Kurayami Monogatari

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NCT 127 – WE ARE SUPERHUMAN May 25, 2019

Filed under: NCT — solarblade @ 3:58 am

wearesuperhuman

Track Listing

  1. Highway To Heaven
  2. Superhuman
  3. FOOL
  4. Jet Lag
  5. Paper Plane
  6. OUTRO: WE ARE 127

1. Highway To Heaven

Opening the mini-album up, Highway To Heaven was kind of the preview before “Superhuman’s” PV came out and boy was I surprised to hear how different it sounded compared to all of their previous main tracks being a little more tame and straight EDM (kind of like “Replay” from their last album).  I instantly found myself into the song with the smooth feel and the strong vocals from Haechan, Taeil, Jaehyun, Jungwoo, and Doyoung (with bits from Johnny and Yuta too).  I think the only thing that threw me off was the rap from Taeyong & Mark though it is short regardless.  Still, what a cool song to open things with.

2. Superhuman

Though we move into the main course with Superhuman and likewise, it was something a bit more different than the hip-hop-esque sound we’ve been hearing from them the last couple of years.  The track is a bit more futuristic sounding and yet somewhat a but more livelier sounding.  It’s definitely a track that really encircles around the vocalists more and pushes back the rappers back (Johnny also seemed to join Mark and Taeyong in the rapping as well)  I really dug it though and a good change of pace after the likes of “Simon Says”, “Chain”, and “Wakey-Wakey”.

3. FOOL

Moving to the rest of the album, FOOL changes up by giving me some 90’s R&B here and it starts with raps from Mark, Jaehyun, and Taeyong before the song slightly opens to the chorus which feels light and minimalistic with not a lot of bass behind it.  I’m really liking the fact that there’s some lengthy solos for everyone in the song here.  I think the song may be a little too laidback and missing a backbone here, but it’s decent overall!

4. Jet Lag

The mini slows down further for Jet Lag, which seems to be the ballad here.  Simple piano melody and some Jungwoo, Jaehyun, and Haechan before the chorus hits with Taeil and just like “FOOL” they seem to aim for simplicity and not a lot of beats until Yuta comes in for the 2nd verse and then Jet Lag starts to gain some oomph but still gives me similar vibes to the aforementioned track, but handled a bit better.  Yeah, not bad here either, a small step above the previous track.

5. Paper Plane

Ending the mini off, Paper Plane is giving me some “Switch” vibes with the kind of playful cuteness here and I’m surprised the tune starts with Jaehyun, Johnny and Taeyong of all people singing and NOT rapping here whoa!  At least the song does somewhat gain some legs with the chorus section adding a dance beat, but it feels a bit weird?  It seems like a GAP commercial song (ironic since “Touch” exists).  I do like the EDM breakdown…but it just feels slightly filler here.  Still gotta appreciate all 9 members singing here!

6. OUTRO: WE ARE 127

Then we end with an outro piece that starts off light before we here Taeyong & Mark and then the song shifts into this low EDM beat that sounds pretty cool before it even outs while there’s random members throwing some lines before it kicks with dubstep and then some rough beats.  Don’t know why it was the outro because it surely didn’t work after “Paper Plane”.  Dunno, could’ve had been a song honestly…

 

 

Only about a month after their Japanese album, “Awaken” was released we get a mini-album from them in Korean and I’m not sure where I stand on this.  I feel like the buildup from both Highway To Heaven and Superhuman was awesome, but the remainder of the album felt lukewarm to me.  There was an obvious split of effort here and the fact that this mini wasn’t really like their previous minis, “NCT 127″, Limitless” or even “Cherry Bomb” was surprising.  I liked the first two tracks a LOT but the remaining 3 songs left me shrugging despite great vocals and the outro was just random.  Hmmmm….

