NCT 127 is fast becoming that group; the one that, when you’ve find out they’ve made a comeback, you run to the nearest device and start searching (or, you know, come to this site). Everything that this particular subunit has done has been pretty good. NCT #127 might have had its problems, but since Limitless the group has found their sound and it is working for them. They managed to find a happy middle ground between their foreign and Korean fans and keep them both bopping.
Not that this feel like a rehash of Limitless. The group maintains that hip-pop/R&B hybrid that seems to be magic for them, but mixes in a little more dirt this time around, making the songs come across as polished but not innocent-sounding for the bulk of the runtime. The production of the set is fairly happy throughout, with the not-quite ballad Sun & Moon being the only somewhat darkish track sonically. 0 Mile and Summer 127 both have a throwback sound that mixes R&B with disco and eighties-style melodies, making for some nice dance tracks.
The vocals are great for the set, but the sound is put together different this time around. With Limitless there was a lot of emphasis on the harmonies; the backing vocals were lush and really played just as big a part of the rhythmic support as the beats. This time around, the emphasis is on the solo vocals and the fuller harmonies and background adlib runs have been dialed back. Another point of interest are Mark and Taeyong, who bring the bars this time around. Every song would have probably worked just fine without them (except Cherry Bomb), but they bring that extra little bit of good that makes the songs go from listenable to addictive. The disparate elements combine for a nice sound that gives you a really good feel for the individual talents of the members while still making this sound like a group effort.
Lyrically, we like what we’ve seen so far. There isn’t anything mind-blowing (from what we can tell), but everything holds together well and the songs makes sense even for us non-Korean listeners. We get the feeling that this will be the next area of improvement for them as they have been working hard on the other elements and the progress shows.
Our favorite tracks are 0 Mile, Cherry Bomb, and Whiplash. The most skippable track is Running To You.