The debut of a Korean JYP girl group is always an exciting prospect. They’re a company that have yet to miss in this particular department, having both a killer current roster and incredibly star studded history. And usually the debut tracks that these acts are introduced with are equally as great as the groups themselves. Like just looking at the list and you’ve got a bonafide playlist of classics. So Hot, a fantastic old school jam. Bad Girl, Good Girl, one of K-pop’s all time greatest songs. Like Ooh-Ahh, one of the best sleeper hits of the mid 2010’s. And most recently, Dalla Dalla, arguably the most influential girl group track of the past few years and one of the biggest and most successful k-pop debuts in recent memory.
So this all sets the anticipation levels for the company’s latest girl group, Nmixx to almost astronomical levels. When. you’ve got such a high pedigree, especially in the debut department, to live up to, you really need to nail it. But unfortunately, O.O falls terribly short.
In the JYP chronology, the track follows the release of band Xdinary Heroes incredibly underwhelming Happy Death Day and continues the company’s surprisingly weak string of debuts. And while Happy Death Day suffered from a weak melody and undercooked production, O.O has no idea what it even wants to be. There’s so much disparity in this song that it’s hard to even consider it a song. It aims for the kind of bonkers, throw everything in the kitchen sink approach that groups like SNSD and Aespa perfected with tracks like I Got A Boy and Next Level / Savage respectively but fails to really have a strong anchor to hold down the fort, resulting in a disparate mess that doesn’t know what it wants to be.
And that’s primarily because the central hook and the majority of O.O follows the kind of loud, shouty structure that characterises some of the tiring and generic girl group comebacks of the past few years. To their credit though, the girls do their best to sell theses segments and while they can only do so much, it’s very evident that they are pretty charismatic performers who have a tonne of potential.
Something that’s on full display during the tracks surprisingly great second verse, which employs a looser, more rock influenced template to great effect. It feels youthful whilst still exuding the “cool” vibe the concept is undeniably going for, swaying and swerving in unexpectedly satisfying directions. I love this segment and had the rest of the track followed this shift, we could have been looking at a much stronger final product. But alas, O.O ends up as a case of missed potential and the first time I’m walking away from a JYP girl group debut completely disappointed.
** 21/04/22 Update: This song is straight up fire and at least an 8.5 for me rn. Stockholm syndrome? Maybe.
Final Rating: 6.5 / 10