[This review reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of allkpop.]
2. Sweet Dreams
4. Just Us
5. 100 FACTS (COOL Eng. Ver)
New Rules seem to be a common theme not only in K-Pop, but the music industry as a whole and Weki Meki is not one to stick to the old standards! The group has made their comeback with fourth mini-album, aptly entitled, New Rules. This fierce 8-piece is back with an empowering message for old and new fans regarding their confidence! Weki Meki doesn't typically do this style of comeback, but we have to say- this concept is working for them big time.
"COOL" is the album's title track and main thematic element for the album. The album's final track, "100 FACTS" is also COOL's English version. The song boasts an extremely likable beat cadence that makes you really invested in the bridge when it finally gets to the chorus. I find that compared to similar girl group counterparts, Weki Meki did a fantastic job nailing an in-your-face performance without toeing the line of 'annoying' or 'repetitive.' "COOL" should serve as an example for BLACKPINK's producers to follow.
"Sweet Dreams" takes us down a whimsical and magical introduction and switches up the flow quickly into a sweet vocal. This song's progression was not my favorite, as it felt a little overwhelming and all over the place. However, I can't argue that this song could be phenomenal and feel completely different from how it sounds in my speakers at home compared to a live show setting. "D-Day," on the other hand, takes my prize for the best song on this album. The intro riff begins me a lot of GOT7's "Thursday," and the song is a simple love song that contrasts well and shows a hint of Weki Meki's original concept and signature sound. "Just Us" is the album's acoustic ballad, and it's a nice cap to the album, but I would have liked to see some more vocal exercising on the album, as I felt the song was a bit of a safe bet.
One thing I've noticed in comments and buzz on Twitter is the mass amounts of praise towards Weki Meki for being able to take on a 'boy group' routine. I think that Weki Meki and many other female and co-ed groups are working tirelessly towards the 'gender-neutral' routines, choreographies, and concepts. Weki Meki can take on something not overtly feminine without having to 'maintain femininity' or keep their MV centered on their beauty, all while spreading a positive message of being proud of the way you are.
The MV is somewhat uncharacteristic for the group but does not feel out of place among their other releases. This seems like a natural progression for the group and a natural path of maturation. The video production is great with dramatic lighting, wonderful dance numbers, and fantastic styling (both in that certain scenes are minimalist and certain scenes are over-the-top). The balance is phenomenal.
MV Score: 9
Album Score: 8.3