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WayV – Take Off May 10, 2019

Filed under: NCT — solarblade @ 3:26 am

Take Off 6

Track Listing

  1. Take Off
  2. Regular
  3. Say It
  4. Come Back
  5. Let Me Love U
  6. Dream Launch

1. Take Off

As the leading song, I was curious to see what WayV had up their sleeves as their first original leading track.  I’m liking the kind of similar groove it has to something from NCT 127 with the grittier hip-hop vibe.  I do like that Lucas opens the song up with a rapping line with Yangyang.  Though later on Hendery, Ten & Winwin joins in the rap.  Though I do like the song slowing down for the prechorus with Xiaojun & Kun.  This song has got some good flow to it and the chorus is pretty dope too!  Even the more aggressive bridge suited everything too.  Yeah, not bad!

2. Regular

Not sure why they had to include the whole “The Vision” single here, but its whatever.  Not really much to say here that I haven’t multiple times about the song itself honestly.  WayV’s version is interesting just in the fact that it’s sung by 90% by new members (with only Winwin here from the original cut).

3. Say It

At least it’s evened out by new songs here right?  Say It opens kind of mysterious before it’s lead by some nice light vocals in this airy and ethereal atmosphere (heightened by some whisper and piano) before the song builds up and goes kind of EDM and then into some kind of mix of that and trap beats.  I kind of like the grow and the after-chorus sounds a bit chaotic too!  While I do hear a lot of Ten, Kun, and Xiaojun, the other members do show up, but the song feels rather short to me?  Not bad though and I like the fact the members sing together more here!

4. Come Back

So returning to this song again, Come Back still makes me wonder why it’s a popular song.  Anyways, Come Back is the group going into this pop/hip-hop feel, but leans more towards the poppier side of things.  I do appreciate that all the members get lines here and I feel like the 3 newbies fit nicely into the mold as well!  I do see the lean on Xiaojun though and I dig that, maybe I was harsh?  I dunno, but regardless, Come Back is good though.  Plus hearing Lucas, Hendery, and Yangyang rap is fun XD

5. Let Me Love U

The last of the new tracks, Let Me Love U kind of dials it back for this rather light, poppy acoustic heavy track and I actually really liked this setting for the boys here.  It just feels lighthearted and soft and suited for the guys’ vocals.  It’s like what if they did a NCT DREAM song y’know?  It’s a really cool laidback song for them and settles things down for the final track

6. Dream Launch

Likewise, the mini ends with Dream Launch which post “The Vision” review ended up getting a PV,  Like “Let Me Love U”, it’s pretty laidback and has more of an R&B-kind of flow to it that makes it relaxing.  Once again, lines are just nice to hear and everyone gets a solo throughout (though Winwin & Hendery get like two solo lines).  It’s relaxing and sweet and closes the mini on a nice note.

 

 

WayV seems to have finally released their first mini and it was OK.  Not sure if I would’ve included the whole “The Vision” single on here, but the new tracks were pretty decent I have to say.  They might become big if they keep this up as all the members do sound great together.  Just wonder when Winwin will return to 127 and if the other members are going to be utilized elsewhere under the NCT branding in the future.  Overall, Take Off was pretty good!

 

NCT 127 – Awaken April 19, 2019

Filed under: NCT — solarblade @ 3:07 am

awaken

Track Listing

  1. Lips
  2. Wakey-Wakey
  3. Chain
  4. Regular (English Ver.)
  5. Touch (Japanese Ver.)
  6. Blow My Mind
  7. Limitless
  8. Long Slow Distance
  9. Kitchen Beat
  10. Cherry Bomb (Korean Ver.)
  11. Fire Truck (Korean Ver.)
  12. End to Start

1. Lips

Opening the album up, Lips kicks the album off on a rather interesting track.  Starting with Jaehyun and then building up in this kind of jungle-like hip-hop track, I found it pretty interesting especially when there’s lines from everyone all over the track against this deep and rather cool-sounding track.  Not bad for the opening song and sets up nicely for the next tack, but maybe Lips would’ve been better somewhere in the middle because of the subject matter?  I don’t know lol.

