Let’s Review: NCT 127’s Superhuman

Hey guys! Are you feeling super? Well, I hope so because today I will be reviewing NCT 127’s newest song “Superhuman”!

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Heck yeah! I was actually really impressed with this comeback. NCT is not a group that I follow as closely as others, but I’m always interested to see what they put out next. So, on that note, let’s get to the review starting with a quick rundown on the group.

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NCT 127 is the second sub-unit of the NCT. The unit debuted on July 7, 2016, with their first extended play NCT #127 under SM Entertainment. This group is currently made up of 10 members: Taeyong, Taeil, Yuta, Jaehyun, Winwin, Mark, Haechan, Johnny, Doyoung, and Jungwoo. Their name is a combination of the acronym for Neo Culture Technology which is their meaning for their unlimited members, and the number 127, which represents the longitudinal coordinate of Seoul. On May 24th, 2019, the group releaseed their fourth EP, We Are Superhuman, with the album being promoted by nine of the members, as Winwin is currently promoting with WayV. The group performed the EP’s lead single, “Superhuman”, at their appearances on Good Morning America and Strahan and Sara. They also performed the song during an appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden on May 14th.

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Whew! That’s a lot to get all caught up on. NCT can be a complicated group to understand if you are new to Kpop though. Now, that we have explained this recent group line up lets get on to the comeback itself, starting with the song.

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When I first heard this song, I was pretty interested in how different “Superhuman” was from NCT 127’s typical sound. As opposed to a song with heavier beats and raps, this song follows a more techno/electronic vibe. This I feel really coincides with the song itself, as the song is about being a “Superhuman”, which many would attribute with something in a science fiction type world. The song made me think of Shinee’s “Lucifer” era and TVXQ’s “Catch me” in some ways. Minus the fancy cars and cool metal arm sleeves.

“Superhuman” also managed to bring back the more boyband part of NCT. Instead of filling their song with a bunch of raps, we got a song that brought back singing musical choruses in harmony. It reminded me of “Limitless” in that way, which I really liked. Not only that, but this song was very catchy. I feel like this is the kind of song that I can see myself going back to and listening over and over again. It definitely fits my taste more than some of their last title tracks.

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As for the songs lyrics, I noticed right away how SM actually put English subtitles into the “Superhuman” video. It seems like, after BTS hit it off in the United States, SM is really trying to play into that by appealing to international audiences as much as they can.

The lyrics to “Superhuman” are pretty cool. It’s definitely a call to action kind of song. They discuss the idea of breaking through whatever barriers that they have with a significant other because they are superhuman. It’s a really cool song that I would definitely listen to while out exercising. I’m not sure if I have a favorite lyric in particular, but the chorus is hands down the best part of the song for me.

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As for the vocals of the piece, I think I already touched on the boyband harmonies enough. “Superhuman” is full of harmony, and it sounds really good. Still, that is pretty much a staple for SM as a company, so I’m not too surprised about NCT’s ability to vocalize. The rap, while sparse, was also pretty good in this song, but NCT’s rap line is really talented so again it didn’t shock me. Stand out vocals really came from Haechan in this song. His voice is too cute, and he got so much time to shine. All in all the vocals were good. This didn’t seem like the toughest piece vocally out there, but because it is more of a dance song I don’t think it needed tough vocals. The boys all did a great job during this song.

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The last thing that I need to discuss in terms of the song is it’s line distribution. Being a larger group, good line distribution can be hit or miss with groups like NCT. Overall, I think that they did a pretty okay job. This is considering the fact that they all sing the chorus as well. Granted, I don’t follow NCT quite like I do other groups, so I really had to see what other fans had to say about this piece.

It seems like the member that got the short end of the stick was Jungwoo in this comeback, as he only got 8 seconds of solo vocal time. That’s pretty ridiculous when comparing his part to other members, so I hope they do better with him next time. At the same time, many fans were excited about seeing Haechan getting lines in this comeback. I mean, I noticed it myself and I don’t even listen to NCT as much. What I liked most about this song’s lines distribution was that it felt like the vocal line got more chances to show off their skills. Especially Taeil who I’m a pretty big fan of in NCT (I love him so much!).

I give this song a 8 out of 10 lightsticks.

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Now that we have discussed the song “Superhuman”. Let’s talk about NCT’s choreography for the track.

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“Superhuman” has very interesting choreography for me. What I really liked was that, the choreographer for this dance was really trying to play with the them of being a superhuman. Throughout the song, you can see the members do moves that would remind you of a robot or sometimes a superhero. I really dug that, and I think it fit the feel of the song well.

My favorite moves ended up being the shoulder shrugging dance, and the Superman sort of chest reveal at the end of the song. I was also happy seeing them picking themselves off the floor without using their hands, because it was a super tough move, and what’s NCT choreo without impossible dance moves. The stand out member in the choreo was definitely Taeyong for me. Literally, every time he was on screen I could see he was dancing his butt off and I appreciated that.

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As for the formations, the choreographer did a good job of trying different things throughout the number. That’s one great thing about being in a large kpop group is being able to play with formations and choreography. There were a lot of cool stage pictures, and I’m sure it must’ve been hard for the boys to get them all down (It would be for me anyway). The weirdest formation for me was definetely when they had three members perform the dance in the center, while the other six lined up on the sides. It was weird because they literally did nothing but stand there before going back to a new formation in the center. I would say that was the one formation I didn’t like in the song.

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In the end, I must admit that “Superhuman” doesn’t seem like NCT’s toughest dance. I mean, with “Simon says” the members needed super tight motions, and “Cherry Bomb” nearly had them doing splits. This one seemed pretty relaxed in comparison. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t a hard number. For me, “Superhuman” looks like an impossibly hard dance, but for NCT it didn’t quite live up to that. Still, it’s an entertaining number, and not all choreos need to be extremely hard to be good.

