The final title track off NewJeans‘ Get Up album, “ETA” utilizes a similar formula to the other tracks that preceded it, focusing on club beats and a couple of repetitive elements that make or break the song. As a concept it’s basically an iPhone ad*, and it sorta does feel like one at times, jingle and all — aside from the moral of “you should murder your cheating boyfriend and throw him off the cliff”.
*”Can you believe this was shot on an iPhone?!” Yes, yes I can. Very much so.
Either way, the musical idea here is about the same as it was in their previous title tracks (“Super Shy”, “Cool With You”), though “ETA” does fare better from a baseline standpoint because it’s a bouncier effort and I’ve eventually been brainwashed (hi Hojo) into respecting the horns that at the bare minimum provide something unique and at their best create a perfect setting for an uplifting party soundscape — if you find them grating, which wouldn’t be unreasonable, then this will be a difficult one for you. The welcoming vocals by the quintet are done as most of their songs are, with a rhythmic and soothing delivery that just makes it an easy listen, if not a relatively anonymous performance.
Aside from the signature percussion, their success still depends on how well the melodies and/or hooks connect, and the “what’s your ETA” repetition followed by “mmh-hmms” are easily memorable and relatively addictive. While I still dream of them delivering a bridge or something with more build to it (DJs can just cut it before that, I promise), “ETA” is just a lot more fun and danceable than the rest of the album, and it’s the song that carries its momentum throughout its short run time the best, which also helps its replayability and makes it sound less like background music.
Mostly though, I’m curious as to how this ages, both because of what will surely be a polarizing brass loop and because it’s inherently a trendy jingle while not possessing the timeless pop refrains of their best efforts of the past. But that’s to decide later, as either way, right now “ETA” is my favorite track off the Get Up album and helps manage to maintain NewJeans’ status as one of the premier girl groups of their generation.