2. Wakey-Wakey

Though the 2nd track was the one used to promote the release and it definitely fills in the gap that pretty NCT has been doing (most recently in “Simon Says” which can be somewhat similar, but also to “Chain” too). Wakey-Wakey though has a lot of build-up and likewise with “Lips”, it has great build-up and leads to rather catchy chorus.  Though I’m noticing Jungwoo and Taeil a LOT in this song.  Though the tune is for sure in their style and really worked here (I wonder if there’ll be a Korean version someday)

3. Chain

I wasn’t surprised to see that Chain would be here considering it was the main track off their mini-album debut in Japan.  Chain was a surprise for the group because it felt a bit more dirty and mechanical but for some reason it somehow worked and I was happy to see some Yuta getting attention on top of Taeyong giving one of his fastest raps and Taeil’s super high notes.  It’s so unique for NCT and one of my favorite songs from the group!

4. Regular (English Ver.)

I’m more shocked that there wasn’t a Japanese version of Regular (considering there’s an English & Korean take and a Chinese version done by WayV).  Instead we get the English cut of the song and it’s still a great latin-y song that really get the mood going and was exciting because it was Jungwoo’s debut into the group.  I mean for what it is, it’s still a pretty awesome song regardless and the tune just wins, but maybe I would’ve preferred some effort and made a Japanese cut instead, but that’s just me.

5. Touch (Japanese Ver.)

Which is bizarre because this is a thing too.  Although this was released by itself digitally last year so I suppose it doesn’t count?  If you don’t recognize the song, Touch was originally on “EMPATHY 2018” as a Korean song and ONLY track NCT 127 kind of repped for it.  Not quite sure why a Japanese version was made, but hey it’s on this album woo!  I will say this though that Touch is their most unique leading song because it’s not fully hip-hop like their other efforts and really stick out.  The poppy, upbeat groove is nice and the song remains catchy from the lingual switch-up so altogether, it’s a nice inclusion overall!

6. Blow My Mind

The next new track pulls us back into their darker and smoother side and it kind of reminds me of “Lips” in that way, but it’s nice to see everyone once again just showing off their vocals here.  I’m starting to feel like Taeil is just used for her belting in the end of bridges like how Taeyong & Mark are just rappers.  Not bad overall, definitely fits the mold of a good NCT 127 track and hey more Johnny is always nice!

7. Limitless

Another track from “Chain”, Limitless is of course the Japanese version of the same Korean song that was their 1st comeback in Korea.  I mean I still love this song even if this version does sound slightly smushed up in the transition from languages and doesn’t quite ride or has the same oomph as the original.  Still, the song is just a rally for NCT to get noticed and I love that this song was used to introduce Johnny and Doyoung to the group and they fit in just nicely.

8. Long Slow Distance

After “Limitless” it kind of hits a brick wall and we’re led into the album’s lone ballad, Long Slow Distance!  With a small amount of actual ballads in their discography, Long Slow Distance is a pretty simple song compared to the rest of the album.  I really do love that Haechan, Yuta, Taeil, and Jungwoo have the first verse, but let’s be honest, it seems Taeil is the main vocalist here.  Though it is fair that both Mark and Taeyong didn’t get any lines here (though I think they should have since both can sing well enough to keep up with the rest of the group >.>).  Regardless, the tune is OK, but nothing here for me to dwell upon

9. Kitchen Beat

I wasn’t sure what to expect with a title as such, but this follows the dirtier sound that 127 has adopted in the last couple releases.  It has an unusual beat and has some weird sounds going on that kind of mimic “Chain”.  I mean I do like the aggressive sound of the track for sure, but I can’t help but feel that something is missing here.  Though those ~nananana’s~ can get somewhat annoying since it is the chorus essentially.  Probably the weakest song off the album for me.

10. Cherry Bomb (Korean Ver.)

Did we slightly get lazy for this end stretch?  I mean Cherry Bomb and “Fire Truck” both in their original languages?  Really couldn’t update it could ya (y’know with no Winwin and newly added Jungwoo who oddly was in the English cut of the song >.>).  Anyways, Cherry Bomb is my least favorite of their leading songs just because it felt a little repetitive and kind of off when compared to their other songs.  Not saying it doesn’t have merits because some of that repetition is catchy on occasion.  Lots of both Taeyong and Mark here which compliments the hip-hop sound of the song (a lot of rap-like than anything else previous).  Might be my least favorite, but it’s still passable.

