Along with BtoB and A-JAX, Pledis Entertainment’s NU’EST were one of the most highly-hyped boy bands to debut last year. But despite all the buzz, all three failed to make much of an impact on the charts, while B.A.P and EXO-K went on to become the two biggest rookie boy bands of 2012. It’s not hard to see why NU’EST didn’t take off. They’ve got the looks and the moves, but their music was utterly indistinguishable dance-pop, and in a market as overcrowded as the K-pop one, individuality is imperative to success for new artists. After a short break, the boys are back with their second mini-album, Hello, and a new sound that Pledis is obviously hoping will pay off so NU’EST don’t turn into the next Gangkiz.
Title track and lead single, “Hello,” is midtempo acoustic ballad that’s miles ahead of the group’s previous efforts. While this sound isn’t exactly original in K-pop, it’s more refreshing to hear a nice, relatively innocuous acoustic cut than the kind of generic dance-pop ditties that Korean boy bands are always churning out.
Lyrically, NU’EST are moaning about their girlfriend not answering her phone, which leads them to search the streets for her even though they know she’s stepping out behind their backs. Clingy, much? Most grown women would feed smothered after just one spin of “Hello,” but the NU’EST fangirls will undoubtedly think that their oppas extreme efforts to keep tabs on their girlfriends is romantic and aww-worthy.
Note to NU’EST: calling your old lady up every five seconds to know where she is will only make her resent you, which will in turn lead to infidelity. Next time, give a chick some space.