can’t seem to remember anything about it other than how messy it was. I’ve had my fare share of dislike for the SM song Frankenstein’s monster songs but at least the parts that make up the whole are great. Their b-side “Tank” may also prove decisive but at least that song is stuck in my head.

    And oh god the lyrics…product placement? Is nothing sacred anymore? I realize this is pop music and thus intrinsically capitalistic but this feels like a step too far for a song that isn’t ad placement. And a debut at that!

    I guess what I’m saying is that “Zero: Attitude” remains undefeated as the ultimate soft drink track. A “Pop” song, if you will

    Liked by 5 people

    • That line took eleven songwriters to craft. Yes, a tear to my eyes.

      Eyes that last I saw in tears
      Through division
      Here in death’s dream kingdom
      The golden vision reappears
      I see the eyes but not the tears
      This is my affliction

      This is my affliction
      Eyes I shall not see again
      Eyes of decision
      Eyes I shall not see unless
      At the door of death’s other kingdom
      Where, as in this,
      The eyes outlast a little while
      A little while outlast the tears
      And hold us in derision.

      -TS Eliot

      Liked by 5 people

  5. I feel like the best thing about this debut is that they can really only go up from here lol. Start at rock bottom then hopefully make better music and be the opposite of the trajectory of other JYP groups

    Liked by 8 people

  6. There’s not much I can say about this one lol…I was thinking that JYP wanted to try something “experimental” as I feel NMIXX is their answer to aespa but yikes

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I really liked the intro part but everything after that….. a fever dream 😂 They actually have really nice vocals – the kind I enjoy but the song itself did nothing. But on the other side there is the brainwashing FREAKY FISHY FISHY 🎏 and I absolutely love it 😂😂 I mean Tank has everything about it that would make it a song I would hate but it’s so shamelessly fun. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yes! I feel if the song had stuck to this 3RACHA slightly SKZ sound it could have worked… The girls really could have carried that mood! It’s a shame that intro didn’t even come back again because that was what hyped me in the first place lol.

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        • I gotta say though… I listened to this again in Studio Choom now and without the MV it actually seems “better”? 💀 I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing that I think this is not as bad as I initially thought… I don’t consider myself as the kind that gets brainwashed by experimental music because I don’t really like Next Level and I still don’t… but my feelings for O.O are a bit more complicated? I’m slightly terrified thinking if this will grow on me 💀😂😂

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  8. I think this is accidental deconstructionism: “Here’s us, JYP, demonstrating why your other favorite group with pretentious songs LOONA is also bad by cranking everything up to 11 including the number of song writers, literally”

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Uhm I don’t know what I just listened to but I’m glad it was short. This “song” is a cacophony of noises. I could find some melodies here and there that I would have liked the song to choose but apparently new means shit now. What a moment Itzy’s Dalla Dalla was and what a throwaway moment Nmixx has been given….

    Liked by 2 people

  10. The problem is that this just feels like a cash-in on Next Level’s success, albeit a far, far, far inferior one.

    The reason Next Level worked from the first second, at least for me, is because of that bass loop, which kind of gave the song some melody we can hold on to, even if the topline itself hardly had any melody, and the song’s sudden shifts gave it incredible replay value. But this one, the only thing I remember about it after 3 listens are popcorn and coke zero, which I don’t think is particularly good for the song.

    The middle part had so much potential. The parts bookending either sides are just straight up bad, and get a big fat zero from me, and the middle, actually good part gets a nine, but that part’s so small you can’t properly see it. (I thought about this pun way too long)

    This one, is it just me or do you feel like in some parts the girls seem to be singing in a way higher pitch than they seem to be comfortable with?

    Others have pointed this out, but what are those lyrics? I have never read such incredible lyrics in my life.

    In other words, not the best debut.

    Liked by 7 people

  11. I guess we now know why JYP put their album up for presale as a blind album before knowing the group’s sound or concept….

    Here’s to hoping they decide to make a full version of the middle song someday lol.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. i like it. it’s everywhere and it took me about 5 listens to like it but it not that bad. i like the y2k middle part rock guitar segment and the very end of the song id pretty cool lol

    Like

  13. This might just be some of the worst mixing I have ever heard in Kpop. I am genuinely struggling to hear the girls during the pre-chorus. The rest of the song isn’t much better in that regard.

    There’s even some cool textures here and there, but this is just too incompetent on a technical level for me to able to appreciate that. The rap is so lacking in charisma.

    At least Tank is silly and fun. Putting it first in the track list really makes O.O look bad in comparison.

    Liked by 8 people

  14. I definitely wouldn’t mind having more “Frankenstein” songs in the world. IGAB still feels so fresh today almost ten years later. When it comes to “O.O”, song were switched to was actually a lot better than the one we started with. I wish we had more time with it. I haven’t seen the lyrics but I caught some cringe ones on my first listen. If you’re gonna do a song like this you don’t necessarily need a lyrical reason (I think that would make it even more effective) but each section should keep me in it and not make me miss the rest of the song. That’s what the ending of ‘O.O'(what an obnoxious title really) messed up, I still wanted the middle of the cookie cause the edges are burnt.

    Video was great, but that isn’t a shocker. It’s hard to find a bad music video in kpop nowadays. And personally, I don’t really think they need as much focus as they do.

    And my biggest issue with this song is the group itself. Pretty girls, but vocally…. What is there to love? In neither skill or tone did any of the members stand out. I wasn’t feeling them at all. I know that’s not completely on them but I should be interested in hearing more from them. It’s the same issue I had with itzy and twice when they first started (and I’m not invested in those groups much at all). I want some great vocalists from a JYP girl group for once.

