W, HERE is the first mini-album released by NU’EST W. “Where You At” was used as the mini’s promotional track. The mini proved to be immensely successful and signified a huge jump in the group’s popularity after their stint on Produce 101.
Released: October 10, 2017
1. My Beautiful (하루만)
2. Where You At
4. Good Love
6. Thankful for You (지금까지 행복했어요)
Not sure what I feel about the album starting with My Beautiful. It goes to midtempo route and frankly, it’s just not what I was looking for. I feel like the group did this style better with their digital single, “If You”, but this seems rather generic, especially considering the quality of the tracks that NU’EST did on their last mini. There are some really nice parts in the arrangement, but it just all seems a bit bare.
While it continues the melancholic tone of the last song, Where You At is an upbeat EDM song and I’m thankful there is some power and energy here. While I really like this song, it sort of falters on the fact that it can come off as a generic Billboard tune. I like the somber quality of the verses and the explosion of the chorus is really great. I do wish the chorus was flushed out a bit more, but the piercing strings bring a lot of excitement. It’s quite a nice track in general.
Getting into the solo songs, we start off with Ren’s solo, Paradise. It pretty much continues the vibe of the last song, but changes things up for the chorus. Instead of an explosive delivery, we get a swirling mess of synths tied with some almost trap elements. It’s a weird blend and I’m not sure if I like it. Ren has a solid enough voice, but it really lacks enough power to push through the craziness of the arrangement. It’s not a super catchy track, but it isn’t bad.
Aron’s solo goes the midtempo R&B route. I wasn’t really going into this song with any expectations, but Good Love actually not bad. I like the bouncy nature of the music and it works to bring some energy to it. The chorus is a bit empty compared to the verses and I don’t really like this weak trap-like delivery. I feel like it would’ve been better to go all in instead of just skirt over it. I also wish it had a brighter quality to it because the music feels a bit heavy. It’s still a cute song.
With is JR’s solo song and it starts off in a pretty dark way that fits with the rest of the album. This song obviously focuses on JR’s rapping, but I find it a bit weird. The chorus is quite cool and I like the rippling quality of the synths, however, we really only get to the stunning part by the second chorus. I feel like it is really trying to be this emotional track, but it falters in its delivery a bit. It’s still nice.
As expected for a solo from Baekho, we get a ballad with Thankful for You. One thing I like compared to his other solo ballads is that this isn’t a completely generic OST ballad and we get some changes in the arrangement in the first half. Unfortunately, it starts to go your usual ballad route by the second verse with the strings. I also feel like Baekho is always trying to catch his breath and it gets a bit distracting. This isn’t terrible, but I don’t feel particularly interested, especially considering he has such a dynamic voice.
Overall: This is a pretty disappointing mini, especially considering the quality of their last one. I’m really glad for the group’s success, but it’s a bit disheartening that the group went the more melancholic route with their music. The mini is quite cohesive, but I felt like it was more generic in its delivery. Most of the tracks lacked a spark for me except for the promo track, which just had a surge of power to it that helped keep things interesting.