11. Fire Truck (Korean Ver.)

Which brings us to Fire Truck which was the group’s debut song!  I mean remember when 127 was just 7 members in the beginning?  Yeah, this song is still pretty dope today and really feels like something unique was there when they debuted.  Fire Truck might not have a strong melody like later releases did, but it’s a cool song nonetheless and helped give this group some identity out there!

12. End to Start

Ending the album, we have End to Start the last of the new tracks from the album and like I was saying back in “Long Slow Distance”, I think Mark and Taeyong could fit along with the rest of the group singing.  Mark actually opens the song in a singing line and later on Taeyong kind of does this too!  End to Start though is kind of in the middle being not quite a ballad but not a full-on attack of dance either.  For the album’s finale, this wasn’t something I was expecting but it’s definitely cool

Tracks Recommended

  • Chain
  • Fire Truck (Korean Ver.)
  • End to Start
  • Wakey-Wakey
  • Regular (English Ver.)

Song of Avoidance

  • Kitchen Beat

So we have arrived at NCT 127’s first Japanese album and for what it’s worth, it’s not bad really and for the most part the new songs really suited the group nicely (maybe except Kitchen Beat, but it definitely had that NCT sound to it).  Though I can’t help but feel it was slightly padded with a little too much fluff and maybe not enough effort.  I mean the original songs were great and Limitless and Touch were nice but like why wasn’t Regular, Cherry Bomb, and even Fire Truck given the same treatment (especially since it’s two other languages here).  Add in this album had a LOT of different iterations of the group here (the original 7, the 9, the 10, and now the current 9 since Winwin is busy with WayV still and isn’t participating here nor the group’s next Korean comeback).  It just seemed like a little more could’ve gone into the album but what we got isn’t bad all luckily!  Just a nitpick I guess!

 

WayV – The Vision January 17, 2019

Filed under: NCT — solarblade @ 4:40 pm

the vision

Track Listing

  1. Regular
  2. Come Back
  3. Dream Launch

1. Regular

What an odd way to debut by covering an NCT 127 song (considering the only member from that group was Winwin).  I’m happy to see that the fact I still dig the song despite the choice to make it their debut and it sounds fine in Chinese, thought I can’t say it has that punch that the original had.  I’m loving the fact that we get more Lucas, Ten, and Kun but shame that Winwin only has his original line while the new members, Yangyang, Hendery, and Xiaojun got more push.  Kun though impressed me here the most, he also seemed pretty smooth singing and rapping so it’ll be interesting to see where he ends up moving forward.  Decent choice, but would’ve rather had an original song to debut under.

2. Come Back

So the 2nd track is also a NCT 127 cover?  I don’t seem to understand how this song is this popular to have 3rd version, but I mean it’s pretty cool still of a song, but just kind of confusing.  I will say it does help show off the vocals in a better light and what I can say they all seem to be able to handle it just fine, but I wasn’t worried with the already known vocalists.  The new members sound pretty good and suits the NCT world just fine (Xiaojun has a bit of a honky voice, but training can fix that up) Hendery and Yangyang are just fine.

3. Dream Launch

So the 3rd track is the original track for the group?  I had thought they were going to use the BGM (from the member introductions) as the arrangement for the song but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.  The tune is set as a laidback R&B track which shows a little softness from the group.  It’s got a nice sound to it and hearing the guys singing melodically together is pretty nice, but the song is kind of vanilla to me.  I suppose it’s nice but I can see why this wasn’t a leading track.

 

 

So finally we have our NCT China unit, WayV (apparently they couldn’t use the NCT tie-in?).  Not gonna lie, I’m kind of disappointed they chose to debut with 2/3 of this release being covers of NCT 127 songs, but on the other hand since only one of the members in WayV (Winwin) is in that group, we got to her the songs with majority new members!  I’m happy to see Ten & Kun as they’ve been a part of NCT from essentially the beginning finally get their time to shine in a new group while Lucas can finally shine without being in both Taeyong & Mark’s shadow.  Winwin still doesn’t get enough lines even in his homeland group which is a shame.  The 3 new members all hold their own and great to see what could possibly be additions to either NCT U or NCT 127.  I just wish this single had a bit more originality here (like make the BGMs of their initial showing off songs?).

