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6. NU’EST

What’s this? Numero 6? But trust me this needs to be talked about. I’m a newer fan to K-Pop but NU’EST just snatched me up and went, “You’re our fan now”. And that really is the magic of k-pop and music in general; in one spontaneous swoop I’m instantly a fan–and NU’EST did exactly just that. Kind of like VIXX, I was sure at first that I wasn’t going to be a fan, but never say never. All it takes is that one song to hook you in, and boy did I become hooked. 

NU’EST is really special as an under-appreciated/underrated group that really fell out of radar. Short story: they debuted with a bang and somehow never picked up momentum like other groups that were debuting around the same time (like BTOB, VIXX, EXO, etc). Long story: check out this video. Understanding their story and struggle, makes me believe in them harder. They deserve better and their maximum potential needs to be reached so the world can fall back in love with these 5 talented dorks. I whole-heartedly wish for them to return to their original glory because they deserve it. They’ve shown versatility, perseverance, hard work, and most importantly talent. Bless them.

Bias: Baekho

First of all…just gonna leave this here…

Okay, now that I’ve revealed my thirsty ass, Baekho is a huge part of why I fell in love with Nu’est. The recipe for me to stan a group is as follows: (1) give me that one song that hooks me in and makes me start to listen to other songs, (2) find a song that immediately strikes me as the best thing ever, (3) find my bias. My first exposure to NU’EST was Face (rightfully so) but I wasn’t hooked. It wasn’t until I heard Overcome much later and I was just entranced. Let’s just say Baekho is hot af and is my kind of man. His smile and his laugh are to die for. Oh yeah, and his hair…gurl…one of the big factors of me liking a dude is their hair and his hair is not only the most distinguishing features of his look but also fucking awesome. But then his voice…dear lord…his voice is absolutely glorious…slays me every damn time. A tough guy exterior who’s ultimately seems like a teddy bear underneath, I’m sold. I hope he gets to sing as long as he can ‘cause I love his voice. Baekho is a lot of the man I wish I had in my life lol…

Bias Wrecker: Aron

Here comes to boyfriend type…

Out of the five, he seems like the one who gets the least attention, but hey, that means more Aron to myself ;) . He’s originally from LA and you gotta respect his choice to move to Korea to become the artist he now is and I love hearing him speak english especially when he helps introduces the group. He can rap, although JR is usually the one rapping, and he’s great. He can sing, I love his voice and I squeal and get a little excited whenever I get to hear him sing. He can dance, even though JR steals the spotlight when it comes to his crazy dancing and Ren slays when he does his girl group dancing. Finally, his visual is no joke even against the others how are also handsome af. What his visual appeal to me? Well he’s equal parts cute and sexy (I mean did you see his abs in the Good Bye Bye era…I died). He’s an all-around talented guy and his charm just comes for me and I can’t resist it… It’s a really fine line between my love for both of them because they’re both very much aligned with my kind of guy lol.

TOP 5 Songs:

1. Overcome

2016 was a fucking good year man. I have: Promise (I’ll Be) from 2PM, 1 of 1 and Tell Me What to Do from SHINee, The Eye from INFINITE, Dynamite and Fantasy from VIXX, Ribbon from B2ST/HIGHLIGHT, and now add to that list for me Overcome (and later on Love Paint and Look) from NU’EST. This is everything dammit. This is the song that made me fall in love with NU’EST and made me believe in them hard.

Each member’s voice is highlighted well and the variety among the voices works extremely well together: Baekho covering a strong and powerful lower sound, JR’s rapping covering a gruff lower sound as well, Aron and Ren offer two distinct voices that serve as bridge to Minhyun’s smooth and higher vocals. And let me tell you, I love both Baekho and Aron’s vocals in particular. The music it self switches between three tones: the intense sexy synth of the chorus, the light jazzy beats for the verse, and the softer mellow piano for the ending. This song flew under my radar, but I’m glad I found it because it is some guuud shit right here.

Now for the video/choreography/visuals: sexy af. Knights? Bitch yes. I have Princes for 2PM and now Knights for Nu’est, I’m freaking set. And boy does a knight fit Baekho well (I mean he can wield a sword too lol); I picture Aron more as a prince charming type (considering his outfit in the video), but hell a knight works too. But this hair on Baekho is everything and the subtle blue pushes it beyond perfection. Oh, and that coat on Baekho just….ugh he looks so fucking good. Ren looks fabulous as af with that hair; I personally don’t like androgynous looks, but after getting to know Ren, he pulls it off so well and whether or not he wants that hair (or whether or not you like it) he werks it and deserves major props because his visual is no joke. Minhyun is seducing you with that open shirt and blonde hair and then to top it all of his voice is angelic. JR looks handsome af especially with that greyish-silver hair. The body rolls in the choreography though, talk about icing on the cake. 

