NCT DREAM – 'WE BOOM'
4. Bye My First…
5. Best Friend
6. Dream Run
NCT Dream has just unveiled their newest release, 'We Boom.' The six-track EP, a followup to last September’s ‘We Go Up,’ is their third mini-album to date. They tapped some talent to work with them this time, too, such as Adien Lewis (Taemin's 'Move' LP) and MZNC ("RBB (Really Bad Boy)" by Red Velvet). Mark's graduated as well, so they're a six-member group again. But, with a graduation system in place, do those empty seats on the album cover mean something?
"BOOM" starts out with raps and stripped down instrumentation. Soon, it shifts to a more sensual groove, with heavy bass. It's different from what we've heard from these guys before. I like it because instead of being upbeat for the sake of being cheery they sound a little darker and more focused. Continuing the bass synth notes and raps is "STRONGER." I like how the song fills out more as time goes on, and they sound a little fiercer than they usually do, which is a nice shift. It lends some definite cred to the song's title. "119" sounds a little lonely at first, with lone voices and very little instrumentation. You don't have long to wait for the rest of the band and a solid backing track. I like how the synths crash around them. The vocals and synths are perfectly in sync, and I love how this one sounds.
They get a little more mellow on "Bye My First…" This one is probably the most straight-ahead pop tune on the EP. There's raps, falsetto, and a strumming guitar for a backing track on the chorus. The effect is rather refreshing. "Best Friend" kind of continues that slowed down theme. Absent of many of the synth flourishes, this song shows off their vocals the best. It's nothing amazing, but it does the job. They end the album with the upbeat club-banger "Dream Run." This kind of tune is welcome after the mellower offerings that came before it. I like the repetitive frantic feeling of the chorus. And right after the first chorus, we get some pretty sick raps.
Interestingly enough, the first half of the album sounds experimental. The boys crank out some atypical tracks for the first 3 tunes, and there's an avant-garde feeling to some of it. But once "Bye My First…" cues up, all that goes out the window, and they return to a sound much more like their previous output. Actually, I like this release a lot. It's always dicey when a band changes their sound, but I like the direction this is headed.
The boys show off their choreo on elaborate sets in "Boom."
But that's not all. This video is full of interesting shots, some seen only once. Nice outfit transitions, floating books, burning roses, sports cars, punching bags, and embers flying about the band as they dance. It seemed like they made a list of cool stuff, and then stuffed it all together in editing. Still, it works quite well.
And along with the outfit shifts, they also change locations, tripping from one to the next at breakneck speed. And those particular ones range from ornate to pedestrian, from parking garages, to a richly appointed ballroom, to a full-blown stadium. This MV has no shortage of cool places to show off NCT Dream's moves.
And they do quite well. "Boom" is a club-banger, albeit a somewhat experimental one. So, of course, the boys move as they mean it. Bold, confident moves and swift transitions from one pose to the next gives you some basic idea of how they look. The effect is arresting.
I always ask "did I have fun" when watching this stuff. I don't know if "fun" is the word, but I certainly wasn't bored.
MV SCORE: 8.3
ALBUM SCORE: 8.6