I was extremely impressed by Attention yesterday, so I very much looked forward to listening to Hypeboy. Thankfully, while I wasn’t as blown away as I was with Attention, Hypeboy doesn’t disappoint as a follow-up.
I would not usually mention the song’s MV in my review, but the concept of NewJeans is too unique to ignore. It begins with an intro, where at the end, it gives the choice to view 4 different music videos for the same song, featuring different members in each. Given that listeners had no idea who the girls were in the first MV, it was a smart move so the audience can get to know the girls a bit better.
Anyway, I’ll proceed with the review.
The hooks in this song aren’t as strong as Attention. It is much more subtle, and the melody itself, while solid, doesn’t have much to grab onto. It instead relies on the English phrases sprinkled throughout the song to act as hooks. Thankfully, the enunciation of these English phrases, in particular, was made quite memorable by the girl’s vocal delivery. Additionally, I noticed that the melody that was layered with the English lyrics of the song are much more sticky than those which are not. After the song plays, my mind would always go back to these moments, and it saves the song from having ‘meh’ or completely forgettable hooks.
I’ve been highly appreciative of the clean vocal mixing within NewJeans songs so far, to the point that I feel like that in itself is giving me the initiative to replay one of their songs. While I don’t like Hypeboy’s hooks as much as Attention, I still find myself going back to Hypeboy to listen to how great the girls sound. That is a rare occasion for me in K-pop, for the only other similar experience I’ve had is when I first listened to STAYC, who have Black Eyed Pilsung, produce practically all their songs. The clean mixing always gives me something to look forward to, to the point that it becomes a hook in itself. Similarly, Hypeboy gets bonus points for this reason!
The production takes a different direction from Attention, but maintains the same qualities: very easy and refreshing to listen to, and as already mentioned, very clean and clear vocal mixing. It had me vibe with the song, even if I felt that the sung melodies aren’t as strong. The production plays a big part in the song’s overall appeal, and I think it should be credited for it.
Since there is no rap in Hypeboy, it is removed from the criteria.
I would like to take my statement back about how it seems like from what I heard in Attention, there are only 1 or 2 technically competent singers in the group. It seems that most of the members have some sort of foundation in singing when listening to them in Hypeboy, and their approach as they ascend into their mixed register is surprisingly clean and good. This is a bit of an anomaly with HYBE groups, and it is very refreshing to hear a HYBE group that collectively seems to have a decent technical foundation. There is proper chest engagement in their singing.
I feel like I may have underestimated them also because of how young they sound, and it can be quite deceiving in determining how good the girls actually were.
As for their delivery in Hypeboy, I will honestly say that a big reason why I like the song is the girls themselves. Their singing made me like it, and that is the whole point! Hence, I can’t give it less than a perfect score.
While I don’t think I’ll ever like Hypeboy as much as Attention, I know that I will always be looking forward to what NewJeans will deliver in the future. I have quickly become a big fan of their signature sound: clean vocal mixing and easy-to-listen-to songs. Not to mention, I also like their youthful concept, and it seems to be among the most well-executed in K-pop, even if I’ve known about their existence for what, 2 days? Haha. I really can’t wait for what they’ll offer in the future.