NU’EST gave us: sexy choreography, powerful vocals, smooth sound, perfect visuals. The only thing I can criticize is that the video could of been amped up a whole lot further. BUT, Overcome checks off everything I could want from a group. This is a strong comeback that didn’t get the recognition it deserved.

2. Hello?

A ballad? What? Yeah, I don’t really prefer ballad-y types of songs, but this is something special. A complete 180 from what they debuted with, but the composition and performance is just so memorable. What sold me is that move with the tie (what can I say, I like a well dressed man).

The song is very mellow but there’s something about it that just mesmerizing to me. While the style of NU’EST changed for this release, the formula was still there. The song itself is just composed beautifully, everything is smooth and there is enough variety to help keep us entranced and intrigued. Where Minhyun’s sweet voice is the foundation for the typical ballad sound, Baekho provides a contrast that helps add a layer to the vocals of the song. While I find Aron’s raps for the song cheesy, his singing parts make me smile. Ren’s voice especially in that bridge at the end is refreshing to listen too. JR’s rap provides an enormous contrast to the song but at the same time blends so well and I find it extremely pleasant to listen too. This song shows the versatility of NU’EST more than anything and while I prefer their more poppy and upbeat songs, this is a surprise favorite of mine.

3. Love Paint/Look (A Starlight Night)

2016 slayed. Year of Masterpieces. And what do you, NU’EST releases art with Love Paint. The song itself didn’t appeal to me instantly, however it won me over very quickly. Lemme just say that Baekho’s voice in Love Paint is heavenly and I couldn’t resist. The video is extremely aesthetic and nice, but I wish it showed off more of the choreography instead. Everything about this comeback seemed more relaxed especially with the visuals (Baekho’s hair is simply down but that purple though ;) ). Also JR’s rap is really nice with essentially two parts: first mellow and then becomes more fun and active.

Look (A Starlight Night) on the other hand instantly won me over. It feels very jazzy and there a subtle retro vibe going on that’s really nice. While the video is just a simple choreography video, you get to see some nice footwork from the boys. Imagine if they had some kind of starlight backdrop behind them…oh my god it would so beautiful. The only thing I will say, is that I don’t like Baekho’s hairstyle (because I don’t care for that look in particular on any guy). However, yet again, Baekho’s vocals just slay me. 

Canvas and even Q is are both cleverly done albums by NU’EST and deserve a lot of love. NU’EST worked really hard and released some really good music that needs some love.

4. Sleep Talking

Poppy. Colorful. Fun. Sexy. NU’EST returned to their original sound but gave up the angsty look from something more typical pop (and my kind of pop lol). I mean, this is classic k-pop no? Baekho looks mighty fine in fabulous pink hair and looking sexy in his tank top or sleeveless tiger jacket. Minhyun is wearing that green shirt with a stupid cut out in the back giving his fans some skin. Ren is still slaying you with his blond hair. Aron and JR look like the stylists vomited all the patterns over them lol. The dancing is catchy, fun, and has a hint of sexy (see gif). The mood of the song is upbeat and fun and is infectiously happy. And I’m always for music that naturally puts a smile on your face.

5. Face/Action

The song that started it all. Now don’t hurt me, but I actually don’t like this song. BUT I don’t have to love this song to appreciate how good it actually is. There is a reason this debut was so successful and legendary. Let’s check off the list: solid choreography, obligatory dub-step dance break, powerful vocals from Baekho (his vocals strong from debut like gurl…) and Minhyun, catchy beat and sound, strong visuals, and add to that a relatable and appealing concept. If this is what we had to begin with, imagine how much more they still have to offer. STAN TALENT. STAN NU’EST.

These boys comeback not too long afterwards to give you another does of legendary. It’s the same formula as before, but it’s more of my taste (minus the dubstep dance break which feels random but you know, it was a thing). While, NU’EST didn’t keep their initial gritty concept, they showed off many sides to them that I think deserves some merit. Finally,  One thing I’d like to point out is this

bless you Baekho…bless you…

Honorable Mention:

Good Bye Bye

This is the culmination of everything they’ve done before. Let’s mash together the softer side of Hello with the formula of Action/Face (with a dub-step breakdown that I don’t care much for–the vocals during that part though are everything) and add a touch of sexy like Sleep Talking. NU’EST’s visual game stepped up really hard with this song: Aron really came for me this time (have you seen his abs I mean…c’mon…it’s just deadly), Minhyun looks handsome af, Ren is serving you masculine and abs (Ren fans must of been slayed so hard lol), JR in blonde…dear god, and Baekho’s relaxed orange hair is refreshing. The vocals from each member are much stronger (and in just about two years). Minhyun’s vocals really got to shine here. In general they showed off an extremely strong comeback. So please…let’s love NU’EST! ;)