NMIXX will be one of the first acts to make a 2024 comeback, but before that they’ve unveiled pre-release Soñar (Breaker). So far, 2023 has seen them move away from the intense “mixx pop” that characterized their debut (and polarized opinion). It’s been nice to hear their vocals more clearly, with July’s Roller Coaster a particular standout.
Soñar (Breaker) returns the group to the abrasive sounds of said debut. As a song, it’s more straightforward than O.O. It sticks with a couple of repeated musical ideas, anchored by a chanted chorus that feels almost like an incantation. In between, we’ve got shouty sing-talk during verse one (bad) and a more subdued melodic segment for verse two (better). The song is most successful when its instrumental surges with SuperM-style bombast. The opening feels cinematic — like a battle royale about to start. These elements deserve a stronger song to support them.
We get another peek at this musical drama during Soñar‘s surging bridge. Much of the song’s vocal-focused moments feel strained (there’s no reason the pitch couldn’t be lowered), but when NMIXX are allowed to let loose in a comfortable range, they’re one of the more gifted rookie groups of this era. They simply need better material. Soñar is a decent example of this specific K-pop style, but its lack of knockout moments makes it more monotonous than exciting.