Song Review: NewJeans – Cookie

NewJeans - CookieJust two weeks ago, no one knew who or what a “NewJeans” was, but thanks to a smart pre-debut blitz of music videos and the inarguable power of the HYBE empire, the group debuts with a massive number of album pre-orders and a million YouTube views. So much for slowly and steadily working your way to the top! When Attention first dropped, I was intrigued and eager to see how the group might build on its sound. But, I should have remembered: K-pop agencies always lead with their strongest material. Follow-up Hype Boy grew into another standout, but the slower Hurt didn’t do it for me. And now, we have… Cookie.

I like cookies. Who doesn’t? They’re delicious, portable and easy to make. “Cookie” has also become a euphemism that this group of minors is exploiting in a problematic way. That’s all I’ll say about that, but it deserves to be mentioned because K-pop agencies really need to get their shit together on this front.

As far as the song? It’s boring. Like, super, super dull. Gone are the featherlight harmonies and quirky beat of Attention. They’re replaced by generic production that melds plonky, future bass-inspired synths with trap percussion. The beat remains inert throughout the track, delivering a languid energy that lacks bounce until the bridge. Similarly, Cookie’s melody sees the group taking an indifferent approach to performance. I get that NewJeans’ music is branded as “sophisticated,” but I prefer feeling a little fire behind a vocal. NewJeans sound bored and detaching throughout most of the song. That’s an aesthetic choice on the part of the producers, and I’m sure it will work for many listeners. But, it feels so halfhearted. You’ve got to give me a reason to care, girls!

 Hooks 7
 Production 7
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.25


35 thoughts on “Song Review: NewJeans – Cookie

  1. Wtf is this?

    The girls’ pre-debut material was really, really solid, and Attention managed to become my personal standout. Now they’re debuting with this piece of shit.
    It’s a super generic trap-pop ditty, which reminds me of Ariana Grande’s most recent material. Worse yet, this one has almost no hook and instrumental, and instead of singing/rapping, we’re treated to a series of disinterested whispers, delivered in a lethargic way. 6.5 for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This one sounds like album filler material. You can just hear it in the instrumental which sounds like demo version never fleshed out or improved upon. It sounds like the girls recorded over a guide track, and they called it good.

    As for the lyrics, yeah, what the are those? They wouldn’t even be good for someone older like, say, Hyuna. It sounds like a guy in a basement wrote lyrics about fantasy scenarios for him and his OnlyFans account.

    Liked by 7 people

  3. I immediately went to Lip & Hip after listen to this song’s lyrics, that’s when I realized what I want from Kpop, LOL


    • The Attention mv already made me uncomfortable, so now I’m very concerned. I hope Hybe clear the air about Min Hee Jin and the use of pedophilic imagery.


  4. They took the cookie thing so far that you can’t help but remember that they’re minors. At least they weren’t forced to do anything inappropriate in the mv.

    Something I find interesting with hip hop dancing is that looking like you’re not trying so hard is supposed to make you swaggy and look cooler. I think that’s the vibe these types of songs go for. By being nonchalant they enhance the cool vibe. I don’t really think it works here though because the instrumental is also giving very “whatever” energy. There are some catchy lines though. Why was this the title track? best for TikTok? I think hype boy would’ve been the better choice. It even got better (and multiple) music videos.

    I still enjoy the group’s consistency and non-girl crush approach and I can see the appeal of each of their tracks. It’s so early in their career that I’m gonna try and have some faith in them


  5. Even IF one could sidestep the innuendo implied in the lyrics – because who just makes *one* cookie to give a crush and why is there no setting in this MV to even suggest a kitchen or bakery? – the song is clearly the second worst of the EP and the video seems like one you would release as a bonus for fans at the end of the promotional cycle because it’s so budgeted??

    I definitely need to understand why this was the main title chosen vs. Hype Boy IMO – Attention was a nice teaser and featured all the love interests in the HB series so making HB the title would have made more sense, especially with them making 4 different MV for it. This debut is FULL of choices and between NJ & LSF’s rocky debuts I don’t like how HYBE’s girls department(s) have not had the care and prioritizing of the members vs. the boy groups.


  6. the lyrics.. what the actual f**k
    “looking at my cookie, yeah, the scent alone will make you see.”
    “make a cookie, come take a lookie”
    i swear min hee jin you’re going to hell for glorifying pedophilia. F***k u.

    DONT EVEN COME FOR ME AND SAID ” you are just dirty minded.” NO. i wouldnt budge even a bit. these lyrics are filled with sexual innuendos.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hmmm…. Today was the first time listening to any of the tracks and wow, do I like Attention a lot! I kind of remember Hype Boy and liking it too. And then there were a couple of other songs? Album filler is a pretty good description. I hadn’t picked up on the lyrics at all, but oh yeah, that’s real gross.


  8. Whelp, I guess it’s harder to break in some NewJeans than you’d think. They succeeded in getting my ATTENTION with a fantastic first release. I was a bit of a HYPE BOY waiting for the second drop, but was let down. Their third drop really HURT because it was now apparent that the first release was a fluke. The fourth release dug the hole deeper so I guess that’s the way the COOKIE crumbles. Maybe leaving ADOR ajar will allow some fresh air in; or not.

