[Review] Wakey-Wakey – NCT 127

Before we tick over to Sunday, it must be time to have a closer look at a Japanese release! The last we saw NCT 127 was through Simon Says in Korea and Chain in Japan. But as we are fast approaching mid-2019, we break the short NCT drought with Wakey-Wakey. This is the title track off their very first Japanese album, titled Awaken and is due for release mid-April. But due to the nature of the Japanese market, we are given the treat (and some long hair) a few weeks ahead of time.

Wakey-Wakey seems to take on the Black On Black side of NCT which we saw early last year. I would say both songs are quite similar in effect when you listen to them side-by-side. But by no means are they the same song. Wakey-Wakey focus on more brighter sounding instrumentation (with a lot less growling), featuring a lot of trap synths and a slight touch of R&B when you consider the vocals and the very start of the song. It suits NCT 127’s style remarkably. I think the very first thing that really grabs your attention with the song is the squeakiness of the instrumental. You may think this would be an off-putting element for me but I was actually fond of it because it gave something extra to the song. As mentioned, the vocals are nice and we are also treated to the return of Haechan (who only participates in the audio and music video for this comeback). I think the raps were also quite cool but I wanted more intensity alongside it, similar to the intensity brought upon by the dance break at the very end of the song.  Likewise, I didn’t really fall for the verses as much as compared to the rest of the song.

Matching the brightness of the song, the music video was intentionally colour for the most part.  I thought the sets were elaborate, especially during Haechan’s scenes. He doesn’t get to interact much with the other members but is still centred, which I thought was interesting. There has to be a reason for that right? (My assumption is that the members are trying to wake him up). Regardless, glad to see him back. What I am not too glad to see is Johnny’s long hair. I try my best not to comment on looks but sorry, it had to be touched on. (This is similar to any mullets or dreadlocks we see in KPOP. It just doesn’t work).

The choreography was quite cool  Going back to the start where I said the song sounded like Black On Black, the performance also reminded of Black‘s performance. Similarly, the start reminded me of EXO’s Tree of Life (I think that is what it is called) that featured during the group’s Wolf promotions. But they put their own spin on it.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.8/10

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[Album Review] Regulate (1st Repackaged Album) – NCT 127

NCT is nominated for Best Male Group, while NCT Dream and NCT 127 are nominated for Best Subunit. If you haven’t voted for NCT or your favourite artists yet, then click here to vote!

NCT 127 made their comeback with the repackaged version of their first studio album, which has been retitled Regulate. Leading the repackaged promotions is Simon Says. I debated whether to create a separate album review for this as I would only be reviewing one new song. I decided to do it anyway in order to help support NCT in the KPORPEVIEWED Awards (see above). Initially, it was meant for publishing on a later date but due to some scheduling changes, I have decided to publish today. I hope you don’t mind this really short album review.

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Regulate Album Cover

Regulate features all the songs from their Regular-Irregular album, which I have previously reviewed. If you wish to check out the song reviews from the Regular-Irregular album, please click here.

4. Welcome To My Playground – The song, compared to the songs on the Regular-Irregular, has a more bright and playful tone. It is a different side of NCT 127 that we saw briefly in Touch but incorporates that hip-hop genre that NCT has been marketed towards. The verses were half Korean and English, which I think was a smart way of interacting with both their Korean and international fans. The song was quite soft and I actually liked the prolonged build up in the verses. It made the chorus a lot more dynamic. I also liked the jump and fast-paced nature of Mark and Taeyong’s rap sequence, which gave the song a profound kick of energy towards the end, ending the song on a very energetic note. (9/10)

9. Simon Says (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of Simon Says. (9/10)

12. Chain (Korean Version) – I previously reviewed the Japanese version of Chain. I did feel like the song was a lot slower when it is in the Korean language. It might just be me, however. Click here to read the full review of Chain. (7.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.3/10 (This incorporates the scores of all 12 songs on the albums)

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[Review] Simon Says – NCT 127

Since wrapping up their promotions for Regular a few weeks back, we have been teased with an impending return with the repackaged version of their first studio album, And now, NCT 127 has returned for the third time this year with Simon Says, which the title track off their 1st Repackaged Album, Regulate. Interestingly, the music video for Simon Says was released well ahead of the actual release of the repackaged album. But we aren’t here to talk about this experimental release method. Instead, Simon Says to start this review!

