[This review reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of allkpop.]
1. 90's Love
3. Raise The Roof
5. Light Bulb*
6. Dancing In The Rain*
7. My Everything
8. Interlude: Past to Present*
9. Make A Wish (Birthday Song)*
10. Deja Vu*
12. Music, Dance*
13. Faded In My Last Song*
14. From Home*
15. From Home - Korean Version*
16. Make A Wish (Birthday Song) - English Version*
17. Interlude: Present to Future
18. Work It
19. All About You
21. Outro: Dream Routine
* indicates song is a re-release
The anticipated sequel to Resonance Pt. 1, Resonance Pt. 2, has finally arrived. The giant unit that is none other than NCT comes bearing a follow up to their last album that's a whopping 21 tracks long. Before you get excited, a majority of the songs on this album are re-releases. In fact, out of the 21 songs on the album, only 8 are new songs and 2 of those are interludes or outros. So in total, about 6 new tracks to listen to and review on this release.
The album's focal point is the first song, "90's Love". The song was chosen as the group's title and was promoted with an amazing MV that I'll unpack later in this review. "90's Love" sounds a bit like Bell Biv DeVoe's "Poison" with the way the iconic old school drum break kicks in the intro of the song. "90's Love" clearly pulled a lot of influence from classic hip hop to R&B and is fantastic, nostalgic, and old school. While I expected to hear the boisterous and chaotic sounds of NCT U, I got a homage to the nineties that took me by surprise. This was a title that I really enjoyed, as it seemed to be more refined but was still able to retain the classic NCT U impact.
The next new song is "Raise The Roof." A whisper starts the song with a loud exclamation of 'feeling myself' before the track suddenly goes into a rhythmic beat. Though the song progression isn't my favorite on the bridge, the chorus is so well-layered that the track gets away with it. I find the 'talk-singing' in the chorus a bit off-putting, but it works with the way the song was mixed.
Suddenly, gears shift, and we are given "My Everything," a piano ballad. This song absolutely blindsided me because it wasn't at all what I had expected. However, the song does a great job at showcasing a softer side of NCT U that captured my attention. "My Everything" is soft, delicate, and heavily emotional with a great harmony arrangement.
After a slurry of re-releases, we are given a new interlude. I enjoyed the interlude from Pt 1, and I felt the same about "Interlude: Present to Future." There was a certain futuristic element they gave this track that gave you the impression of feeling transported in time. I think the interlude did exactly what the title suggested. "Work It" is the group's next song, which has a bit of a shaky start, but a unique sound that one doesn't generally hear in K-Pop. The arrangement of the vocals, again, are fascinating and extremely multi-layered. The song is a little over the top when they start to include the synth and auto-tune simultaneously, but I can't argue that the song would be great for a workout.
"All About You" quickly changes the pace by being another downtempo song that blindsided me. Until it quickly takes a turn 45 seconds in and utilizes an electric guitar that carries the rest of the instrumental. The song isn't bad to listen to but doesn't really have a focal point that sticks in your head, as it is a bit scattered all over the place when it comes to line distribution and delivery.
"I.O.U" continues the theme of the old school, downtempo R&B reminiscent of the nineties. The rap at the song's introduction is particularly well-delivered and brings the energy level up for the rest of the group's performance on this song. The vocals are really complementary to the instrumental and raps. If "90's Love" is the '90s hip hop homage, "I.O.U" is the '90s pop R&B homage.
The album concludes on "Outro: Dream Routine," a primarily instrumental track with a few lightly interlaced vocals. The song serves as an epic outro to this super long release and leaves the listener wondering if there will be a part 3 to this series.
I didn't know what take NCT U would take on "90's Love." Would they go for fashion from the nineties as a theme? Would they go for celebrity icons? Would they go for movies and tv? Nope- NCT U went for hockey, and you know what? It worked. It worked incredibly.
The hockey theme was super lovable and the video was interlaced with really obvious nineties hip hop influence. From colorful, nostalgic outfits to the b-boy dancing, the video was a tasteful homage to the era. The editing was fantastic and the color palette even better. All the outfits were true to the era they were trying to pay respects to, and the video really left out no details. From the campy hockey game shots to the emulation of ESPN, the entire video is a must-watch.
MV Score: 9.67
Album Score: 7.33