NATURE who? Uh, get into it!
Korean-pop group NATURE made their debut in 2018, and they have yet to make any dent into the K-pop industry as a one-year-old group. That being said, NATURE looks to have pulled a trick up their sleeve with the addition of new member Sohee, who people might actually recognize to be Produce 101 alum Kim So Hee, who was in project groups C.I.V.A, I.B.I, and Girls Next Door. Here, the light is on Sohee to bring NATURE to better recognition, but are we bound for NATURE WORLD, CODE A, or are we headed off in the opposite direction?
OOPSIE (My Bad)
If you thought your head was going crazy trying to justify whether ‘Zimzalabim’ was just an elaborate measure in making you like anything off any beat or simply just Red Velvet’s music team thinking mashing noises, beats, and vocals all over the place was sure to deliver the catchiness, then you have to meet “OOPSIE (My Bad)” on NATURE’s end. Perhaps the WORST song ever made.
And perhaps the BEST anything NATURE has ever done. Their prior lull efforts do not compare to how insanely bad and good this song is. Like the love-child of all of ITZY’s music together, this is just so bad bad bad. And yet, you’re left wondering what happened in the last 3-and-a-half minutes that you then play it again without hesitation. All of a sudden, it CATCHES. Then, you’re left pondering how the hell you got into this and trying to encourage everyone to somehow get on this distorted, loud, horn-y, synthy banger. Truly an OOPSIE, but man, is this song ever awesome and awful all at once.
Finally back to coherent, consistent music, the first B-side on the album is “Bing Bing“, a city-pop-ish synthpop track. One of my favorites (and probably my most) on the mini, it has the same sort of feel as ‘Same Same’ from MOMOLAND, where there’s just good vibes all throughout, and the eighties-like vibe of its sound make for a sugary-sweet nostalgic treat. With distorted whistling looped throughout, pressed on by an electro-swing, “Bing Bing” is a whirling wind of excitement as it builds into its groovy chorus, and one that makes me want to keep listening.
Introduced by distorted synth guitars and snaps, “What’s Up” feels like your average Top 40 anthemic banger, with its formulaic beginning and overall melody. That being said, this song is also a somewhat-soothing and positive electronic track that feels like it belongs during the summer. It’s a rather catchy track, and on top of the synth guitars are acoustic guitars that give this song a feel-good vibe. Aside from all this, it’s nothing really special and feels a little basic, but I might find myself listening to this every now and then. It might get my mood up.
I have no idea how to approach this song. “Drinkin’” is a dance jam, nearly reminiscent of the tracks you could hear on the Top 40 station. Here’s the problem it shares with ‘OOPSIE (My Bad)’… it’s incredibly all over the place. The only difference is that it’s, and dare I say, not coherent with each other. Each part of the song feels like it is simply stitched together, making this feel like a brassy song, a reggae tune, and a trap track with no real blend. I mean, there’s real one success here, and it’s that they portray drinkin’ so well… this song’s haphazard disjoints leave this lying on the floor, all over the floor.
해 달 별 (My Sun, My Moon, My Star)
Hae Dal Byeol (My Sun, My Moon, My Star)
Sun, Moon, Star (My Sun, My Moon, My Star)
To end off the mini is a ballad track, which is the norm for most K-pop acts. “Hae Dal Byeol (My Sun, My Moon, My Star)” has a slight nostalgic feel to it, having a 90s-synth-like feel in the beginning before moving onward into a powerhouse chorus which blends the overall synth melody with a symphony to give the track beauty. It’s actually not a terrible listen, even with my interest in ballads being slim to none. It’s a nice little end to the album, and one I may even find myself listening to more often. I do enjoy its throwback vibe, feeling like I’m staring at the sun, moon, and stars in the 90s.
Maybe the addition of Sohee might be NATURE’s saving grace, but in terms of the material itself, there might not be much in terms of further outreach. This mini-album isn’t all bad, but it isn’t particularly amazing, either. It has its moments, and then it flips it upside down with other tracks. Its title track is something that leaves much to be desired, but man, is it ever catchy… I’m hoping that more people might get into NATURE, even if this isn’t mini isn’t all its set out to be; it’s the least they deserve having been outshadowed by a lot of other rookie groups in 2018.
I will say, I’m good with this being my first foray into NATURE WORLD; I can’t wait to see what they have next for CODE B.
MUST-LISTEN: Bing Bing, OOPSIE (My Bad)