 

NCT 127 – Up Next Session: NCT 127 November 14, 2018

Filed under: NCT — solarblade @ 3:18 am

Up Next Session_ NCT 127

Track Listing

  1. Cherry Bomb (English Version)
  2. Regular (Domdada Remix)
  3. What We Talkin’ About (feat. Marteen)
  4. Fire Truck (Kago Pengchi Remix)

1. Cherry Bomb (English Version)

Opening up this digital release, we have NCT 127 doing an English take on Cherry Bomb which was the group’s 3rd comeback song!  It’s a little weird with the group making and English track (despite that “Regular” was just that and it turned out well enough).  Cherry Bomb on the other hand sounds weird in English and it’s mostly from Taeyong here.  His lines feel strange to me and I don’t know why he specifically sticks out this way.  Also Jungwoo (who was added, despite not being in the original) has a singular line and he sticks out too.  On the other hand kudos to Mark, Jaehyun, and Doyoung…they definitely won me over in their English lines.  Otherwise, it’s Cherry Bomb so more or less you know what you’re getting and if you were a fan of the original this might be worth checking out.

2. Regular (Domdada Remix)

Seems like the release is more like a special release.  With remixes involved, I wasn’t surprised one of them was going to be with their recent hit (the one they’ve been promoting here in America).  This remix does retain some of the original’s melody, but feels a bit more Western with heavier bass and some emphasis with the ~domdada~ sound.  I think it loses some of the vibes that I loved in the original so the remix kind of is OK, but doesn’t quite shine like the original take.

3. What We Talkin’ About (feat. Marteen)

Then we get into the only new song on this release!  Starting with some interesting tinkering sounds that goes into this cool R&B sound that’s fitting to the group’s “Limitless” album’s sound.  I do like everyone being involved here and even Marteen sounds decent through his lines.  Might not be the strongest track to fit in NCT 127’s discography but it’s a decent incentive to get this release.

4. Fire Truck (Kago Pengchi Remix)

Closing things out, we get another remix, this time of the group’s debut song, Fire Truck.  While this remix breaks off from the more grittier sound and giving a heavier bass groove is such an interesting switch of sound.  I do think it gives the song a smidge more air to breathe and the hits are a lot more built up.  I can definitely appreciate this remix changing things a little in the arrangement instead of changing the vocal line.  Though, it is surprising it’s just 3 minutes…just the same length as the original >.<

 

 

As a special release on iTunes, Up Next Session kind of came out of nowhere and so soon after their “regular-irregular” album as well!  I will say that this was a nice little surprise if not maybe a bit random.  Cherry Bomb in English was cool and the fact they put effort by adding Jungwoo to it is nice.  The new song was decent, but felt like an album track of theres so it’s mostly fluff to me.  Of the remixes, I definitely prefer the Fire Truck one over Regular, but overall it was OK of a release.

 

NCT 127 – regular-irregular October 13, 2018

Filed under: NCT — solarblade @ 11:56 pm

regular-irregular

Track Listing

  1. City 127
  2. Regular
  3. Replay (PM 01:27)
  4. Welcome To My Plaground (Regulate only)
  5. Knock On
  6. No Longer
  7. Interlude: Regular to Irregular
  8. Simon Says (Regulate only)
  9. My Van
  10. Come Back
  11. Fly Away With Me
  12. Chain (Korean Ver.) (Regulate only)
  13. Regular (English Ver.)
  14. Run Back 2 U (bonus track)

1. City 127

Opening the album up, City 127 kicks things off on a bit of a laidback and calm setting with its light R&B.  After the introduction (which is the chorus), Taeyong does his rapping and singing in the verses before the chorus with Taeil, Doyoung, Jaehyun, Haechan, and Yuta filling that out then following with Mark in the second verse.  Yeah it seems it’s just these 7 members that are featured here so the remaining 3 are just missing.  For the opening track, it’s light and soft and sweet, but I don’t know if I would’ve had it open the album up IMO.

