When NMIXX debuted with the big, brash and incredibly fractured O.O, many including myself were left completely dumbfounded. It was the definition of a Frankenstein song, bringing together a number of completely disparate elements into a single that felt like putting your brain into a blender. But time has been incredibly kind to that track, transforming it from a complete mess into one of the years most fun moments and a personal 2022 highlight. New single DICE goes for an even more chaotic approach compared to its predecessor and despite harbouring some genuinely interesting production quirks, still feels like a complete mess.
To be completely honest, I don’t actually hate this song as much as I initially thought I would. I’ve been trying to write this review since the day Dice was released but every time I heard the song, my opinion on the song would change. Sometimes I would absolutely loathe the track and other times I would be genuinely enamoured with it. The jazzy opening few seconds are quite fun and though the first verse does collapse into the kind of noise music soundscape that’s been ever present over the past few years, there’s a surprising amount of charm that the girls pull out from it. The second verse breakdown is also a surprising highlight, one which I hated on first listen but has only become more appealing the more listens I’ve logged. It doesn’t hold a candle to O.O‘s standout guitar driven second verse but its very SM-esque production does impress. The climactic dance break also is an interesting touch, bringing a carnivalesque sound that the concept points towards but never quite matches musically.
Which stands as the primary reason why Dice really never sticks the landing. It’s a jarring cacophony that though interesting comes together to form a less than satisfying whole. There isn’t a real through line to follow, resulting in a track that feels even more disjointed at times from its predecessor yet never quite as exciting. The “MIXXPOP” genre that the girls are being forced to peddle does have potential but one that feels squandered in a production as chaotic yet aimless as this. The chorus goes from initially dynamic to cloying as a result of the uncomfortably high pitch the vocals have been set to. It’s an uncomfortable soundscape that makes repeated listens more chore than delight, something which is becoming more and more of a reoccurring issue. It’s not as bad as many people consider it to be but is a far cry from debut effort O.O and even further from the sheer strength that their peers are displaying. I really hope that these immensely talented girls get singles that make better use of their talents than what we have here.
Final Rating: 6.5 / 10