NMIXX – ‘Expérgo’ review: K-pop vocal powerhouses finally tap their potential

Could their new album bridge the gap between their polarising “MIXX POP” sound and potential new listeners?

In Latin, expérgo means to wake up. And in this release, it looks like the producers of NMIXX have finally opened their eyes to make full use of the girl group’s greatest strength: their unique singing skills. This is most notable on the title track ‘Love Me Like This’, where the girl group trades the high-octane belting of their previous singles for more complex harmonies, serving up a brand of sophisticated bombast that strays far from the likes of Little Does not happen. Initial Ingredients of Mix.

“Show me your way / Attraction kicks in at a certain point / Connect the dots, oh baby,” Sulliune sings on the pre-chorus, the fullness of her voice as the more striking vocals of bandmates Lily and Bey give it an extra kick. NMIXX boasts some of the most distinctive vocals in fourth generation K-pop, and it’s great to finally hear them working together on ‘Love Me Like This’.

A mix of soulful R&B vocals and energetic dance-pop, it is the group’s most cohesive title track to date, although the repetitive hook – “Love me like this, love me like this / Love me like this, and I love you right away” – falls short of the expectations set by the lead-up. Nevertheless, powerful ad-libs punctuate the chorus, giving some life to its bare-bones simplicity.

The pre-release track ‘Young, Dumb, Stupid’ hews closer to NMIXX’s previous examples, interpolating the nursery rhyme ‘Brother John’. While it’s not unusual for K-pop acts to occasionally include nursery rhymes in their music (Hyuna’s ‘Red’ is an exceptional example), this one feels like the group has bitten off more than it took. They can munch along with this one and make a tune somehow. To establish a more childish sound.

‘Young, Dumb, Stupid’ has its strengths, but most of them get lost in the shadow of ‘Brother John’. Jivo and Kyujin’s playful rap verses burst with charisma, and the song’s electrifying bridge — which borrows from the Korean hibiscus flower poem (popularized internationally as ‘Red Light, Green Light’ by Squid Game) — is something great. seems to be at the pinnacle of the song, only to have the song unceremoniously fall back into the kiddie pool.

The confident but oddly empty electronic pop track ‘Just Did It’ mirrors ‘Love Me Like This’, aiming to be memorable with a repetitive, monotonous hook – only with far less impact. Meanwhile, the girl group set their sights on the future on the serviceable but pleasant closing track ‘HOME’, where they resolve to keep facing the world head on: “There’s no fixed answer / That’s how we do, MIXX!

Thankfully, the rest of “Expergo” fares much better, with “PAXXWORD” and “My Gosh” being the clear standouts. In the former, NMIXX announces his intention to approach a potential suitor, cheekily asking “What’s your password?” And afterwards, entering “hacker mode” to make the desired connection. There’s no shortage of surprising moments in any track, with the group showing off their vocal dexterity with ease.

NMIXX have clearly taken Jinni’s departure in stride, each of them naturally filling in any gaps left by the singer and rapper. Haewon, Lily, and Sullyoon have a smooth chemistry that forms the backbone of every track. Bey also features more prominently on this release, her deep, chic vocals making a mark on ‘Love Me Like This’ and ‘Packsword’. Meanwhile, rappers Jivu and Kyujin infuse each track with bursts of fresh, adventurous energy.

What it lacks in innovative make-up, ‘Expergo’ effectively showcases the core of NMIXX: its members. Now a year into their career, it makes sense that NMIXX would want to bridge the gap between fans of their distinctive “MIXX POP” sound and potential new listeners, making ‘Expergo’ a time in the right direction for the group But it will be a step.


  • Release date: March 20, 2023
  • Record label: JYP Entertainment

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