2. Regular

Which is made more apparent because Regular was chosen to promote the album as a whole.  Of course NCT 127’s comeback songs have mostly been hard songs (with the exception of “Touch”).  Unlike previous efforts though, Regular has more of a Latin sound to it and I find it refreshing for the group.  Now this song features all the members here (which includes Johnny, Winwin and new member Jungwoo).  I thought the song’s more meaningful lyrics were easier to like than the English version, but it’s still a great listen.  While it still has Taeyong & Mark leading most of the song, just about everyone has a singular solo here and I found myself loving the arrangement.  Groovy song, might not stand out like “Limitless” or “Fire Truck” did, but this is a good comeback!

3. Replay (PM 01:27)

I had wondered if there was any connection to one of their past songs, “Back 2 U (AM 01:27)” and it just seems it’s kind of a vague connection as it’s more of like something you would listen to in the afternoon versus the other track in the morning.  Replay is quite slow at first and I like the opening sections with Jaehyun & Doyoung.  Then after the prechorus with Yuta & Haechan, the song gets a cool beat and turns upbeat and club-centric and I just ended up loving the track!  Hell even hearing Jungwoo, Taeil, and Johnny in the 2nd verse was awesome!  Little surprised with no Taeyong and Mark, but this song is quite a strong song for them!

4. Welcome To My Playground

Of course the album was rereleased with some extra tracks (a common thing to do with K-pop albums, albeit “EMPATHY” seemed to not do it).  The first of the new tracks on the repackaged album, “Regulate”, Welcome To My Playground is more for the fans who enjoyed “Touch”.  It harbors some of that cute playfulness about it in its arrangement, but of the three is probably the weakest.  I’m surprised to see how much Jungwoo there is here (probably the most through the entire album).  Though I guess there was less of Johnny, Winwin, Yuta, and less Taeyong…I guess I was pretty much OK with it.  I suppose it has its place, but I’m not remembering much of it.

5. Knock On

I feel like the album’s overall sound so far seems more relaxed than previous releases and it shows with the last track and now this song!  The tune just feels dream-like, but I’m very happy to hear everyone get a decent line in this track.  Though beyond that, the song kind of floats through my mind and dissipates pretty quickly.  I don’t know, this one doesn’t really stand out to me very much.

6. No Longer

This one only features 6 of the 10 members (Taeil, Yuta, Jaehyun, Haechan, Doyoung, and Jungwoo).  Yeah, it’s even lighter than “Knock On” being more of a ballad than anything else this album provided so far.  With a simple piano arrangement with light high-hat, the song is here for the 6 to show off their vocal prowess.  I mean I already know how powerful they all can be, but I’m happy to see Yuta and Jungwoo as we don’t quite get to see their vocals much and both can handle themselves just fine.  While it’s not my type of song, it’s nice they threw a ballad on here.

7. Interlude: Regular to Irregular

A 3-minute interlude to give us a break from the music?  I mean, I do like the classical sounds I get from it with the piano & strings and the fact this is the same track that played on their Yearbook video (a vid showing all 18 NCT members), but the fact this track exists to kind of bridge from the slower stuff to the more hip-hop stuff as a little past halfway, the arrangement shifts into a darker motif with some chaotic chords and some trap high-hats, though when played backwards it’s actually kind of a chaotic take on “Fire Truck”.  Interesting interlude and I feel like it did its job here.

8. Simon Says

Chosen to promote the repackaged cut of the album, Simon Says is such a strange song but yet fitting for NCT 127’s more hip-hopish sound.  The sound is mysterious and kind of harboring a darker vibe like “Limitless” and “Chain” but more the latter.  Of course the song is pretty much littered with a lot of Taeyong and Mark, but there seems to be a bit more of a nicer line distribution.  For a promo song, it’s odd, but I dig it in a weird way.

