NCT 127 – 'WE ARE SUPERHUMAN'
1. Highway to Heaven
4. Jet Lag
5. Paper Plane
6. OUTRO: WE ARE 127
NCT 127 is back, this time boldly declaring 'We Are Superhuman.' A bold statement indeed, but not hyperbole this time, considering the album has already topped iTunes charts in 23 countries! Their 4th mini-album includes 5 brand new tracks, plus the pre-release track "Highway to Heaven." Not to mention the title track "Superhuman." And they've spent time teasing the other songs on here, not only on TV spots but also during their Neo City: The Origin world tour.
"Highway to Heaven" starts out soft and billowy. It develops into a low-key synth-pop track. About a minute in, it's pretty clear you're not getting the soft airy pop that served as an intro. It's not bad. It's catchy, but I think I would have preferred less of a transition, and heard more of how the song started. Their title track is "Superhuman." This is a full-on club-banger, the kind of tune that I love. The pounding beats, the spitting synths, the fierce chorus -- all awesome. And in some ways, the harmonies sound retro, like the jazz-pop that characterized the late 80s -- it's the smoothness and the way all that sounds. "FOOL" starts out playful with a rap line, and it doesn't really go away soon, which is a good thing. They continue this all through the main verses while serving up a silky-smooth, slick chorus.
The lone ballad on here is "Jet Lag." This song is okay, but I've heard a lot of songs just like it. It's got some R&B influences, with the piano and the beats, and it ends okay. It's not terrible but didn't do anything for me. "Paper Plane" is the one type of plane you won't get jet lag from. They slow it down a bit, going soft pop for this one. Though it does get some techno-tinged breakdowns even before the halfway mark. That's when it also gets a beat, and tempo tilts up a bit. It's one of those uplifting songs that seem to be ubiquitous in K-pop nowadays. The industrial sounding "OUTRO: WE ARE 127" has some repetitive chords and indistinct auto-tune before heading a heavier break. There are some sweet time changes and sounds in this all-too-short outro track.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with this EP. Judging by the sales, the fans are too. They've scaled back their hip-hop aesthetic to deliver more melodic hits. It was a gamble that seems to have paid off in spades. They still haven't lost that energy that made them a force to be reckoned with in the first place. And they did a great job with this release.
The boys of NCT 127 show you exactly why they're "Superhuman."
This effects-laden MV features plenty of dynamic shots. From a dance floor with LED-generated patterns to Doyoung walking through a room with duplicates of him, there's something for everyone. The boys floating on their backs in mid-air, cool animated backgrounds, and rooms that look like they were pulled from a sci-fi set. There's even a scene where they're dancing in front of something that looks like an extradimensional portal (later there's even a spinning Bohr Model floating overhead while they do this).
But during all this, they don't skimp on the dancing sequences. NCT 127 choreo has never disappointed, and they carry on the trend here. The song's a fairly energetic one, so of course, the dance moves are the same. I'm critical of many MVs because they mainly rely on dance moves (or only show a few seconds). But here, you get enough dancing to scratch that dance floor itch.
It's almost impossible to cover everything going on here in one short article, so I won't even try. They switch shots so quickly that you're not supposed to think too much about what's going on. So you don't get to see all that much before the shot changes to something else entirely. But what we do see is awesome.
So yeah, if you're wondering if I like this, wonder no more. This gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from me. This is guaranteed to please even the most jaded eye.
MV SCORE: 8.6
ALBUM SCORE: 8.6