A new NCT 127 comeback is upon us and, with the group doing promotions in America ahead of the EP release, they are dropping a new (almost entirely) English-language track and it is as almost all NCT tracks are…A BOP.
More than a lot of groups out of Korea in the idol spectrum, NCT 127 is not afraid to toot their own horn and let you know exactly where you stand with them. This song turns their attitude up to 11 and adds a little trap-sumption to the mix for good measure. The amount of sauce it takes to pull this off convincingly when a lot of your members are kittens is off the charts, but they pull it off well and make the song work expertly.
A lot of this had to do with the writer of the track, Vedo. An American artist with his own discography and solid releases, he is able to take out the try-hard in this song by writing it from the perspective of someone used to the language in it. There is a lot of slang in this track, but it all works together and makes sense when you listen closely. The reason this works for when Vedo does it and doesn’t for other writers unfamiliar with AAVE is that he knows not to pull back too much or overuse. When people naturally speak like this, it is sprinkled throughout the way they talk; it’s not all dropped in a single sentence and never used again nor is it used to call attention to certain words. It is a part of the speaker and the way this is written makes everything come across as natural so that the charisma of the performers don’t have to make up for unintentional cringe.
There appear to be two things that have been toned down for an American audience from a production standpoint, though. The first is the harmonies. While it’s usually NCT U that comes with that real richness of backing vocals, NCT 127 haven’t been slouches in that department either and this track tends to push all that to the side for unison singing (except for the We got the wave/We gettin’ paid part). While we find this disappointing, it makes sense in some respects as American audience are not used to full harmonies from singing groups anymore, especially on party jams.
What surprised us is how much the bass had been turned down as well. NCT is probably best known for switching up what we think of as the drop. Songs like Boss, The 7th Sense, and Chain come in with most of the bass banging from the beginning and, when the chorus hits, dropping enhancements in the melody to make the emphasize. When they do a more traditional drop, it’s always near the beginning like on Cherry Bomb. This not only keeps the bassline the same for most of the track, there are large sections of the song where there is no bass whatsoever. Honestly, considering the Latin nature of the track this is probably the best song to switch up with, but we would have loved a little more knock in the trunk.
But slightly out of character choices don’t make this song bad. This is probably one of the catchier songs to come out of a major group this year without coming across as gimmicky or filler. It has us very excited for the Korean version of the track as well as the new release, due out October 12.
As a special bonus, we’re also including the live stage from when the group performed the song on Jimmy Kimmel Live! It can be hard to hear some of the members over the screaming of the crowd and the backtracking, but we’re kind of impressed that they didn’t completely lip-sync (Taeyong…we see why you’re the leader because we can HEAR you). We think come of the quietness may have come from several of the group members being unsure about their English because we can hear just about everybody on their live version of Cherry Bomb, so we think it’s pretty forgivable this time. Once they perform the track more, the live stages with live vocals are bound to improve.
The lyrics are finally available on the original video, so hit the [CC] button to see what @VedoTheSinger did for them as a writer.