Nu’est could not be more of a Cinderella story. They are experiencing something very few groups get, and that is a second chance. This time last year, Nu’est released “Love Paint” and it barely made a blip on any chart. Another in a long line of unsuccessful comebacks. Their fortunes were forever changed when four of the members were set to appear on Produce 101, Season 2. Fans of the group were shocked that a group with over 5 years experience was made to suffer the humiliation of appearing with trainees, but the members took it in stride. They knew that this was their last chance. Slowly, the viewers fell in love with them, and even though Jonghyun was considered a shoo-in for Wanna One, it was Minhyun that eventually received enough votes to be successful. At that point, it was clear that any comeback that Nu’est did after this show would be successful. Let’s check it out below.
|Lyrics & Music||6||Performance/Choreography||8|
|Lisa’s Opinion||7||Lisa’s Opinion||7|
Where You At
This is Nu’estW’s first comeback without their lead vocal, Minhyun (currently promoting with Wanna One), and initially I was curious to see how this song would sound without him being there to pull it all together. Jonghyun’s slow rap came as a surprise, as he is the one to open the song. This blends wonderfully into Ren’s voice. The song is without a solid chorus, as so many songs this year, wherein the instrumental is used for the heavy lifting of what is the chorus. The song has a number of different musical sections, with very different vibes. However it is tied together overall by the urgency of the lyrics and the pull of the hypnotic beat. Jonghyun’s rap could sit better in the overall flow of the song. The background music for his section does not change in tempo at all, and it is only his lyrics that change the pace. Given how evenly paced the rest of the song is, this part sticks out.
The lyrics themselves focus on missing someone. It is not clear from the lyrics whether they are referring to the end of a relationship and that they want to make up, and possibly get back together, or if they are speaking about the metaphorical space that can grow between two people after an extended period of time. What is clear from the lyrics is the sense of loss and confusion that the members feel about their current situation. They insist that their heart feels nothing, but if they cannot forget this person, they want to remember absolutely everything. They sing about going around in circles, and feeling hopeless without this person.
The video is shown in two distinct sections. The first being the individual solo shots, wherein each member is shown in isolation. Each of the shots are beautiful and each of the scenes attempt to portray the loneliness felt by the partner’s absence. Jonghyun’s deep purple solo section is of particular note. The lighting does a phenomenal job of showing how the depth of the lyrics are reflected within this section. Each of the members are also shown, sometimes briefly, in various different bedrooms, again focussing on the lack of presence of the partner in question.
The second section to this video is the choreography section. Fans of Kpop will recognise the background in this section from their “Not Today” music video. It is certainly a beautiful landscape, and it’s easy to see why it was chosen for this MV. It has a certain alien landscape look to it, and as the background cliffs are so tall, it gives a sense of dominance to the scene. It makes the members in this case, seem much smaller, and slightly more desperate, as if the land itself is hiding their partner.
This song represents a new lifeline for Nu’est. They spent 5 years battling to make a name for themselves, and it was just not to be. This song is the product of all they have been through and watching them take their first win was a little emotional, as a long time LOVE (their fandom). The song itself has some excellent points that return to, time and time again, such as Baekho’s vocals and Aron’s bridge. They have a specific earworm quality that stays stuck in my head. This is a different song style than I am used to with Nu’est, and the lack of Minhyun can really be heard in the vocals. However, this is a song that is close to my heart, even if it didn’t blow me away.
If you want to hear more Nu’est, I would highly recommend “Love Paint”, their incredible debut “Face”, and “Daybreak”.