[Review] Universe – Minhyun (NU’EST)

Out of all the members of the now-disbanded Wanna One, I think many people are excited for Minhyun. His group went onto Produce 101 as a final attempt to get themselves recognition. And it paid off. NU’EST returned as NU’EST W and continually topped charts with their new releases. Minhyun went on to be part of the popular Wanna One. And now that chapter has closed, it will be interesting to see what direction NU’EST will now take. And we will slowly find out from today, as Minhyun’s solo release (in preparation for a full comeback in the near future) was revealed.

Universe is the Minhyun’s solo track’s name. It is an R&B track but it diverts from that traditional slow tempo to a more upbeat pop and dance influence. And it is this diversion that really gets me into the song. A solo release will also get the member to shine and Minhyun does it effortlessly in this song. So altogether, the song does stand out for me. I find this particular route is very foreign for NU’EST, so it is quite refreshing when I reflect upon the song at the end. I really like the melody, which I thought was calming in a way, despite the upbeatness. Maybe it was the clearness in his voice or its rather easy-on-the-ears instrumentation. Talking about his voice, I really like the falsettos that he attempts at towards the end of the song. It did feel like it was missing something. It didn’t feel complete to me. I think I wanted a rap sequence somewhere to give a little more variety. But that would completely shake up the track, so I guess I understand why that didn’t occur. But overall, Universe is a really good track to kick start Minhyun’s return to the group.

The music video was shot in Budapest and is connected to NU’EST’s previous music videos (Overcome and Love Paint). It is a little confusing, but here is my attempt at the storyline. Minhyun used to be in a relationship but it ended badly (i.e. she leaves him). I think this break-up was a bit harsh on Minhyun, who becomes ‘soulless’ as we saw at the start of the video. However, there is an old man living in the apartment across from his and he comes by daily with a crystal (the same crystals shown in Overcome), that when connected to a machine, relays the good memories of a person. In this case, Minhyun relives the relationship, as we see the days repeat themselves. And this old man is always nearby to control the dosage (I guess) of the crystal. But on one particular day, he isn’t there and Minhyun uses more of the crystals, which unlocks the white Queen (the same Queen from the Overcome music video who went missing). It seems like Minhyun was still on his quest to find the Queen all along, as he bows down to her at the end of the video. Though we don’t know what happens after he reunited with the Queen. My guess is that this ending leads us straight into the forthcoming videos from NU’EST because the storyline doesn’t seem to be completed just yet. I am also unsure how Love Paint play into this (maybe another music video theory post idea?).

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9/10

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3 thoughts on “[Review] Universe – Minhyun (NU’EST)

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