Simon Says is a return to that hip-hop and electronic sound that NCT 127 hasn’t really done that much this year. Touch was a rather bright release, while Regular was an attempt at the Latin trend. So, it is quite nice to go back to some familiar territory. The instrumental has this experimental side to it, which makes it interesting as the style isn’t that clear-cut as their past songs. The verses are formed to give attention towards the rappers, who do a really good job with the song. There are attitude and charisma flowing throughout. The song focuses on the vocalists through the bridge of the song. While it is a little short, we do great a nice little breather from the intensity of the verses/chorus. As for the chorus, I thought it was quite catchy. The song is quite powerful and definitely aggressive in a more subtle manner. Overall, Simon Says is a pretty cool song.

The music video takes that aggressive and powerful nature touched upon earlier and develops into a very aesthetic music video. There is definitely some sort of message hidden throughout this video through the symbolism that I am no way near smart enough to understand. Here are what I could see. Taeyong is Simon, as he is the leader of the subunit and all the members move around him. He is also the first member to take off his mask and the rest of the members follow suit. And talking about the masks, how amazing do they look? Visuals along, this is one video to watch.

Like all the other components of this comeback, the performance is very intense and dynamic. Each of the members do a really good job at captivating the audience through their charisma alone. Their moves make this comeback so much better. My favourite part has to be the fast-paced chorus.

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

[Album Review] Regular-Irregular (1st Studio Album) – NCT 127

Due to my studies, I had to drop album reviews. But now, I have time and it is time to catch up on some many album reviews. The first album I have chosen to review is NCT 127’s first studio album, Regular-Irregular. This is the first album release to feature Jungwoo as the 10th member of the subunit and it also features the English version of their title track, Regular, which was recently performed on Jimmy Kimmel. This is one long review, so let’s get going!

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Regular-Irregular Album Cover

1. City 127 (지금 우리) – Opening the album is a very classy sounding and melodic track that does not disappoint. There are a few things that draw my attention to the song including the already mentioned melody, the soft nature of the piano instrumental (which also allows the song to easily become a dance track), the very addictive whistling tune and the vocals/raps of the song. It is a rather peaceful song, which is usually not my preference for the opening track (You want my attention, you need to go big). But they do just that with City 127, which is rather unique. (9/10)

2. Regular (Korean Version)Click here to read the full review for Regular. (6/10)

3. Replay (PM 01:27) – While Replay does play towards the trend of electronic music in the industry, it does a good job with its aesthetics (compared to their title track which tackled the Latin trend). The entire track was rather soft with its sound, which is reflected nicely in the drop of this song. It fulfils the need for a beat drop, yet it stays within the theme of the first half of the album. I liked how the vocals and raps also played to vibes of the song, which in turn, creates a winning track. The track does not include Mark and Taeyong, which is a pity, but it is interesting to see some other members shine. (9/10)

4. Knock OnKnock On is a ballad that sounds very soothing. It is the type of song that I would enjoy listening to on a rainy day and the instrumental makes it great for a bedtime playlist or café as well. Once again, the vocals are amazing in this song and I don’t think there was any rapping, which would have ruined the style and momentum of the song. I really liked the chorus, with Doyoung, Jaehyun, Haechan and Taeil shining the brightest in this song. (8/10)

5. No Longer (나의 모든 순간) – Another ballad appears, and the consensus is that this is a lot more emotionally driven. Performed by Taeil, Doyoung, Jaehyun, Yuta, Jungwoo and Haechan, the song focuses squarely on the vocals of the group. And they do an amazing job. I thought the chorus was nice, with its well-balanced start and sudden vocal push. I liked how they managed to pick up the song towards the end yet ended so nicely. The layering was short but sweet. The more I listen to the song the more I am drawn to it. It is my pick for one of the best ballads of the year. (10/10)

6. Interlude: Regular to Irregular – This is the turning point of the album. Up until this track, everything has been rather classy and ‘regular’. In this intermission, we hear Jungwoo narrate in Korean, Yuta narrate in Japanese, WinWin in Mandarin and Johnny in English, to music heard previously in the NCT 2018 Yearbook #1 video. Towards the end, the song takes a turn and becomes a little erratic (to the reverse version of Fire Truck), which starts off the ‘irregular’ side of the album. Very unique to split the album like this.

7. My Van (내 Van)My Van is performed by Mark, Taeyong, Yuta and Jaehyun. Going back to the ‘irregular’ theme, the song takes a sketchier approach with its sound. The song takes on hip-hop and the combination of these two elements remind me of Fire Truck. I liked the instrumental for this song, mainly because of its uniqueness and it offers something that we don’t listen to often. (8/10)

8. Come Back (악몽) Come Back was featured on the group’s Japanese debut album, Chain, which was released earlier in the year. It is their most upbeat sound on the album (excluding the bonus track), but it does work well with the classy feel from the first half of the album. Good vocals once again and the much-desired rap sequence in this song was amazing and ‘lit’. I think the only complaint is that I wanted to hear more of the rap earlier and for a much longer period. (8/10)

9. Fly Away With Me (신기루) – Out of all the ‘irregular’ tracks on this album, I think Fly Away With Me hits the mark extremely well. It is a soft pop track that really does the job well. The aesthetics of this track are also on par with the other songs which I mentioned aesthetics for. Amazing harmonises in this song and the bridge was a winning section that I really got me coming back to this song after it ended. And the fading ending was beautiful. (9/10)

11. Run Back 2 U – The bonus track was surprisingly the most upbeat song on the album. It is one of those tracks with multiple music styles joined together, such as trap and other electronic genres. They go well with each other. The song is well-situated in the hip-hop genre as well. It also features the fast-paced tempo that no song on the album managed to deliver and also a really well delivered (and fast) rap sequence, which I quite liked. It is good but not necessarily my cup of tea. (7/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.2/10

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Regular-Irregular Teaser Image

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[Review] Regular – NCT 127

2018 has been one busy year for NCT. They started the year off as NCT 2018 and returned with a studio album, which featured songs from each of the three subunits. NCT recently made their comeback with We Go Up. SM Entertainment has also confirmed that a Chinese subunit will debut later in the year. NCT 127 also made their official debut in Japan with Chain. And now, NCT 127 is back with Regular, which the title track off their latest full-length album, Regular-Irregular. Woah!

I don’t think anyone expected NCT to go with a Latin sound, given their past work never fitted any of the ongoing trends of the industry. But it is a new twist in their portfolio that sounds somewhat fresh, as they managed to keep to their roots by infusing it with some trap. It is an interesting combination that works well with each other, in my opinion. It is just – I don’t mind the sound but I am not too keen on the ‘final product’. The song lacks a memorable chorus. Yes, there is intensity but hook-wise, I don’t really find it appealing. It just felt generic. While the rapping and vocals blended well with each other, they don’t really stand out, against each other or when heard with the instrumentation. I think the best part of the song would have to be there start-stop bridge they had. Overall, I feel like the song, to an extent, was good but it just wasn’t enough to really become a hit for me.

I did like the music video for this comeback, which felt really edgy and intense. The video featured great cinematography which really did a good job of capturing not just the members but also their surroundings. The black and white choreography scenes did look a little too plain, reminding me of some of their stuff earlier in the year. I also like Mark and Taeyong’s floating star scene, which looked cool. Same could be said about their individual close-ups. Them bringing many people in at the end of the video looks like the producers are taking a page out of BTS’ music videos. But it is done in a way here that looks boring.

The choreography for their comeback was definitely my pick for the highlight for the entire comeback. It fits in with that Latin sound, while also accommodating to the trap side of the song. I quite liked their footwork in this routine, which looks amazing on stage.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 7.5/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 7/10

 

[Review] Chain – NCT 127

NCT recently wrapped up their album promotions in Korea, which involved all members from the 3 NCT subunits (NCT 127, NCT U & NCT Dream). But the members of NCT 127 are not on a break yet, with their return to the Japanese music scene with their first single, Chain. The album officially dropped during the week (May 23rd) but the music video has been available online since the start of the month, so it is about time I got around to reviewing it.

If I had written a review for this song when it was first uploaded on YouTube (May 8th), it would have had the comments ‘very messy’ and ‘not that great’ written all over it. But with a lot of replays and time to take in this ‘mess’, it is a decent track that fits in well with NCT 127’s past work in Korea. That being said, it still isn’t the greatest song, mainly because you still have to work your way through its metallic clanging to get to the good stuff. The raps were decent and the vocal work was quite good. When the drop kicked in, I thought the high pitch screeching was extremely fitting for their rap-heavy track. The only issue that I have is the metal clanging, which is really in-your-face throughout the song and I wished they toned it down. The moments where they did stop the clanging gave the song some relief and allowed me to have a better grasp of the song. I like how they did keep their roots for their Japanese song, which is something you don’t really see all too often.

The music video for this release showed off a different persona that we don’t really see often in their Korean promotions. From what I can see, the video taps into their masculinity and dominant side. It definitely fits in with the intensity and fierceness of the song. And because fangirls don’t find anything sexier than a bunch of men posing with tools (I guess). Maybe this is my science mindset kicking in but there were moments that I wasn’t sure about the safety of the members. Don’t think holding a saw or a drill up close to your safe is considered safe in the manual. But overall, I thought it was a good video for the song.

The performance was surprisingly good. At first glance, the moves seemed rather slow. But watching it a few times, I thought the choreography did a good job at contrasting with the tempo and intensity of the video. There were some slow movements (more of the sexy slow though), while still balancing out with some fast moves.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating –  7.5/10

[Album Review] NCT 2018 Empathy (1st Studio Album) – NCT

The 18 members have come together to release their very first full-length album. While the does feature the 4 pre-releases released this year from each subunit, the majority of the songs are credited as NCT U tracks (due to its rotational nature). On top of the 4 subunit releases, the album features tracks from a few years back (some which you may recognise as you go down the tracklist). The album also contains 4 other tracks (an intro, outro and the Chinese version of the Without You and an extended version of Yestoday) but per usual, they have been omitted. Many songs (and links) to get through, so here is my album review.

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NCT 2018 Empathy Album Cover

2. Boss (NCT U)Click here to read the full review of Boss. (9.3/10)

3. Baby Don’t Stop (NCT U)Click here to read the full review of Baby Don’t Stop. (9.5/10)

4. Go (NCT Dream)Click here to read the full review of Go. (6.8/10)

5. Touch (NCT 127)Click here to read the full review of Touch. (9/10)

6. Yestoday (NCT U) – This NCT U track features Taeyong, Lucas, Mark and Doyoung. This particular track isn’t that bad, much smoother than what is about to come. The song feels like it could have been enhanced with a visually aesthetic video. The song alone doesn’t carry much weight but it has a nice melodic feel to it that makes it sound nice (especially with all the high energy and EDM we have heard thus far). I also appreciate the jazzy instrumental, for the same reasons above.  Doyoung gets to showcase his nice vocals, while the other 3 do a nice job with the raps. (8/10)

7. Black On Black – This is the first song that features all 18 members of NCT in the performance. The song actually only features 3 members (Taeyong, Mark and Lucas). Black On Black, to me, is NCT’s version of EXO’s Growl. Mainly due to the growling that features throughout the song. I am not too conflicted with the track, despite it changing its sound so many times. While ‘flow’ isn’t a word that applies to this song in any way, the choppy feel that the song did manage to give out gives the song a charming point. It is also its downfall, however, as it would give me a headache if I listened to it multiple times on repeat. Glad I haven’t (yet).  (7/10)

8. Timeless (NCT U) Click here to read the full review of Timeless. (9.6/10)

9. The 7th Sense (NCT U)Click here to read the full review of The 7th Sense. (5/10 – I have bumped this up from the original score of 4.5/10)

10. Without You (NCT U)Click here to read the full review of Without You. (8.5/10 – I have bumped this up from the original score of 7.5/10)

12. Dream In A Dream (Ten Solo)Click here to read the full review of Dream In A Dream. (7.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8/10

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NCT 2018 Empathy Teaser Image

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[Review] Touch – NCT 127

NCT is officially back! In the past few weeks, the 18-member male group have been releasing different singles, each focusing on one of their subunits. NCT U released Baby Don’t Stop and Boss, while NCT Dream yelled ‘Go‘ last week. This week, they mark the release of their first full-length album as an 18-member group with the release of NCT 127’s Touch.

Touch is a departure on many levels from NCT 127’s past tracks. This time around they went with a pleasant sounding and fresh appeal with their new song. Right off the bat, the song reminds me of a Summer track, with its bright atmosphere and vibrancy. Its sound is not heavy or rough, which is something I have associated with NCT 127. It is a nice track to listen to as a whole. The main focus seems to be on the vocals with the raps taking up a very small part of the track, which was another surprise. The song’s hook was amazing and definitely made the song worthwhile to listen to. For some reason, singing together during the chorus was just perfect and made the chorus my favourite part of the song. While the instrumental made the song into what it is, it could have been more striking. Instead, it did seem a little generic when I thought about it on its own. But besides that, it is a great song.

When you look at this video, you just can’t help but ask yourself: did someone swap NCT Dream and NCT 127’s concept? It is a different side to the group that we have yet seen. It takes you back a few years when KPOP wouldn’t be KPOP if a group didn’t drastically change their concept for just one comeback. Like the song, the video is also quite fresh and vibrant. I really like the use of colours and the overall aesthetics of this video make it pleasing to watch.

The song doesn’t strike me as smooth or flowy but those are the words that I would choose to describe the performance. I think that is only one half of the performance which I liked. The other half would be the happy expressions on their faces which was quite captivating for some odd reason. It was very nice. However, it just isn’t enough to top their previous dances.

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

10 Favourite Non-Title Tracks (Part 1)

Welcome to the first ever ‘Special’ segment of my website. Though I have used the category ‘Special’ for other purposes in the past, I thought I could use to expand the content of what I write. So I thought I would make various lists of different aspects of the KPOP sphere, starting off with non-title tracks that should be more appreciated. I have other ideas lined up like “favourite OSTs’ and ‘favourite dances’ etc. If you have any ideas, feel free to comment below and I may just look into your idea. In no particular order, here are 10 (and this particular will be expanded in further editions) favourite non-title track songs by KPOP artists.

Crying – Sistar

Sistar leaves behind many great tracks, so of which barely get enough attention. What makes Crying a great track are the vocals. They were dynamic and gave the song a very unique feel. I thought the chorus was extremely catchy and interesting with how it starts off with a striking delivery of the word “Love”. The instrumental was pretty simple and their vocals/raps matched it perfectly.

One Step, Two Step – Oh My Girl

I personally thought this song has a very nice blend of instruments. It also felt like angels were singing to me.  The track ended up being very addictive, becoming a song that I would search for on YouTube for a while. I loved how the track started off very sweet and nice. But as you approach the chorus, we enter a more upbeat phase, making the build-up sound amazing. The violins in the bridge were also amazing, with it being another highlight of the track.

Albatross – B.A.P

Adding to the fun vibes of their 5th mini album, Carnival, Albatross is one track to jam to. It is a very down to earth feel and listening to the song makes you wonder how fun the recording process would have been if there was a stage or music video accompanying it. It was released in February but there is a very vibrant and Summer feel to the song, making it a track that I constantly listen to during Winter when I want to feel some warmth.

Shadow – F(x)

I think out of all the non-title tracks out there and the songs on this list, this is the song that everyone will agree on as the most underrated song ever. It literally catches your attention with its very creepy lyrics. But the lyrics are smothered with the sweetness of the instrumental and their vocals, making the creep factor exceed the highest possible limit. It is extremely addictive and I totally love it.

I Wanna Fall In Love – Song Ji Eun (Secret)

Song Ji Eun’s tracks have always been intriguing for their dark messages. Her more recent releases haven’t followed that path, which is quite disappointing. But there are a few that have caught my attention, such as I Wanna Fall In Love. It is much better than many of her recent title tracks and her strong vocals resonate throughout the entire track. It dominates the entire track, which I think is amazing and the song is quite catchy after a number of listens.

Get The X Out – Sunny Hill

Judging from the title, I would never have thought of the song being what it is. It is extremely unexpected, as the instrumental is reminds you of toys and dolls. Very innocence. But instead, it holds a very scary message telling their partner to just leave. I love how they cut the swearing out (or else it would be banned) but it makes everything feel more intense. And this is another reason to why I love Sunny Hill’s songs. They take uniqueness to a whole new level.

Before The Song Ends – JJ Project ft. Suzy (Miss A)

To hear that JJ Project will be getting a unit comeback stage before the end of the year makes me extremely happy. But before that, I must show you all this extreme party-vibe track. Sure, it may be overpowered by autotune but it one hell of a song to jam to. Suzy’s featuring in this song makes it so much better. But the real winners are JJ Project, who has such a dynamic track under their belt.

Maze – VIXX

I tried to include some old tracks and some more recent tracks on this list. Maze falls under the “more recent” category, with it being one intense track to listen to. That is mainly because every time I listen to the song, I feel a rush of adrenaline as if I am actually running through a maze myself. It is a super catchy track and dynamic at the same time.

Switch – NCT 127

Switch is the only song on this particular list that has its own music video. From memory (and what I read a few months back) that this song and music video was recorded before the debut of NCT. I was totally into (and still am) the instrumental of the song. It sounded different to other songs that I have listened to. It’s another track that gives off a nice Summer feel, which I am totally digging at the moment, as I freeze each morning.

One Minute Back – SHINee

This, by far, is up there as one of the best songs ever released. It is such a unique song on so many levels. Their vocals are on point throughout the track, especially during the entire chorus. The lyrics of the song depict a guy catching his partner cheating on him and wanting to turn back time. Overall, listening to just once will not be enough as it leaves a very long lasting impact that makes you want to go back and listen to more.

 

 

[Review] Cherry Bomb – NCT 127

NCT 127 has returned with their latest mini album and the newest title track, Cherry Bomb. The subunit previously made their return with Limitless at the start of the year. The fandom for NCT recently got their official fandom name and now are known as NCT Zen.

Cherry Bomb is song full of experimentation that was handed to NCT 127. For the most part, it could have been a great song. The hip hop influence with the dance style instrumental makes it into a potentially great song. But the mix up of genres that the song kept throwing at it changed it up a little too much and that took the greatness out of the song. To me, from the start of the song to the 1:20 mark of the song was amazing. It could have rivalled Limitless (which I have grown to like quite a bit). But once the vocal parts kick in, it feels like a completely different song with the same instrumental. And then the rest of the song goes back and forth, with other different styles thrown into the mix as well. Stand alone, I thought they would have been great. But together, the song doesn’t flow that nicely. It honestly felt I was listening to three different songs jumbled about. Their repetitive does try to become catchy but to me, they come off as somewhat annoying as we approach the end. Overall, what could have been a good song ended up on the other side of the spectrum.

I think the rough vibes from the song are presented nicely in the video, through the industrial backgrounds. The industrial backgrounds look quite cool and extremely fitting. Just the cartoon animations that were used throughout the video could have been replaced with some a little better, like the more real-looking (but you know they are fake) cherries at the end. The cartoons made the video look more childish, while the song does go for a tougher vibe. Besides that detail, everything looked quite good.

I think everyone watches the video to see the guys get low. They nearly do the splits, but they don’t. Either way, getting that low already seems painful enough. Overall, the performance looked quite great, as well. It doesn’t amaze (besides the half splits) me that much.

Song – 5/10
Music Video – 7.5/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 6/10

[Review] Limitless – NCT127

NCT127 have been busy sweeping the awards ceremonies for the new artist of the year awards. But they have also been busy with their recent release, Limitless. The group made their long awaited comeback with their second mini album on the 5th of January of this year. They previously made their debut with Fire Truck last year and is the first subunit of NCT to officially make their comeback.

While I was not a big fan of their debut track, Limitless is only mildly better than the other. Maybe it is because NCT 127 does not appeal to my taste in music or they just haven’t released a song that I think suits them. What I did like about this song is that is showed off their vocals and rap a lot more, with minimal processing and autotune. The one thing that I did not like was that croaking sound that formed part of the rap. Compare Mark’s short rapping with Taeyeong’s rapping in the song for example. Mark’s has a very clean drag at the end of each line (second verse), while Taeyeong’s consisted of that really annoying croaking sound at the end of each line. The vocals were much better, with no criticisms there. You can already tell who I am going to say did a better job. To me, the song wasn’t memorable or catchy. There were not enough hooks in the song to get me to go back. The instrumental sounded refreshing but at the same time, it was quite ordinary and really doesn’t stand out. While the song is titled at Limitless, I thought it was limited in quite a few departments and that truly left me disappointed.

Two videos were released side by side for Limitless. One of them is labelled the Performance Version, which I won’t be looking into that much here. The other version is titled as the Rough Version. The majority of the video was shot with an old camera (or a modern camera slapped with that grainy filter that we should all remember from the 90s). The only reason why I think they opted for the graininess is for artsy purposes.The rest of the video was shot with you everyday modern camera, which provided a better quality.  Let’s just say I much prefer the HD shots, rather than that home video look. Besides that, the video was boring to watch. There wasn’t much else going in the video. The guys don’t do much besides stand around and act mysterious while staring at the camera. There were a few choreography shots, but nothing worth commenting on here.

The dance was rather disappointing. There wasn’t anything impressive. Fire Truck had a good dance because it was fitting for the song. But the dance we have here was mediocre at best. Their performance video was pretty good, though, better than their Rough version, in terms of quality.

Rating – 4.5/10

[Review] Fire Truck – NCT 127

NCT has returned to the stage with the debut of another subunit. NCT’s first subunit made their debut in April as NCT U. The lineup between the NCT U and NCT 127 are quite similar, however there were some changes. So the lineup for NCT 127 includes Taeil, Taeyong, Yuta, Jaehyun, WinWin, Mark and Haechan. Yuta, WinWin and Mark were not part of NCT U.

I was surprised when I first heard of Fire Truck. It was completely different to anything anyone in the industry has put out.  There is a very strong American EDM vibe in Fire Truck. I am one of those people who do not really enjoy the EDM genre (however, give me a good one and I will be heads over heels for it), but this song sounds amazing. It just took two words (Fire Truck) to win me over with the song. Those two words sound amazing in the song. Talking about those two words, they seem pretty random, don’t you think? To just have a song titled as Fire Truck sounds a little “out there”. But then again, it is KPOP we are talking about. Moving along, I was very unimpressed by the rap. The vocals were a little better. Emphasis on “a little better”. It just felt whiney and annoying (to an extent). I guess it is heavily influenced by the EDM and editing of the song. The vocals in the bridge are much clearer and Though, what we have already fits in well with the instrumental. It just doesn’t sit well with my ears. But give me the instrumental (though, I would like the bass to be turned up just a bit more) and just the words “Fire Truck” and I will be extremely happy.

Moving along to the video, I am quite confused. The guys go around with fire hoses and start spraying water around at people. Not that I have a problem with that, it fits in with the lyrics of the song, but it seems quite random (if you watch the video only). There are “supposedly” sexual themes in the video, from what I am researching off. It does make sense with the guys standing around females with water spraying into their faces and letting it go everywhere in other scenes.  Watching the video the first few times around, I just thought they go around spraying water at people for fun. Moving to SM’s explanation of the video. Essentially, the guys are the young girl’s guardian angels and these angels use fire hoses to “flush out” the troubles for the girl. It sounds really childish and very desperate. It sounds a lot more like a  back-up plan, than an intended story. I don’t know what to believe. While the sexual theory makes sense visually (hmmm.. that does not sound right at all), it doesn’t make sense with that final scene where the band “moves on” to the little boy, which fits more of SM Entertainment’s explanation. But I don’t think SM explanation fits in with majority of the video as well. Was there a need to do close shots of those moments? Might as well make the guys do the cutesy concept if that is your explanation. Are there any other theories that you guys know of? I only know of the two, but if there are any others, comment below! Besides the confusing plot, I really liked the choregraphy scenes in the video. Fits the feel and vibe of the song.

The dancing was pretty good. Overall, they do bring out more of a hip hop vibe to the dance. However, some moves look like they lacked imagination and lazy. I am talking about 1:02 minutes into the music video. But beside that, I liked it. Also, poofy hair dude. He is wearing a shirt that cyclists would usually wear. It looks completely out of place and terrible on him. And that is coming from a guy who has little to no fashion sense.

Final Rating – 5.5/10