NCT 127 – 'NEO ZONE THE FINAL ROUND'
1. Punch *Title
4. Kick It
6. Pandora’s Box
7. Day Dream
8. Make Your Day
9. Interlude: Neo Zone
10. MAD DOG
11. Sit Down!
12. Love Me Now
13. Love Song
14. White Night
15. Not Alone
16. Dreams Come True
17. Elevator (127F)
It's scarcely been two months since NCT 127's last release, and now they're dropping a repackage, 'Neo Zone: The Final Round.' The new LP has all 13 tracks from the original, as well as four brand new ones. This includes "Punch," which is the newest title track. 'Neo Zone' is their second studio album.
“Punch” is the lead single for this album, and it has some similarities to "Kick It." It's hip hop with some dreamy bridges and smooth harmonies. That sounds weird to you, then take it up with them. I like this tune a lot, and not just because of what I just described. Taken with the original title track, it fits right in. "NonStop” is decidedly not hip hop, but it has a lot of rapping for all that. The contrast between the rap and the silky harmonies is what makes this an awesome club banger. That seems to be NCT 127's signature sound and they have this down pat.
You may have already heard "Prelude." It's an intro for "Kick It" from their live performances. It serves the same purpose here. It's an instrumental, and largely noise in the beginning. Eventually it gets a beat and becomes a dance tune. It's low-key and sets up the suspense nicely. "Make Your Day" is a good example of a ballad done right. They have the tender notes, the falsetto, the emotional expressions of regret, and it largely remains the same from beginning to end. They don't ruin it by trying to compete with the music. While it's not my thing, it's better than some of the other offerings out there.
I'm really glad they decided to go with mostly club bangers for the B-sides. I'd much rather hear bangers than ballads. Its summer, which really calls for a little more aggressive, danceable music. From my lips to God's ears, or maybe NCT 127's ears. Still, all in all, these are some snapping tracks.
This seems to be mostly a performance version video. The first thing you notice about this MV is the outfits. In the beginning, they're entirely clad in leather, black leather along with zips, studs, and all that. They kind of look like extras from a Mad Max film.
Later they transition to what looks like racing duds. Pleather jackets with patches on them, hawking this or that or another brand. I couldn't help noticing they don't actually climb on or into any vehicles.
They also use the "boy in the box" trope for this music video, but they make it cooler than that. They use some interesting distortion effects in the background, which makes it more fun to watch. Yes, there are some shots where you can see the box with lights shining down, but this doesn't distract from the overall effect. They actually make it cooler.
There's not a whole lot to say about it. They dance around, there's some pretty energetic choreo, and they even look cool. I'll leave it to my audience to judge whether or not they look hot as well.
So if you asked me if I like this one, I'd have to say yes.
MV SCORE: 8.3
ALBUM SCORE: 8.0