Review

Song Review: NewJeans – Attention

NewJeans - AttentionThe K-pop industry must finally be moving at rate so fast that I can’t keep up. I hadn’t even heard of NewJeans until today. This is even more surprising when you realize they’re debuting under a subsidiary of HYBE, our new overlords of K-pop. Between partnerships and audition shows and subsidiaries, the HYBE empire threatens to buckle under its own weight. Hopefully this won’t become a “quantity over quality” situation.

Anyway, NewJeans hale from the newly-established ADOR label. The group is made up of trainees discovered through 2019’s “Plus Global Audition” (another venture I’d never heard of). Following on the heels of May’s LE SSERAFIM debut, HYBE Labels is quickly making up for its lack of girl groups. Their challenge will be establishing a unique musical identity for each group, but judging by the laid-back debut (pre-debut?) single Attention, NewJeans’ potential is there. Having former SM creative director Min Heejin in their corner certainly helps.

There’s something to be said about emerging with a more subdued track. Hey, it worked for SHINee! Attention doesn’t burst right out of the gate, but its insistent beat keeps the song aloft. The production feels very mid-00’s pop/r&b and this straightforward nature is appreciated. There’s not too much of a song thrown over the top, but Attention does a nice job spotlighting the group’s vocals. NewJeans aren’t saddled with the overbearing vocal effects that plague many of HYBE’s male acts, and it’s a joy to hear their harmonized blend during Attention’s wisp of a hook. There’s an ease to the groove and delivery that should play well over time. Apparently, this is only the first music video in a series of releases leading up to NewJeans’ debut EP on August 8th. I’m eager to see what they deliver next!

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.5

29 thoughts on “Song Review: NewJeans – Attention

  1. I love it, this is what I was thinking SMent new gg would sound before they scrapped the idea and made AESPA. I was waiting for a noisy song but this is amazing.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. A SURPRISE KPOP DEBUT. I’ve been waiting on this group for a while and like I said back Lesserafim debuted…it feels kinda surreal they’re like actually here now. That being said I really enjoyed the song. As you it has a nice, laidback vibe with ever leaning to much into pastel coffee house territory.

    Looking at their debut schedule, they have another song relessing in a few days so I’m curious to see if that’ll sound more like this or a different direction.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. This is awesome! I had heard about the new HYBE Min Heejin gg, but it was all very under wraps. When this dropped today, I was thought I had missed some new info but I love that they’re coming right out the gate with great music.

    Musically this is kinda like what I thought IVE’s music would sound like based on their predebut. The beat is so cool and the vocal writing is on point. also the girls seem super talented and this is way more interesting than most recent releases.

    Super like. Easily a 9 for mine. The way the beat builds at the begin is really incredible. I love that “looking for attention” vocal stack. I like what HYBE is doing with these new gg’s.

    Not much to dislike here and this really builds the anticipation for me for what’s to come!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. This is flying so under the radar that it was buried on my youtube suggestions way way down the scroll. Maybe that is deliberate, soft opening style, instead of the huge bang debut from Les Serafim.

    The song is fine. Nice. Skews young, if only because the young ladies are so young – they look young, they sound young. I mean, imagine if someone like Lizzo or Pink were to perform this song. It would be a different song!

    For song topic, I am not a fan of the me me me style, and certainly not something who’s refrain is “You got me looking for attention” (searching?), but maybe the kids will dig this. And yes, a soft opening song which is about searching for attention is right on topic, but for me, its a pass. Or in other words, I am not in the target demographic.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Hooks: 9
    Production: 9
    Longevity: 9
    Bias: 8
    RATING: 11

    NOTE: Don’t try to argue my math. I went back over the arithmetic several times and the final total is always “11”. Of course, that may be because I have a hidden “I wub dis” rating of 20 which is probably skewing the result a wee bit higher so, THE NUMBERS DON’T LIE! Fight me!

