Duo MXM of Brand New Entertainment are the latest in a slew of rookies who are drastically switching up their concept this year. Less than two months after their previous comeback with the bright, brassy EDM of “Diamond Girl,” MXM have returned with a double digital single, “Rematch,” titled by the brooding “Gone Cold.” While I’m not sure that the title track alone necessarily tops the stellar “Diamond Girl,” the double single is so strong that I’m going to call “Rematch” the pair’s best comeback thus far.
“Gone Cold” has that jazzy piano and light percussion that makes you think of rainy days and coffee shops. It’s quite a new sound for MXM, but they pull it off, especially rapper Youngmin, who’s at the top of his game whether it’s in the deliberate, pensive rap of “Gone Cold” or in the fervid rap on the single’s other track, “Love Me Now.” One thing I love to hear from this pair is when they sing the same melody but an octave apart. The textural effect of Donghyun’s mellow vocal over Youngmin’s lower sing-talking adds dimension to an otherwise fairly mild song.
All that said, B-side “Love Me Now” should have been the title track without a doubt. This is THE MXM song. It delivers the mature concept promised by “Rematch,” and furthermore, its punchy vocal melodies actually suit Donghyun’s voice, unlike the measured phrasing in “Gone Cold.” The dark electronic track starts at a simmer, with a spacy piano progression and a pair of echoing EDM sounds that you don’t often hear in such quiet moments. Bit by bit, it builds up energy with suspenseful melodies, killer background harmonies by Donghyun (the dissonance when he sings “What you waiting for” is murder!) and the occasional appearance of Youngmin’s gravelly timbre. Finally, all the accumulated tension breaks onto a dramatic two-part chorus which unites a melodic first half with a stick-in-your-head repetition of the phrase “love me now.” Separate, both bits are great. Together they’re a knockout, especially when they allow for a slight restructuring in the second chorus that keeps you guessing throughout the rest of the song. In MXM’s next song, I’d love to see even more of these variations—the creative rearranging and recombining of hooks which also appeared a few times in “Diamond Girl” and even briefly in debut song “I’m the One.” I hope these guys keep doing what they’re doing for the time being, because it’s working.
GONE COLD: KAYBOP OR KAYFLOP? Bop (but not like “Love Me Now” is!!).
Take a look at MXM’s “Gone Cold” MV below: