Kurayami Monogatari

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NCT DREAM – The First May 17, 2018

Filed under: NCT — solarblade @ 6:11 am

thefirst

Track Listing

  1. My First and Last
  2. Zuìhòu de Chūliàn
  3. Dunk Shot
  4. Chewing Gum
  5. Pàopaotáng

1. My First and Last

After their rather startlingly, sugary debut, I was hoping NCT DREAM would maybe move a little away and ironically they actually did with their 2nd song.  Already, the group sounds somewhat more deeper (with the exception of Haechan, who just has a higher register) and we have Mark singing too!  Renjun & Chenle seemed to have stepped up vocally while Jisung is somehow rapping and has somewhat silkier vocals than most of the group?  There’s a line for Jeno too, but he’s not quite up in the front…OH YEAH…due to an injury, Jaemin wasn’t a part of this comeback sadly.  Still, the song is cute done right and definitely pulled me into them better than “Chewing Gun” did.

2. Zuìhòu de Chūliàn

What’s there to say, it’s My First and Last in Chinese…no changes to the arrangement, its just a simple language switchover and once again reminds me how young they are and yet how quickly they suited a different language (I mean Renjun & Chenle aside), its impressive!

3. Dunk Shot

Is this considered a B-side then?  Either way, Mark once again actually sings first and its strange how good he sings outside of rapping!  I would say this song kind of reminds me of “We Young” (their next comeback), but the song after the verses turns into this interesting pop/rockfish track that’s kind of very bubblegum, but somewhat sticks to a similar style like “My First and Last”.  Though the gibberish in that chorus is bizarre to me xD…wth.  Jeno and Jisung don’t even get lines which is surprising…but this song is ehhh…

4. Chewing Gum

I know it hasn’t been too long since I’ve reviewed this, but it is on the single, so I suppose I have to tackle it right?  Nothings changed at all since the digital single review of their debut other than it’s the only place where Jaemin is heard so I guess that’s a thing.  While I do think the comeback is better, Chewing Gum can become an earworm if you let it due to its crazy upbeat nature and catchy hooks.

5. Pàopaotáng

Yup and its Chinese version which I suppose makes sense since “My First and Last had its Chinese cut included, but likewise, nothing special was done besides lyrical shifts.

 

 

So we get to NCT DREAM’s first single but also first comeback with My First and Last and overall its an alright release if you just focus on the 3 main tracks.  I was pleasantly surprised to hear the group handle cute a lot better than their debut and also included that here.  Dunk Shot is kind of a misnomer for me…it’s there but I’m not quite sure why.  Sad to see Jaemin injured and missing out after debut, but here’s hoping he gets better.  Curious to see what’s next for the group…

 

 

NCT 127 – LIMITLESS

Filed under: NCT — solarblade @ 5:44 am

limitless

Track Listing

  1. Limitless
  2. Good Thing
  3. Back 2 U (AM 01:27)
  4. Roller Coaster (Heartbreaker)
  5. Baby Don’t Like It
  6. Angel

1. Limitless

You know that the group would 1-up their debut immediately after “Fire Truck” by releasing Limitless next.  It does certainly continue their mostly hip-hop vibe, but this has a LOT more depth than what their debut contained.  From the cool, croaky sound that Taeyong produces in the verses to the more aggressive & light sounding places on the track, its great to see the group evolve.  Plus, we have two new members added to NCT 127 (Doyoung & Johnny), we already knew what the former was capable of due to NCT U but Johnny has a deeper voice and adds some roughness to the group.  Granted, the front members got their lines, but Winwin, Yuta, Johnny, and even Haechan kind of were hidden behind them this time.  Still, a much better song for their first comeback.

2. Good Thing

Next track in and we have a smooth groove of a song in Good Thing!  After the anthemic, “Limitless”, I was curious to what else NCT 127 had to offer and this track is pretty decent if not slightly repetitive due to the chorus.  I love the beat and arrangement as it gave the group something to work with.  Though Winwin & Yuta are pretty much invisible in the song and a lot of it was sung by Taeil surprisingly…it’s decent.

3. Back 2 U (AM 01:27)

From the opening, I thought Back 2 U was going to be the mini’s ballad track, but it seems to fit more of the more laidback tracks that were from their first mini.  Y’know, I’m noticing a lot of love given to Taeil just from the last track to this one and I’m liking it!  Though I am seeing a lot more Haechan & Yuta and even a line for Winwin here.  Honestly this feels a bit more even line-wise and the song is a cool jam, maybe the chorus if not repetitive once again.  It’s not bad, but there’s better songs from them.

4. Roller Coaster (Heartbreaker)

Our next track is a little more interesting arrangement-wise and I was caught immediately by Haechan & Doyoung having the first lines.  Actually the first verse/chorus is just Haechan, Doyoung, Jaehyun, and Taeil.  Even better that even the rappers (Mark & Taeyong) are singing so it feels unique to the group!  Sad that Winwin & Johnny didn’t get a line, but this is poppy track that stuck to me!

5. Baby Don’t Like It

Interesting to see Mark open a song this time with Baby Don’t Like It and boy does he have a lengthy solo to kick things off!  Though the song also has Doyoung & Taeil singing the chorus and the Taeyong get the 2nd verse (rap line).  I think of the songs on the mini-album, this has the least amount of arrangement and it doesn’t really help that its just those 4 (well Haechan gets one tiny part) and the song is only 2:40 in length.  Kind of my least favorite here.

6. Angel

Ending LIMITLESS, Angel comes in with a nice acoustic-like sound and it opens with a rap from Taeyong and it turns into this light R&B affair that seems to conclude the mini on a lighter note and I appreciate that.  Though the song doesn’t quite do much and we’re left with no Johnny or Winwin here once again.  It’s a good song, but a total 180 compared to what they opened the mini-album with.

 

 

For the group’s first comeback, LIMITLESS definitely upgraded the group to a better position after “Fire Truck”.  I also think as a whole, this mini-album, while shorter, had a bit more staying power as well.  Like I said, the group did add two members and they seemed to fit their roles well (though could’ve used more Yuta, Johhny, and Winwin in their songs).  Still, not bad…hopefully their next release will be even better!