9. My Van

Moving into the irregular side of the album, My Van only features Taeyong, Mark, Jaehyun, and Jungwoo.  Honestly, I feel like the track is more for the rappers as a LOT of the song is back and forth between Taeyong & Mark and as usual, they sound great and bounce off each other so nicely.  I don’t know why, but this song makes me think of like weed or something was involved here as the lyrics seem so…off?  I don’t know Jaehyun and Jungwoo both could’ve been left out and it wouldn’t change much honestly.  This was kind of a weak song.

10. Come Back

At least the pace is picked up again with Come Back which does sound like an album track from something previous of theres (maybe “Cherry Bomb”?).  While I feel like a lot of the members are once again left out of solos and a lot of the focus is between Taeil, Doyoung, Haechan, Taeyong, and Mark, there are some smaller parts are there for some of the other members.  The rapping part is odd in the song, but the rest of the song is funky and cool!  After a while it dawned on me…this is a Korean take of Come Back that was originally found on their Japanese mini-album, “Chain”.  No wonder why it sounded so familiar to me!

11. Fly Away With Me

Hearing Taeil & Doyoung lead so much is rather nice, but I’m happier to hear a longer solos for both Jungwoo & Winwin alongside in the first verse of our next track.  It does feel like this song suits being closer to “Replay” and “Knock On” more than back towards the end of the album.  The chorus is nice and the beat is relaxing and not in your face.  Once again surprised that Taeyong and Mark aren’t here, but this song is a decent jam I’d say.  What I will say, is this song sounds almost 1 to 1 with a Jordin Fisher song, “All About Us”…is it a cover?

12. Chain (Korean Ver.)

Of course I say the repackaged album came with 3 new tracks, but this technically doesn’t count since it’s just a Korean take on their Japanese lead-in track off their mini-album of the same name.  Right from the beginning besides the language change, the song feels like it had some arrangement editing like adding in an echo filter to make the tune feel a bit more rounded.  Though not surprised that I didn’t hear Jungwoo here since he wasn’t present in the original release (ironic, since Jungwoo was added to “Cherry Bomb”).  Hmmm…

13. Regular (English Ver.)

The timing couldn’t have been more predicted that NCT 127 would opt for an English cut of Regular (even to the point where the lyrics are different).  Granted, the line distribution stays the same which is great to show off all the members in some fashion (Winwin getting shafted again).  Either way, the English cut sounds quite good and the members mostly sound good speaking in English (Taeyong has some questionable mumbles) but otherwise it’s still Regular and it just sounds very American-friendly!

14. Run Back 2 U

So we have “Running 2 U” and “Back 2 U” as well…is there some other connection that I need to know about?  Either way, when I saw this was the bonus track, it made curious as to why it was so and as it turns out the chorus is actually taken from a track called “BASSBOT” which was used to showcase 6 of the SM ROOKIES (Taeyong, Jaehyun, Johnny, Yuta, Ten, and former SM ROOKIE Hansol) back in 2015 before NCT was formed.  I thought it was an awesome track and seeing that idea extended and given to NCT 127 (would’ve been great if Ten was involved) was an awesome idea.  The new parts are great and seeing the other 127 members (minus Haechan for some reason) is a good way to turn this track into one of theirs.  I still love the heavy chorus and its speedy and catchy as hell too!  What a surprise to see making the album!

Tracks Recommended

  • Replay (PM 01:27)
  • Regular (both versions)
  • Run Back 2 U
  • Simon Says
  • Fly Away With Me

Song of Avoidance

  • My Van

So finally here we are with NCT 127’s first full length album and all I can say is…it’s OK?  Maybe it’s just from being blessed by “EMPATHY” or something, but I feel like regular-irregular was kind of a bit dull in places.  Stuff like Regular, Replay, and Run Back 2 U showcased their harder style, but I feel like majority of the rest was just sleeper songs for me.  It’s not bad, but at this point I think they could do better.  Also, hey Jungwoo joined the group and he was pushed pretty moderately here, but his voice is enough to really pop alongside Doyoung (as to me, they both have similar power and sound).  Interesting to see where they go next after their adventure in America…though if rumors are correct, a new Chinese NCT unit?  I’m kind of excited to see Kun, Winwin, Lucas, Chenle, and Renjun possibly get something cool (especially since the recent SM ROOKIES; Hendery, Yangyang, and Xiaojun were just added to SM ROOKIES earlier in the year).

