NCT 127 is back, and they have brought with them their second full album with 13 new songs.
The group hasn't had a comeback since last May, so this was a long awaited release.
Prior to the album's release date of March 6th, NCT 127 posted short track videos for every one of their songs, except for the title track and interlude.
These clips ranged from around fifty seconds to a minute and fifty seconds and are like mini music videos. Each one gave fans a taste of each song through both the audio and visuals.
Throughout this post, I'll be featuring some of these videos, but first I want to give time to the title track.
"영웅" or "Kick It"/"英雄" is the title track and it is heavily influenced by Chinese martial-arts. The song is about being a hero and features mentions of actor and martial artist, Bruce Lee.
As well as having lyrics that revolve around being a hero in a movie, they reference well-known martial arts films like "Enter The Dragon" and "Hero".
My favorite part of this song starts at 3:21 because I love the way Taeil and Haechan's voices stand out from the group's chorus.
I know this is a big statement, but this is probably my favorite title track NCT 127 has had this far in their career. From the choreo, to the concept, to the energy, I think that every member delivered an amazing performance in this comeback.
Moving onto the B-sides of this album, there are an abundance of great songs that deserve as much attention as "Kick It".
Instead of focusing on powerful lyrics about being a hero, a majority of their other tracks are about love.
"Boom" is the third track on this album, and it delivers a 90s soft pop sound. The chorus and post chorus of this song stands out to me the most.
I know that the chorus of a song is meant to stand out since it is repeated multiple times, but the flow of the chorus into the post-chorus is what gives "Boom" its distinct sound and makes it special in my opinion.
Taeil and Doyoung take turns singing the chorus starting at 0:57, and Doyoung's last note leads into Mark's post chorus around 1:12. I personally love the sound of this track and this part specifically.
Another B-side that features themes of love is rightfully titled "Love Song". The lyrics and the romantic feeling they give off reminds me of the song, "FOOL" from their previous mini album.
The song is about walking in the rain shoulder to shoulder with someone you like under an umbrella. Even though you "really hate the rain," like the chorus says, you actually "came to like it a bit" and beg it not to stop.
In addition to the sweet lyrics, the words are even more special because three of the members helped write them. The rappers of NCT 127, Taeyong and Mark, have helped write lyrics in the past, but for Johnny, this was his first time participating in the writing process.
The last soft track I want to mention from this album is "Love Me Now".
When this video dropped, I instantly fell in love with it. I think the soft dance beat of the song and the concept of the track video work really well together.
When I first listened to the full version, I realized that this song has a similar sound to "Replay (PM 01:27)" on their first full album, "Regular-Irregular".
My favorite part is the post-chorus, and you can hear a little bit of it in the video below starting at 1:08. This entire song is very catchy, but this part gets stuck in my head the most.
Moving away from the soft love songs, "Sit Down!" is one of the hip-hop tracks featured on this album.
When this track video for this song dropped, I immediately gravitated towards it because the beginning reminded me of one of my favorite rap groups, 3RACHA, and their song "Runner's High".
With that being said, both songs are very different.
Even though the preview for this song showcased only the rappers, Taeyong and Mark, all the members are featured on this track. Initially, I didn't know how to feel about this song not being just the hip-hop unit; however, after a couple listens, the vocal members' parts grew on me and this song became one of my favorites off the album.
NCT 127 did not disappoint with this album. From soft love songs to hard rap tracks, this album features songs for everybody.