Song Review: NewJeans – Hurt

NewJeans - HurtAfter a brief respite, NewJeans’ pre-debut resumes in earnest with another new song and video. Judging from its title alone, I imaged Hurt to be a slower, more emotional track. Me being me, I was hoping they’d flip expectations and deliver a huge dance banger. But in the end, Hurt feels like a minor interlude within the larger storyline of this ambitious debut.

The ladies of NewJeans can clearly sing, and the spotlight on their vocals has been much appreciated so far. I prefer my vocal spotlights to be as dynamic as possible, but NewJeans seem to have a hazier, moodier aesthetic in mind. Hurt fits right within that wheelhouse, offering a subdued energy. The clipped vocal percussion is a neat touch and gives the straightforward instrumental needed texture. I appreciate how relaxed NewJeans’ beats have been, opting for a consistent groove rather than the frenetic pick-and-mix approach favored by so many of their K-pop peers. Hurt’s production might be simple, but it weaves together several satisfying elements. The funky synth that emerges during the second verse is a clear winner.

But for me, there’s only so high a song of this style can fly. The group channels Hurt’s gentle sound very well, but the melody is too repetitive and one-note to fully draw me in. It feels like connective tissue between bigger moments on the album, which will probably be the case once we hear the entire EP. I’ll enjoy it for its texture, tone and groove, but I look forward to upcoming title track Cookie bringing more impact and innovation.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7


8 thoughts on “Song Review: NewJeans – Hurt

  1. They are 3/3 for me. This is a ballad done right, the vocals, the simple mv, the vibe. Everything is done right here. An easy 9/10. I am blow away so far with every song they have released.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I think this is very slick and well above the bar of most slow to mid-tempo burners. If anything this track is the most Westernin terms of affectation and arrangement. I like it but I do like how the other two tracks had a few more novel production ideas thrown in there.

    I think it’s important that in their press-release/review they wrote that NewJean’s music is a “sophisticated brand of pop—easy listening anywhere, anytime—” (side note I would love to hear a Scritti Pollitti or Prefab Sprout influence on a retro k-pop track lol, speaking of sophisti-pop)
    I don’t know how “intense” or “exciting” it’s really going to get with Newjeans. Although Cookie lists a jersey club influence. I imagine that even when the beats get faster the vocals will remain airy. But we’ll see! these debut promotion have had plenty of surprises so far!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The style is one that I also don’t gravitate towards but for some reason this song works for me. Newjeans have shown us their talent and given us a good idea of the sound they’re pursuing.

    I remember reading Nick’s reviews of the short-lived mixx. Saying he saw them setting themselves up to be a uniquely subdued group. I can see newjeans being that and I don’t mind, I really enjoy their tracks

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Isn’t this just western pop?

    Song’s decent enough, like the other two, but this feels like another wpop song for international teenage girls.

    Servicable, but that’s about it.


  5. Too mellow but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Its downfall for me is that there is no dynamic in this song. The whole way through, it’s riding the same wavelength and honestly, kind of boring

    Liked by 1 person

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