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NCT127’s Sticker: Neo City Experimentalism At Its Finest

After waiting more than a year, we finally have another NCT127 album. Sticker is their third full-length album and offers a new edge to the “NCT Sound” this group is known for.

Sticker,” the title track, is… weird, for a lack of a better word. This song has caused controversy throughout the NCT127 fandom. Unpopular opinion: I absolutely love it. I loved it at first listen. This song is unlike any other title track they’ve done. Which could either be a negative or a positive, depending on who you ask. The beat is jarring at first – with a seemingly random flute noise in the mix. However, once NCT127’s impressive vocals come in, you don’t even notice it. This title does what they do best: experimentalism.

While “Sticker” has received mixed reviews, the rest of the album is on par with some of NCT127’s best. “Breakfast,” which is my personal favorite, hits on everything one needs in a Neo City track: futuristic beats, amazing vocals, and a rap that gives you chills. I am absolutely in love with anything house-inspired within K-pop, and this is one of the best.

Lemonade,” the promoted B-side, has quickly become a fan favorite. For me, “Lemonade” falls flat to the comparable noise-type songs on this album, like appropriately named “Bring the Noize.” “Far” continues the trend, continuing the “edginess” prevalent in many NCT tracks.

As the album continues, the different colors of NCT127 show. “Focus,” is a chill, sexy, R&B – inspired track that I could listen to on repeat. My only critique is that it’s over too soon. If you give one song on this album a chance, it’s definitely this one. There’s also “Magic Carpet Ride,”which is a more classic soft pop ballad, and “The Rainy Night,” my roommate’s favorite song on the album, and my favorite ballad featured. “Road Trip” and “Dreamer” are both upbeat, optimistic tracks that feel much more refreshing than the majority of this album. These two tracks highlight the typical boyband charm that NCT127 can pull of, despite their usually intense image.

Finishing off the album, “Promise You” is a song dedicated to their fans, NCTzens. Due to COVID, NCT127 did have to cancel their world tour that was supposed to take place in 2020. The retro-inspired track with a promise to meet fans once the world health situation finally comes to an end. The song was accompanied by a heart-warming performance, where members made banners with sweet messages for the fans.

Even if the main title track is a hit or miss, NCT127 holds up their spot as trendsetters and continues to broaden their music with Sticker.

Hello!! I'm Hannah and I use she/they pronouns. :)) I'm majoring in Communications Studies with a minor in Creative Writing. I write about music, pop culture, and gaming! HMU if you want to discuss the Zelda timeline. Instagram: @han_bibbs.
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