    Liked by 2 people

      • I said what I said. No hate to the girls I know they work really hard, but they’re just another example of why I can’t get into JYP girl groups. Maybe a different song can showcase them….while also being a better song

        Like

  15. Okay, so this song is a mess. However, maybe it was everyone hyping this up as the second coming of Eternity’s I’m Real, I actually like this better than expected. While the chorus is an utter mess, I enjoy all of the weird turns in the verses. I do have to cut some points for the mess that is the lyrics and the disastrous “Balla balla” hook. I expect this to grow on me. I’d give it a mid-7 maybe.

    (It is weird when the comments section actually criticize a song, and rarer still when I don’t absolutely hate the said track)

    Liked by 5 people

  16. Honestly I liked it the first time I saw the MV this morning. Just now I’ve given the other tune “Tank” a listen, and quite like that one as well.

    Like

  17. Nick is spot on here, this rubbish song has been over focus-grouped and farmed out to so many songwriters that it got lost somewhere along the way and died of exhaustion. They topped it all off with a cynical Paid Promotion MV and I can’t help but feel this is a harbinger of the future of K-Pop. This is where it’s heading folks – instead of groups and songs which cater to niche audiences, now we are getting acts which cater to the lowest common denominator and maximize the shareholder’s return on investment. As a longtime fan of K-Pop I am deeply disturbed by this development.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I get what you’re saying about the songwriting camps but I don’t know how you can argue that a song this brash and offensive is meant to target a lowest common denominator when said audience does NOT like music that sounds like this as evidenced by the widely negative reaction from like ALL corners of everywhere. Kpop has never really targeted niche audiences anyway, save for some smaller companies and groups. The industry is incredibly corporate and sanitized by design but now it’s only an issue when the music is bad it seems?

      Liked by 3 people

      • McDonalds is a good example of a business that targets the lowest common denominator. The food sucks, but it’s still widely popular. You’ll never find gourmet food enthusiasts clamoring for the latest Happy Meal.

        K-Pop fans typically prefer a certain niche subset of K-pop. For example I love Red Velvet and TWICE and Stella Jang, but I am really not into Dreamcatcher or BTS or Hyuna at all. O.O is the Royale w/Cheese of K-Pop – purpose designed to appeal to the widest market segment as possible, but still foul and inedible to many.

        I can’t really blame the songwriters here. Songwriters are the cattle that make the meat in the K-pop burger. They’re just doing their job.

        Like

  18. chingoos lets get nick’s debut to 99999999999999999999999999999 views and get him his first win, come on [insert fandom name here], we can do it 🥰😇

    Liked by 7 people

  19. Wow this is so incredibly messy. I think debut songs should hold your hand a bit musically so you can meet each member through their section, but I cannot tell you anything about who is who and what they sound like. The girl crush posturing feels completely unearned, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Can someone please tell me what the lyrics mean? What I uttered after listening twice (1st time for the song, 2nd time withthe lyrics) was: “This is just noise…” lmao.

    Like

  21. The mixing is horrid and the chorus is lame and the middle rock part is waay better and the end was messy as well as that hook less prechorus was equally bad.

    Freaky fishy fishy is atleast rememberable.

    Like

    • I’m continually impressed with the talent of these youtube remixers. It’s definitely more palatable, isn’t it? But if anything, this mix only highlights the shortcomings of the original song’s melodies. There’s just not much to work with, here.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Not trying to be mean, but what is this song?!

    Also. The girls seem to *lack* passion for performing. Zero charisma. Where are the dancing and singing skills? Le sigh. So what’s the point of debuting? For that, I can only ‘blame’ JYP.

    Wouldn’t it be better for these young girls to be studious and have ambitions other than being mere popstars… ?

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  23. People calling this “the worst kpop song of all time” or even “the worst debut in recent memory” are being dramatic and haven’t noticed the slow uptick in chanting/noise/girl crush comebacks that’s been occurring for a while now.

    Did Itzy really debut that long ago…? I’m all for debut over dungeoning trainees, but they’re all really young, and it’s only been 3 years since Dalla Dalla. (Not to mention that if they were really desperate to get this song here it would have suited Itzy’s concept fine, albeit with more obvious product placement.)

    Like

  24. I’ve never understood the rating system on this site. Great in-depth reviews but the scores don’t match the description. Just realised I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything ranked below a 7? Even when the song is clearly not liked, it’s still ‘good’?
    I appreciate avoiding the negativity to which K-pop fans are so prone but it seems a bit odd.

    Like

    • There are definitely a few sub-7s, including one of my top ten songs of last year (Bobby’s U Mad), which got a 4 and a pretty hilarious reaming. Nick said on Twitter that scores are like (US) letter grades, so a 7 would be a C-, which is… not great. But I agree that the ratings key should be updated.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ask and you shall receive! The graphic is a little more cluttered than I’d like, but the sidebar key has finally been updated and connects with the FAQ page for further information 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    • This question is asked often 🙂

      Hopefully the tweet below will help. Yeah, 90% of my ratings tend to fall between 7-9. Hopefully the reviews themselves add more nuance. I probably should take advantage of my full scale more often, but I guess I don’t tend to hate songs. I’m more likely to fall in the middle. With that said, a new ratings scale image is probably past due!

      Like

      • Wow, thanks guys. That was much more of a response than I was anticipating.

        Honestly, I’d just gotten used to it and assumed that a 7 was around a C and a 9 was an A. Which is a small scale but it’s not like it matters. I think the reviews convey your actual feelings well enough!

        Like

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