Produce 101 Season 2 alumni Im Youngmin and Kim Donghyun, collectively known as MXM, have made their first comeback with their second mini-album Match Up!
Title track “Diamond Girl” is a funky and bright pop song that is certainly catchy and possesses a different sound from debut track “I’m The One.” The overall genre of the new album is funk influenced rather than pop, bringing a fresh sound to the K-Pop industry.
The music video is by far the best part of this release. The bright neon aesthetics used throughout the video fit the melody perfectly, and the variety of those bright colors adds a pop to the video throughout. The out-of-this-world aesthetic is fun and cheery and presents a cute and endearing side to the duo. Not to mention the boys show off their dancing skills in the video; and of course, there’s lots of diamonds.
Bright and Jazzy Vibes
As for the album, the one criticism that can be brought up is how every track more or less sounds the same. If you’re a fan of musical versatility on an album, Match Up will likely not be on your top favorites list, since every song has a strong funk influence instead of having multiple tracks in different genres. The second track on the album, “ERRDAY,” is the only track that has a modern hip-hop influence in the beat. It throws off the listener in the beginning as it comes off as a slow ballad in the first few bars. The remaining songs often feature the recognizable funk guitar as the main melody line.
As a fan of funk appearing in K-Pop (the only songs that come to mind thus far are VIXX’s “Dynamite” and Triple H’s “365 Fresh”), I personally enjoyed the new MXM album. That being said, the traditional jazzy-funk sound isn’t used very often and tends to be a hit-or-miss with fans, which brings a lot more uncertainty to a release than sticking to the generic K-Pop style. Regardless, diversity of musical sound is important in keeping K-Pop dynamic, so even if funk isn’t your thing, there is at least something to appreciate about it. MXM may have flown under the radar because of releases from bigger Produce 101 Season 2 alumni, but this duo is definitely talented and worth a listen.
“Diamond Girl” Title Track Score: 8/10
Music Video Score: 9.5/10
Match Up Album Score: 7.5/10