[Review] NMIXX hit their apex thanks to a groovy, fresh, and addicting “Roller Coaster” ride

NMIXX has had a … volatile start to their career thanks to JYP Entertainment trying to make MIXX Pop a thing. I actually don’t begrudge them for trying, as Big 4 groups with built-in fanbases are a good place to experiment, even if I did feel bad for the members since the music just wasn’t it. That said, they’ve calmed things down recently, as “Love Me Like This” was downright sane, but now they’ve really departed from their previous sound with something more mature in “Roller Coaster“, and this choice sees NMIXX hit their apex.

Credit to JYPE for not being stubborn here and basically scrapping everything to head in a new direction. They reap rewards with the club beats for the verses (NewJeans-esque) and mainly a house chorus that I can only describe as decade-old Sam Smith era Disclosure (here/here), which is a unique throwback to head toward as everybody looks for their own niche back in time. It’s an upbeat track that has some jazzy electro basslines to it that help differentiate it a bit from other K-pop in the genre, and NMIXX themselves deliver appropriately mellow and fresh vocals in the verses that complement the groovy instrumental.

Most importantly, the chorus is a two-parter and delivers a pair of earworm refrains, even if they might not immediately standout like some hook songs. Both “shooting star, roller coaster, ri ri ride” at the start and the ending of “going down, going up, with youuu” stood out on repeat listens* as things to look forward to and have a lot of replay value. Additionally, the song is one that takes full advantage of Lily, as her soulful voice is perfect for this soundscape, and she helps add that bit of extra oomph on it that other groups might not be able to do (especially the final run). There was a bit of the mellower side of f(x)‘s EDM in the track, which brought about a nice trip down memory lane there as well.

*The bait-and-switch after the first chorus of the two-line, 10-second verse before launching immediately back into the chorus was a great choice, as it cemented the effectiveness of the said chorus instead of letting it linger.

All of this leaves me excited to see where NMIXX go next, as before there was a sense of impending doom at how their talents would be utilized, now I’m genuinely curious as to what music they’ll be putting out and the direction they’ll be headed in next. “Roller Coaster” took me on a fun, fresh, and groovy journey that only makes me excited to listen again, and hopefully it’s only their first step of many more successes to follow.


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