Song Review: Cookie by NewJeans

After successfully building hype from their 3 pre-releases, NewJeans officially debuted after releasing the MV for their 4th and final song in their debut mini-album, Cookie.

Before I begin the review, I will acknowledge the ongoing controversy regarding the song’s lyrics. I wish that the company did not let the song’s lyricists write it in such a way that when translated to English, it would be taken with a double meaning, with the word ‘cookie’ apparently being a sexual innuendo. I had no idea that the word ‘cookie’ had such a meaning, but the company should not have allowed the lyrics to be suggestive, especially considering that one of the girls is only 14! On the other hand, the girls stated on their Instagram that the song is meant to be quite innocent, with the girls giving their fans cookies as a show of appreciation. I’m not sure what to make out of it.

Anyway, the song itself is fine. I don’t think it is as good as the other 3, but it certainly has its merits, disregarding the issue with its lyrics.

In comparison to Hypeboy and Attention, Cookie’s hooks are more subtle. It isn’t immediately catchy, but the more I listen to it, the more I can see myself humming its melody. Its chorus is probably its strongest moment and is the part that I can remember the most after listening to it, and its easy and relatively simple rhythm makes it catchy.

I got a feeling of deja-vu when I listened to this song, and after listening to both Cookie and Attention back to back to back, it was because I realized that Attention’s verses have a similar kind of catchy and easy-to-follow rhythm that Cookie’s chorus has. Meanwhile, Cookie’s verses use the same elongated vocal delivery of one English word that Attention’s chorus does. Unfortunately, I think that Attention was more successful in making the techniques work because the chorus paired with the vocal delivery made for a very memorable hook that is effective. On the other hand, the vocal delivery wasn’t enough to make Cookie’s verses stick to my head, and Attention has a stronger chorus compared to Cookie. This makes it feel a bit underwhelming, at least in my opinion.

I do like the song’s production. It makes use of futuristic-sounding basslines and some funny-sounding instruments that I can’t quite decipher. The percussion is crisp and clear, complementing the girl’s singing throughout. However, as a whole, I’m not sure if the minimalistic atmosphere created by the production is compelling enough for me to want to seek this song out. What it does do is done well, but unlike Attention, Hypeboy, and Hurt, I’m not as convinced by the producer’s choices in Cookie. However, what continues to convince me about the production in NewJean’s music is the fact that their vocals remain crystal clear, and are at the forefront of the layering. The emphasis on vocals is going to be one NewJean’s signature traits and I’m very much here for it.

The girls themselves sounded different here because, in certain lines, they made their voices sound almost cutesy and nasal, which I’m not sure how to feel about. It goes back to the controversy about the song’s lyrics. Some parts were sung with a full tone, well supported, and projected, such as the chorus, which I loved. I wish that instead of singing some parts cutesy, another stylistic choice. It is out of place considering one of the other songs in the album had any moment where the girls sang like that. On the other hand, it does make the song memorable because the last line, sung by Danielle, was sung in a slightly different way. I’m having mixed feelings regarding their vocal delivery as a whole.

All in all, Cookie is okay, but I’m almost certain that I will not like it as much as the other songs on the album in the future. It finds itself in a place where it isn’t terrible, but it isn’t as good as I was hoping. As I mentioned earlier, the girls did say that Cookie is about the girls giving cookies to their fans, so I expected the song to be cheerful. There seems to be a sense of dissonance between the song’s atmosphere and the meaning. Hence, as a whole, the song seems a bit confused. This is one of the reasons why I haven’t reviewed this song yet until now I was not sure how to review this song. However, I’m still looking forward to what NewJeans has to offer in the future, especially considering how amazing Attention, Hypeboy, and Hurt are. I don’t want the company to mess this group up in the future by continuing to give them suggestive lyrics. Please stick to something like Attention and Hypeboy, especially because some of the girls are still minors!

Hooks – 8
Production – 8
Vocal + Rap delivery – 7
Overall – 7.5

One response to “Song Review: Cookie by NewJeans”

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