NewJeans – NJWMX Review

NewJeans NJWMX Cover

Release Date: December 19, 2023

Track Listing

    1. Ditto (250 Remix)
    2. OMG (FRNK Remix)
    3. Attention (250 Remix)
    4. Hype Boy (250 Remix)
    5. Cookie (FRNK Remix)
    6. Hurt (250 Remix)
    7. Ditto (250 Remix Instrumental)
    8. OMG (FRNK Remix Instrumental)
    9. Attention (250 Remix Instrumental)
    10. Hype Boy (250 Remix Instrumental)
    11. Cookie (FRNK Remix Instrumental)
    12. Hurt (250 Remix Instrumental)

Review

NJWMX is NewJeans’ first remix album containing remixes of some of the group’s hits and their instrumental versions. So, while marketing says there are 12 tracks, there are technically only six songs of new material. The first thing one will notice when looking at the track listing is there might be a few songs missing from their discography that are prime for a remix that could have taken up the space taken by the instrumentals.

That is already a big negative in my eyes—the wasted potential. But as a fan of NewJeans, I let that go because I was interested in these interpretations of their songs. And getting something is better than getting nothing.

The two producers who created the NJWMX remixes are 250 and FRNK. Since these folks had a hand in the composition of the original versions of the songs on this album, it makes sense for them to remix them. And it sounds like they made the best of the opportunity to rework their compositions into something more fitting of their musical styles and put more of their stamp on the tracks.

Eleven months ago, the 250 remix of Hurt was released as a special video on NewJeans’ YouTube channel. It’s the opposite of the original version, opting for a stripped-down presentation and a more rustic feel. For those new to this version, it might sound a little strange, but it does work incredibly well, given the tone of the overall song.

Ditto is the only remix on this album that follows the same template as Hurt, at least at the start. It ramps up into some of the original instrumentation in the song’s second half to bring the energy up.

The remaining remixes tend to reside primarily within Hip-Hop territory. OMG and Hype Boy stood out the most to me, with the latter making the biggest impression by turning a party track into a chilled-out slow jam.

Given my situation of having to listen to this not only from a critical point of view but also from a DJ and a composer’s point of view, I find it hard to give a neutral opinion. So, I will be honest about what I have heard on this album.

At first, I was not fond of any remixes except for Hurt. With my first pass of the album, the other tracks didn’t scream that I should stop what I was doing and get absorbed in them. However, after subsequent repeat listens, I better understood what these remixes were going for. But, still, I wouldn’t say I like the remix of Attention. It sounds too close to the original but with a slightly different arrangement.

Having remixed that song, I understand how difficult it is to give it a new flavour without losing what made it memorable in the first place.

After spending considerable time listening to this remix album on repeat, I believe it to be passable. Remember, I am a dance music DJ, so what is presented on NJWMX doesn’t precisely cater to my tastes. However, I can appreciate the effort put into making these remixes nonetheless.

How one digests these new versions of NewJeans’ hits will be incredibly subjective. There will be those who love everything out of unquestioning loyalty and those who hate it all because they believe any changes to the originals are bastardizations that should burn in the pits of Hell. The ones who sit in the middle of these two extremes will probably get the most out of this album.


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