NCT DREAM – 'WE GO UP'
1. We Go Up
2. 1, 2, 3
3. Beautiful Time
5. Dear DREAM
6. We Go Up (Chinese Ver.)
NCT Dream, the third subunit from the boy band NCT, has just released their second mini-album 'We Go Up.' It consists of 6 brand new jams, including the Chinese version of their title track, "We Go Up."
"We Go Up" is the title track and a very playful tune. It starts out with raps, which automatically knocks it up a few notches in my book. The smooth chorus provides a great counterpoint to the main verses. And I like the subtle tempo change at the end. "1, 2, 3" is a softer, slower tune, more akin to the chorus on "We Go Up." It's kind of a cute song. It's a low key dance track that's bright and upbeat sounding. The high tenors really set the tone for this one.
The soft pop "Beautiful Time" probably won't surprise anyone. It's a look at the calmer side of the band, with silky harmonies and synth washes. It's as much a showcase for the vocals as anything, and they kill it here. "Drippin`" is where they really crank up the tempo. It's not hard so much as lightning-fast R&B. It works on a number of levels and has a chorus that is more club-banger than anything else. It's a kickin' track. "Dear DREAM" is hip-hop. It sounds very introspective, the raps telling the story while soft hooks rise every once in a while. It's a pretty entertaining listen, and you'll probably want to spin it more than once to take everything in.
This album has some more hip-hop influences than I expected, and that's a good thing. And the EP has a good mix of softer tunes and higher-tempo ones. There's some experimentation with time changes here that I really heart. This one should go on your playlist for 2018, for all the things I listed, and if for no other reason than the vocals. These boys bring it every time.
Join NCT Dream as they take you on a dream-like trip in their latest MV 'We Go Up.'
And trip they do, from one room to the next, whether it be a small red room they dance into a basketball court, and on the outside on top of a building (in the parking lot, maybe). Let's not forget the car wash scene. And missiles and fireworks, because like the band, they go up too.
I particularly like the darker shots during the bridge, that just lends it some edginess that is noticeably absent from the rest of it. That's not a bad thing. It's supposed to be upbeat. And there are other scenes like the boys silhouetted against a pink evening sky and running across a grassy plain with the 'We Go Up' flag waving as they go.
It's a fun ride, really. And at the end of the day, that's all you can ask for.
MV SCORE: 8.3
ALBUM SCORE: 8.6