    Liked by 8 people

  9. while everyone dislikes this track, I personally love it so much. lol. can’t really agree with the hate this song gets because I think this song is very fun, groovy (especially the little raps), and somehow very “gen z” if i might say. I’ve also noticed that New Jeans’ instrumental is kinda minimalistic and that’s a really a new breath of fresh air in kpop (i just can’t stand some noise music)


  10. hhahaha I really do like it. it’s very clean and simple and straightforward. I love detached vocals, they remind me of bands like Ivy, Stereolab, Broadcast, Ladytron,,, stuff like this


    I do find the problematic stuff problematic but I guess my nihilism manifests here enough that I can still enjoy the song. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    I do wonder what would happen if they had introduced the jersey club kick rhythm earlier and actually got it going. I did predict, in an earlier comment, that this song would be a pretty stripped laid-back, simple song with no power vocals.


  11. It has no soul or point of attraction, and on top of that with deeply disturbing lyrics for these girls to be singing, I don’t usually pay attention to rumors but suddenly they made me worry and I didn’t enjoy the MV for a second.
    Hype Boy is still my favorite on the album and I hope to just think about it and forget this song soon.


  12. I’m confused. When issues of sexualization of minors have been brought up in the past, people are like “sometimes a spade is just a spade” “you’re just dirty-minded” “well Red Velvet had to do x so this is nothing new.” And now everyone wants to get Min Heejin fired. Did she even write the lyrics? (No.) Did she direct the MV? (No again.) I guess you can blame her for giving a general stamp of artistic approval, but multiple people are complicit in this, and even more are complicit in contributing to a culture in which this sort of thing is normalized.

    Anyway, I don’t want to drag the comments further into outrage-land too much. Sorry, Nick. I’ll also say: the choice of this as a title track confuses me. The MV reminds me of one of those Studio Choom dance videos? It looks and sounds more like a b-side. I guess if “Attention” practically resembles a title track in every way, it can be treated as such, and there’s no more reason to be disappointed in this than in another group’s random filler b-side.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think anyone here thinks underage sexualization or objectification is a good thing; at least, I hope not. That said, if anyone (including myself) are trying to view a sketchy situation through a rosier lens, then it’s not because of indifference or tolerating the intolerable. This is a difficult time for society right now. While attention, action, and change were necessary for horrible circumstances such as #metoo, bullying, trafficking, and many other evils, those same crusades have borne angry mobs that are quick to throw stones and completely annihilate an individual just on a whisper of possible wrongdoing.

      Seven years ago, IU was embroiled in a scandal over her “Chat-shire” mini-album. Specifically, the song “Zeze” and one of the images on the cover of a five year old boy from the novel “My Sweet Orange Tree” (which was part of Korea’s sixth grade curriculum). The “nation’s sweetheart” was now at the center of a pedophilic scandal. Is there some unsavory backstory to the character “Zeze”? I don’t know. Do I think IU chose the release of her seventh mini-album as the vehicle to introduce the world to a hidden personal perversion? Not one single bit! …and yet, the internet being what it is, and all of the nihilistic trolls that fester under its bridges, latched onto this and started gathering horses for a good ole fashioned drawn and quartering.

      So while I’d like nothing more than for all of the evils and atrocities of the world to disappear into nothingness, I don’t want that road to be paved with the bodies of innocents. So I’m apprehensive, but not dismissive. I’m reasonable, but not implacable. We should all strive to make the world a better place, but lets not burn it down during the effort.

      That said, yes, there is an exceptionally excessive amount of triggers in every NewJeans video/song. “Cookie”, alone, is.. ..I mean, come on. Have you seen/listened to the video/lyrics? You’re right, there isn’t one individual at the center of it. The songwriters, choreo, stylists, the army of personnel in the wings, and every individual with a desk placard all the way up to the CEO of HYBE signed off on this, so.. ..yeah, the wide-spread embedded tick aspect of this societal stain is scary real.

      Does this need to be looked into/addressed? Well, there’s enough there to at least open that up. However, let’s not put on blindfolds and start playing whack-a-mole with a piñata stick at whatever moves. Once an angry mob becomes bent on dispatching its devastating wrath, the potential for innocents to be hit with the shrapnel increases proportionately. So.. ..ugh.. ..yeah, it’s a mess.


      • Yeah, I’m more on the side of “be cautious and don’t dogpile one person in trying to address the problem” than “attack every instance of objectification that comes up.” It just struck me as weird how strongly people have reacted to this particular group and against the director in comparison to other recent sexualized concepts/lyrics.


        • Other directors don’t have such a publicized history of consistently using the (underaged) youngest group members as their muses—she also had photos of Brooke Shields in Blue Lagoon, a Serge Gainsbourg CD (he’s the one who sang Lemon Incest with his 12 year old daughter), an underaged Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting from Romeo and Juliet, various photos of topless children and minors in suggestive poses, etc. At one point she didn’t tell Taemin his photoshoot would be shirtless until he got there, because she didn’t want him to work out and lose his boyish physique.

          It’s a very obvious pattern of behavior with her, which is why people are more strongly outraged, and the concerns are valid given that the youngest member of NewJeans just turned 14 and has already been given some of the most revealing outfits.


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