Pledis Entertainment debuted NU’EST back in 2012 alongside DSP Media’s A-JAX and Cube’s BtoB, and the trio were touted by fans and the media as the next big boy bands to lead a new generation of idols.
Despite the hype and early promise, all three crashed and burned on the charts while VIXX, and to a lesser extent B.A.P, went on to find popularity.
Fast forward to 2015, and A-JAX has basically disbanded and been forgotten, while the boring BtoB are finally experiencing some late success thanks to variety and drama work.
Meanwhile, Pledis is now focused on debuting a new boy band, the 13-member Seventeen, so NU’EST’s been sent packing overseas to try and crack the Japanese market, Supernova style.
Their first single, “Shalala Ring,” was a forgettable generic mess, but their follow-up, “NA.NA.NA.Namida,” is a great tear-soaked ballad that sounds like Brave Brothers on a good day. The bridge features a sad symphony of strings and drums, and then turns into rapping and one of the NU’EST members ripping his shirt off.
It’s so good.
“NA.NA.NA.Namida” just debuted on the Oricon weekly chart at No. 7 with 16,527 copies sold. They’re not great numbers, but it’s an improvement over the shalala song. Progress!
If their next single is as flawless as those four, I’ll officially commit to stanning the nation’s new hallyu-dols.