I give this choreography an 8 out of 10 lightsticks.

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Now that we’ve discussed the music and the dancing. Let’s talk about the music video for “Superhuman”. The first thing that came to my mind when I saw this video was SM SPENT SOME MONEY!

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You can tell by the sets, the costumes, the lighting. Everything. It’s crazy. Now, as a person who watches plenty of music videos, I am always a sucker for a video with a good plot to go with it. “Superhuman” is not one of those music videos. In fact, it’s mostly a bunch of shots of them dancing, and singing by themselves in different sets. Basically, it’s an SM video at its most basic level. In fact, if you go through SM’s music video history, you will find of lot of music videos done just like this one. Still, because of the editing, lighting, and dancing, this video is still entertaining to look at. It looks really nice.

Although, I must point out that there was a scene where it looked like Mark and Johnny were about to kiss each other. For a second, I thought the video was about to go places that I didn’t expect with Kpop music video. It didn’t though. It was just a tease for girls who love shipping idols together haha.

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As for the set design, I was torn between whether or not it was really expensive looking or very basic looking. I watched this video many times, and I noticed sets that looked very grand and expensive and others that were really bare and lack luster. What made up for those sets was the use of lighting and editing. This was where SM spent the most money, I think. Don’t worry. I’ll talk more about that in just a second.

There costumes were also pretty cool. They looked very fashionable or like they were going to join NASCAR. The costume designers made them look like a very handsome boyband, which SM always manages to do with every group. Taeyang had most of my favorite costumes in the video. I also liked Taeil’s as well. My least favorite choice was Jungwoo’s hair. I think they could’ve found something that looked better on him.

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As for lighting, I noticed so many lighting effects. Whoever SM gets to do their lighting for music videos must get paid a lot because it looks beautiful. My favorite effects with the lights were the floor lights that they had on an off throughout the video. I also liked the laser lights that were in the room Taeyang danced in. They looked dope.

The editing effects were also very well done. They really brought the theme of being superhuman in with the editing. There were times where they made the boys look like cyborgs which was so cool. They also had a lot of robots floating around Mark, and it looked real. The editing effects were top notch in this video. It was honestly what made the video for me, aside from NCT themselves. They were able to carry this video pretty well.

In all, I give this music video a 7 out of 10 lightsticks.

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The last topic that I need to reveal for NCT 127’s “Superhuman” is their use of concept for this music video.

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As I concept, I think that they were kind of tinkering with the idea of being superhuman. The reason why I say kind of is that there were times (with both dancing and the editing) that I could see that they were trying to show that they were “Super”. At the same time, it was like SM (or the director of the video) was too afraid to pull out all of the stops. I mean, they could’ve really gone somewhere with the theme of being superhuman, but they never really did. In fact, it seemed like they just recycled the things that worked for past boy groups (watch Shinee’s “Lucifer” and TVXQ’s “Catch me”/ “Mirotic”). That’s not NCT’s fault though. For SM, what they have done in the past works for them, and all of their groups have been successful because of it. Still, more could’ve been done conceptually. EXO’s “Mama” and “Power” are both examples of it. What makes it worse is that it has been a while since I’ve seen a really stand out concept come from what SM has been doing with NCT. It makes me frustrated for these boys.

As a concept, I give “Superhuman” a 6.5 out of 10 lightsticks.

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So… for our tally we have:
Music-8 out of 10 Lightsticks
Choreography- 8 out of 10 Lightsticks
Music Video- 7 out of 10 Lightsticks
Concept- 6.5 out of 10 Lightsticks
That brings us to a TOTAL ranking of: 7.5 out of 10 lightsticks

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And that was my review of NCT 127’s “Superhuman”. Don’t bite my head off too much if I seem to harsh with parts of my review. I really enjoyed this comeback and I’m thinking about purchasing the album when I get the chance. Before I can finish my review, though, I must discuss the stand out members during this comeback.

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Honestly, I had a really hard time narrowing down my stand out members during this comeback. There are so many boys in the group, and I think they all did a really good job. Still, I managed to pick out four boys who really sold it for me in this comeback. The first member was Haechan. His cute voice killed every part that he sang, and he got a lot of time to perform during this song. He’s adorable, and think that he did a really good job during this comeback.

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The next member that stood out to me did not steal my heart with his vocals. Instead, he stole my heart by performing his butt off every time that he was on camera. Yuta really killed it during this comeback. Every gaze was like it was directed right at me, and I did not know how to feel about that. Also, he just looks good. Every time he is on screen. He really did a great job during this comeback.

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Another member that killed it during this comeback was Taeyong. And I mean… that probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Taeyong is an extremely popular member in NCT, and I can totally see why. He’s handsome, talented, and extremely charismatic. What really stood out to me with him though was his dancing. When he moves, he draws my attention like a magnet. His dancing ability reminds me of Kai or Taemin. They draw my attention in the same way. He killed it this comeback.

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The final stand out member comes from my own personal bias. Taeil is literally my favorite member in all of NCT and I’m always excited to see him in a new comeback. I love his singing and I’m always really excited to see him get parts. This comeback he sang quite a bit which I loved. He’s also just really handsome, and I love him… so yeah he stood out to me. Sorry, I can’t help it. Just look at him…

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Anyway, thank you so much for reading my review of NCT 127’s “Superhuman”. I hope you enjoyed it even though the song has been swirling around the interwebs for about a week now. Let me know what you thought about this comeback down in the comment section. If you have a different opinion, I would totally be interested in what you have to say. Also let me know if you have a group that you want me to review next week. Until then, bye! ^_^

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