I so badly did not want to like them. The concept was confusing, SM infuriates me, and I just do not have the energy to follow yet another group. I went into it expecting them to be posers and carbon copies of their seniors. Yet I came out of this video reluctantly, but so innocently in love, as NCT U’s fan. They’ve only been around for a couple of days and I already know all of their names.
Why, SM? Why do you always have to have this effect on me?
Okay, let’s review this bad boy.
This is one cool sounding song. I love how many different vocal sounds are in this song. We have the typical high-noted passionate singers, with slow and sensitive rapping, and the deep vibrato in the “Open your eyes” lines. In this case, the editing and filters that go over the voices actually sound pretty good. Even if it is a slower song, the background songs and slow chanting makes this one addicting song. So much of it is just so pleasing to the ear. PP I’m torn about giving it a perfect rating. My hesitation is that while I am addicted to this song, it does not have a conventional composition. With each new listen I am still trying to figure it out. That is both a strength, in that it makes the experience an intriguing one, but it does keep it from what I consider “perfect.”
The song is about stimulating your senses, and the video does just that. The sets of the dance scene are empty, to put emphasis on the dramatic lighting and dynamic dance.
All of the blocks of vivid color are not only pleasing to the eye, but it unifies all of the different scenes. Often times in music videos, the dance scenes look very different from the rest of the scenes, but in this video because of the scheme of colored lighting over everything, the dance scene complements the solo shots perfectly. The silhouette scenes with the smoke-like colors inside evoke the sense of mystery felt in the sound of the song.
As for the solo shots, I have mixed reviews. Taeyong’s scene in the LED lit box looks pretty cool and fits the concept. The scene with the plants do bring in that sensory feel, but imagery of raw wildlife clashes with the imagery in the rest of this technology-heavy video. Then we have those scenes that just raise the “why” question, like Mark rapping in what looks like a shower.
With this wardrobe, we are very clearly introduced to each member’s personality, which is useful in a debut video. While I do appreciate being able to tell each member apart and identify unique aspects to who they are, I do find a lack of cohesiveness in the wardrobe as a whole. There doesn’t seem to be any one concept. The hip hop-inspired gear on the member rapping in the plants seems the most unrelated to anyone else. I also just can’t figure out what is happening to Mark’s sleeves in his shower scene.
Many of the outfits do look pretty good standing alone. I love all of Taeyong’s and Daeyoung’s looks in this. Sporty definitely suits them. The accessories are also done really well. The face mask on one of the members and the scarf around Mark’s gives off a more… personal feel. Because those are objects commonly worn by people offstage, it makes it seem like we caught them in their real lives in this video, even though they are clearly styled.
This dance is not just a set of choreography moves. It is living and breathing. From beginning to end, the members of NCT U move together like one body. That beginning formation is so creative and performed to perfection. Every single move in this dance is following some beat of the song, and since the song is so minimalistic, the synchronization between the tune and dance beat is very clear.
After the incredible intro, NCT U lost a little bit of that creativity when the majority of the dance became the five of them doing the exact same movements. The choreography was still great, but I would have like to see more formations rather than line dancing. I also feel the choreography of the ending sequence looks a little awkward. However aside from those small things, this is an outstanding dance so I am going to give it just under a perfect score.
Overall, I can’t deny that this is one solid video. It is so unique and intriguing. It’s hard not to be captivated by the colors and sound. SM has their high reputation for a reason. They always manage to come out with truly skilled dancers and high quality videos. This was an amazingly strong debut, and as much as I don’t want to say it, I’m actually really excited to see what this group comes out with in the future.
Overall Final Score: 4.3/5
I am still confused beyond belief about what this group actually is. Their second video only has some of these members, much to my dismay, plus two other members. Is this the rotating group? Or is this one unit that is going to have their own comebacks? Can Taeyong just be a permanent member? He’s already my bias.
Also, does anyone know what the “U” in NCT U stands for?
Question of the Day:
What do you think of NCT U’s debut?
#NowPlaying: With Me by VIXX. Some more ear candy for you. You’re welcome.
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