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New Hair, New Tee, NewJeans EP do you see?

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NewJeans releases their new EP. [PHOTO COURTESY OF NEWJEANS KR]

Intro: NewJeans, a five person K-pop girl group from the independent Korean record label ADOR under HYBE, has quickly amassed one of the biggest global fan bases following their debut just over a year ago. Being the fastest K-pop acts in history to reach 1 billion streams on Spotify, it’s no surprise that their most recent album Get Up continues to break international music charts after its release on July 21, 2023. The songs on the album, like many of their others, incorporate a mix of R&B, hip-hop and pop elements. 

NewJeans: The album starts with the track “New Jeans”, a lively, upbeat song about personal transformation and being confident in the process. The quick beats are accompanied by light-hearted lyrics like, “New hair, New tee, NewJeans/Do you see,” The repetitive nature of the lyrics and tune make for a catchy song, complete with the distinctive voices of each member that add a unique flair. 5/5 

Super Shy: “Super Shy”, the second song on the album, starts off strong with the song opening to the chorus. Along with some other songs on the album, “Super Shy” follows a Jersey Club rhythm, which is characterized by fast-paced drumming and staccato usage. The song employs a large range of vocal styles, one of which feels new in the K-pop world: a talking-singing style that shows up repeatedly in each verse. The signature choreography and vivid aesthetics make the song entertaining, though one drawback is the short runtime of around two and a half minutes long. 4.5/5

ETA: The following song, “ETA” (estimated time of arrival) follows a story revolving around a friend of NewJeans that suspects her boyfriend of cheating. The lyrics encourage her to embrace her self-worth and to quickly leave the troubled relationship. This darker theme of cheating is completely masked by the same pattern of animated ‘dance music’ that continues throughout most songs on the album. 5/5

Get Up: “Get Up” is the shortest song on the album, being only thirty-six seconds. However, it is one of, if not the most memorable song that delivers a fresh take in contrast to the other songs. The tune is definitely more laid-back and dreamy, which works really well with the members’ soft vocals. The length, however, does make the audience wish for slightly more. With the song consisting only of one verse and chorus, there is lots of potential but the chorus only seems repetitive when that’s all there is, sung back to back. 3.5/5

Cool with You: The song “Cool With You” also stands out in terms of vocals, as the less intense instrumentals allow the member’s voices to stand out a bit more. It does a good job of combining R&B elements into pop, which is what NewJeans seems to do best. It feels much more on-brand to them as a group compared to the other songs on the album. They also include a variety of vocal styles in the chorus, having lines sung and lines whispered. 3/5

ASAP: The last song, “ASAP” contains one of the most prominent backing tracks of the album. The girls repeat the words ‘Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock-tick” throughout the song, emphasizing the message of the song: young love feels urgent in the sense that it’s difficult to get through long periods of time without communication. However, though the song is catchy, it feels a little lackluster to put at the end of the album, especially because it leans into the upbeat energy that feels slightly too similar to most of the other songs without delivering a strong impact by the end of the album. 2/5

 

Overall, the songs make for a fun listening experience, but it does fall flat by the end of the album. As a whole, I do wish the songs explored some more diverse sounds and genres because, with only six songs, it’s quite disappointing to have them all so alike. It is interesting to get more upbeat songs from the group, but some elements become too repetitive at some point (for example the air horns and repetitive backing vocals). However, the execution of each song was done really well, and it is impressive how they were able to come up with a creative take on traditional K-pop genres.

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About the Contributor
Erin W. ('25), Staff Writer
Erin is a staff writer in The Blue and Gold. She is a sophomore at TAS, and is excited to start Journalism to share writing pieces with the community that she, and hopefully others, are passionate about. Outside of writing, Erin enjoys reading, photography and filmmaking.

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