    Liked by 7 people

  6. Very ballsy to introduce a group not with members nor concept but with music.

    In a good way this reminds me a lot of f(x), like the youthfulness of La Cha Ta mixed with the dreamy-soundscape of 4 Walls and that era.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. I’m interested! I like the concept so far and the song is nice too. The MV is like a teen version of SHINee’s View and they just give me f(x) vibes overall. You can really see Min Heejin’s hand in this with all her classic motifs and styling.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. One of the best pre-debut songs I’ve ever heard. The main thing I’m impressed about is the absence of this disgusting vocal processing which HYBE is infamously known for. I hope that the girls will continue their career in a right way. Rating is about right.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I am….intrigued. It’s a cool sound and the vocals are good! I am not a huge fan of spelling the A-T-T-E-N-T-I-O-N but they…have…my..attention….

    (I must be a good customer if I so easily fall for marketing gimmicks….)

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I had heard about this group, but I thought their debut was at least a couple months away. This didn’t blow my mind or anything, but it was actually really nice. I normally prefer more complex melodies in choruses, but I think the lack of offensively heavy autotune and the pleasant production throughout the song was just very refreshing. I’m kinda excited for what they have next.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Maybe it’s because the video seems to lean into a very realistic, everyday, modern teenage girl aesthetic (compared to other groups with girls who are probably the same age but presented in a much more stylised way), but I couldn’t help feeling uncomfortable watching this. It’s almost worse, like we can’t even pretend we’re sexualising adults, but instead are reminded that these are children playing with adulthood, catwalking and making bedroom eyes at the mirror (us, the Humbert Humberts) in heavy makeup.

    There was nothing over-the-top (looking at you floor-twerking Le Sserafim), but moments like 1:33-37 with the cake and sudden eye contact felt so voyeuristic. I kept thinking, there are adult (probably men) producing, directing, filming, editing this for profit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s litterally no sexualization in this video. They’re all children and they’re looking and acting like kids. Get your mind out of the gutter and stop thinking sexual things about kids.

      Like

    • I am feeling uncomfortable reading this comment…You are describing regular things that teenagers do is making you feel uncomfortable because of reasons that have nothing to do with the video but because of who may be watching it…there are shows for kids starring kids etc. etc. as well in the world…The gaze may be the problem here….

      Like

    • Well, any “a day in the life..” video is going to seem voyeuristic; that’s the point. As for that experience resulting in a “Oh, I shouldn’t be watching this.” feeling. I guess that depends on the viewer. As a member of a family with several females at, or near, the age of the girls in this video, my only assessment of the behavior in this video was, “Nailed it!”

      Liked by 1 person

    • For what it’s worth, I’m a straight woman. I also don’t know their ages, but I guess I was imagining that if I had a 14 or 15 year old daughter being filmed in the way that brief cake scene was shot, for example, I would feel uncomfortable. It’s not the things that they’re doing that’s the problem for me, but the way that it’s occasionally shot. That scene is literally positioning the viewer as a voyeur – the girl is not aware of us as she picks up the cake and takes a bite (all presented in a very intimate, sensual way), and then her sudden recognition of us makes it different from the other shots in the MV because the fourth wall is broken.

      I appreciate that others might have different reactions, and it certainly fits the concept of the song (teenage girls becoming aware of themselves as young adults and their ability to command attention, which is a normal and healthy thing that I remember well). Maybe I’m just a bit cynical of the industry.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Have to agree with CALLME on this one, especially for the Hype Boy MV.
        It feels somewhat wrong to watch kids go partying and hooking up. Almost looks like the Disney version of Larry Clark’s “Kids”.

        We all remember what it was like to be young, but what was normalized back then both looks and feels -off- when viewed through an adult lens. Been getting the same vibe from IVE’s mvs and I think it might be time to leave these videos to the younger generation.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Maybe it’s just me but I find this song extremely underwhelming. I guess I was expecting something like ‘Going Crazy’ by Treasure. With a title like ‘Attention’, I wish it commanded attention from the listener but this song has nothing that grabs my attention. The chorus isn’t bad I guess but other than that it’s meh. Mid 6 at the highest for me

    Liked by 1 person

  13. i almost forget about their debut because ADOR barely introduce us to these girls..
    the song is quite underwhelming for me, and for some reason that chorus just felt eerie and uncomfortable to hear.
    i dont know, 5/10 for now..

    Liked by 1 person

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