Interest | Art & Culture

Youthful Summer: Review of NewJeans' Get Up

Jumat, 28 Jul 2023 14:00 WIB
Youthful Summer: Review of NewJeans' Get Up
Foto: HYBE
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In the short span of a year into their career, NewJeans has established themselves as the freshest K-pop groups in recent memory—something that probably doesn't even need to be mentioned anymore. Breaking into the scene with no prior announcement or elaborate rollout, they managed to captivate listeners with their take on R&B and club-inspired tracks as opposed to maximalist electronic pop compositions of their contemporaries and predecessors. Since then, their influence in the Korean music scene is palpable. With only a handful of releases under their belts, it has been all hits and no misses so far—but what about their latest EP, Get Up?

Dropping a day before their one year anniversary, Get Up taps into the same kind of youthful emotions and sonic influences that are present in their discography so far—with more finesse with each passing release. Widely dubbed as the K-pop group for non-K-pop listeners, it would be easy to reduce the group as such, even if they're far more than that. At its core, NewJeans showcases how the genre could break away from its conventions without alienating the existing fanbase of said genre. The intimate lyrics, candid personalities, and lack of overly-polished theatrics also represent a facet of what K-pop could be.

With their meteoric rise to global prominence, NewJeans confidently addresses it in the album opener named after the group, "New Jeans"—"Look, it's a new me/Switched it up, who's this?/All eyes on us, NewJeans/So fresh, so clean". The track makes way for an Amen break in the drum 'n' bass-inflected "Super Shy", an upbeat track that contrasts its lyrics about a yet-unconfessed infatuation. While timid, the lyrics are never delivered with melancholy—it rather feels like building up courage to talk to said crush.

"ETA" then saw the group trying to talk a friend out of a toxic relationship, offering support to a friend in need, over Baltimore club-influenced production. The influence moves across the ocean with "Cool With You", a UK garage track with a sense of cool that doesn't betray its title. If there's anything baffling with the EP is that its titular track, "Get Up", is an interlude of only 36 seconds long. A delicate track sung in half-whispers, the airy minimal arrangement serves as a canvas to showcase each of NewJeans' members' vocal characteristics.

Get Up is closed by "ASAP", a track that's first released as a teaser for the EP. A dreamy song with an intoxicating repeat of "tik tok tik tok tik tok tik", it's a closer that demands equally repeated listening. In it, the group stated that, "There's this one more thing/I'll show you, come with me/So much to do and lots to see", seemingly talking to themselves as much as they are speaking to the listeners. With a creative output as solid as they have, what's ahead to see and listen to would indeed be intriguing.

Described by member Hanni as a representation of "NewJeans' summer", spanning a range of emotions and stories revolving around love, Get Up surely will continue to be played all summer and beyond. It's infectious, you'll hear them everywhere, yet you wouldn't mind.

[Gambas:Audio CXO]