As for Regulate, the 3 added tracks were kind of these and didn’t harm the rest of the album in anyway, nice to see NCT go back to more of their edgier sound for Simon Says and added a cuter song in Welcome To My Playground while Chain was kind of a bonus to say the least.  Overall altogether, I’d say this album era was pretty good!

 

NCT DREAM – We Go Up September 17, 2018

Filed under: NCT — solarblade @ 6:55 am

wegoup

Track Listing

  1. We Go Up
  2. 1, 2, 3
  3. Beautiful Night
  4. Drippin’
  5. Dear DREAM
  6. Qing Chun Ji Lie

1. We Go Up

It seems that NCT DREAM took a smidge step back after their last song, “GO” shocked the fandom with the harsh change of style.  Granted, it doesn’t quite feel like that when the song starts (and has) rapping for its verses from just about everyone, but Renjun & Chenle.  Anyways it’s nice to see everyone involved a bit more equally than just about all of their previous comebacks.  While I do love the energy the verses bring and the slow pre-choruses with Chenle, Haechan, Mark, Jisung, and Renjun, but the chorus just kind of flops into this slow-paced heavy and repetitive chorus and seriously is the worst part because of how meh it is.  Still, the song is kind of catchy to me, but definitely not their strongest comeback.

2. 1, 2, 3

Moving to the rest of the mini, NCT DREAM brings more of a cooler and I’m loving the nostalgic 90s vibe I get out of this one for sure!  Though it does seem to fall back on the main singers taking the solos (Mark, Haechan, Renjun, and Chenle) it’s still a great time to be had here and the other 3 members had at least solos.  It’s a pretty neat song and a lot better than I expected from the group.

3. Beautiful Night

Our next track slows things down and what’s this, Renjun, Jeno, Jisung, and Renjun get the first solos?  Yeah, it’s really surprising to see the group tackle more of a slower jam and to showcase more of the vocals of the group (minus some raps from Mark, Jeno, and Jaemin).  This is the kind of song I was hoping NCT DREAM would do as a comeback so I really enjoyed this one!

4. Drippin’

Aren’t we still a little too young here for this kind of song?  If you were looking for NCT DREAM’s sound to be a little more closer to “GO” then this song is the closest we’ll get but not quite as hard, but lyrically this is a bit too much…almost a bit too lewd for me xD.  If I ignore that, the song reminds me of NCT 127’s “Chain”.  I’m surprised there’s so much Renjun here though.  I’m really uncomfortable with this one…but other than the lyrics it is more of teen angsty sounding DREAM so *shrugs*.

5. Dear DREAM

I’m need a palette cleanse after that song and as the last track (well original track), Dear DREAM kind of takes things back down to a slower cute song.  Surprised that Mark & Jeno have such a long rapping verse.  Unfortunately, the song kind of flies over my head, but I do appreciate that the back members get more time to do their thing like Jaemin & Jisung.  It definitely closes the mini on a nice note, but of the songs this might be the forgettable one.

6. Qing Chun Ji Lie

Essentially, the Chinese cut of We Go Up closes the album as all of their physical releases have had that.  Really though not much to say really, I will say Mark, Renjun, and Chenle sound great in their pronunciations (because duh, they speak fluent Chinese).  The rest do have quirks about their wording, but it’s passable.  Yeah.

 

 

After their rather shocking contribution to “NCT 2018 EMPATHY”, the group kind of toned it back slightly for their 3rd comeback here.  While I have to say their lead-in isn’t quite as strong as previous efforts, the mini as a whole did a lot better for them than “We Young” and “The First” did.  I will say whoever though NCT DREAM needed Drippin’ needs to be slapped in the back of the head, the rest was really pleasant for them and finally showing love to Jeno, Jisung, and Jaemin is all I ever wanted here.  Granted, this is also unfortunately Mark’s last release with NCT DREAM as he’s graduating the group (because of his age), so it’ll be interesting to see how the dynamic shifts without their main rapper in the group.