[Review] Cignature’s “Nun Nu Nan Na” seems inspired by Red Velvet at least

Last year, rookie group Good Day sat atop my list of new K-pop acts with the longest hiatuses, and their endless break turned out to be their death knell. But, like a phoenix from the ashes, the group has been reconfigured as Cignature, consisting of five of the former Good Day members plus two new faces. Their agency C9 is clearly in the business of “C” letter groups, as Cignature now joins CIX on their roster.

C9 also seems to be in the business of songs that The Bias List doesn’t like. Their A&R team must have different taste than I do. I’ve yet to find a CIX track that I enjoy, and the inanely-titled Nun Nu Nan Na (눈누난나) repelled me from the very first listen. To be fair, this loud, sing-talk brand of girl group K-pop is often my kryptonite. While others may find the infantilized, shouty performance charming, I find it a disservice to what I assume is a talented set of vocalists. Some groups can get away with this style in drips and drabs (I’m looking at you, ITZY), but it requires a killer song and exciting production to really spark.

Nun Nu Nan Na shows hints of potential, but it’s too relentlessly in-your-face to be palatable. The titular post-chorus hook is the most glaring example of this, but the entire track rides on a structure that favors sing-song talking over robust melody. The producers no doubt held Red Velvet’s quirky pop as inspiration, but that group’s more boisterous songs work because of a tight vocal blend and a genuine sense of experimentalism. Nun Nu Nan Na is just typical girl group fare wrapped in a bratty, abrasive arrangement. It’s not for me, but it wasn’t meant to be anyway.

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IATFB says: I can help on that front since I at least don’t mind abrasive shit (though mainly if they are guitars). I found the debut quite palatable, but they probably suffer a bit from the easy comp to Red Velvet due to the coming off as the budget version of one of their ‘Red’ songs, just a bit worse in every aspect. It was solid for a debut but I didn’t find myself craving more by the end.

That said, I’m also interested in what they do going forward if they continue the theme, as when these types of concepts click, they really work. Here’s hoping they find their mark sooner than later.

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