Rookie group NMIXX are attempting to craft a new K-pop sub-genre with songs that mix various sounds and structures together. Imagine if K-pop’s highlight medleys turned into songs themselves and you have an inkling of their style. I admire anyone trying to push things forward, but NMIXX need to find some new collaborators immediately. This evocative structure only works if its individual pieces are compelling on their own.
I was pretty hard on debut track O.O earlier this year because… well, the song was kind of awful. But after experiencing it live at this year’s KCON, my thoughts have softened. As Frankenstein-esque as it may be, O.O has definitive highlights that carry it across the line. Its rock-fueled centerpiece is worth waiting for. New single Dice isn’t so lucky. It’s pretty unbearable from start to finish – a joyless excursion in posturing without purpose. There is no satisfying oasis to wait for. It’s just one hack job hook after another.
At the outset, Dice seems like it may take a novel direction. It offers a flurry of cinematic orchestral stabs, calling back to the opening credits of a vintage cinema. But, this quickly dissipates as the song’s rote sing-talk verses reveal themselves. It’s “girl crush” style, left on the counter a few days and reheated in a microwave. There’s nothing new here.
As expected, Dice takes numerous diversions from this point. Each road is an immediate dead end. We’ve got inartful pots-and-pans breakdowns, melodic moments pitched far out of the singers’ comfort zones and plenty of overexaggerated “let’s roll the dice!” catchphrasing. It feels more like branding than music, and it’s over too soon to make any impression beyond a brief headache. It’s worth remembering that this failed amalgam comes from the same agency that brought us debut-era tracks like Tell Me, Bad Girl, Good Girl, TT, and Dalla Dalla. With this perspective in mind, I honestly feel bad for NMIXX.