NCT 127’s second album “Neo Zone” was a soaring success, and the group have managed to keep their upward trajectory with their repackage album “Neo Zone: The Final Round”. The title track “Punch” certainly lives up to its action-packed predecessor “Kick It”.
Punch is a majestic and multi-layered track which is marks another step forward in NCT 127’s journey towards musical maturity. It is clear that this song has a high-level production quality, which speaks wonders of the group’s apt management by SM Entertainment. In this way, it reminded me a lot of NCT 127’s 2019 hit “Superhuman”. Punch itself is catchy and melodious. I especially liked the arcade-game-style EDM introduction and the shocking tempo change in the pre-chorus. The group’s vocalists really shone on this track, with adlibs by Taeil, Doyoung and Yuta being especially memorable. The breakdown in the song’s bridge is the key point for me – the instrumental felt like a soundtrack to a boxing or fighting film, which is very fitting, given the name and music video!
The energetic NonStop could easily have been the group’s title track. It features strong vocals and an even stronger bass line. Mark’s voice in the bridge chanting “Can’t stop, won’t stop.” is particularly chilling.
For those who have watched NCT 127’s TV performances of Kick It, they will be familiar with the next track Prelude, which the group danced to in their performance introduction. This track is an action packed EDM interlude which remixes Kick It’s iconic instrumental. It is short, but very sweet!
Make Your Day is a sweet addition to the group’s growing repertoire of ballad songs. The soft piano instrumental compliments the singers’ voices perfectly. Special mention goes to Taeil, whose jazzy vocals add a rich and spicy flavour to the track.
It is clear that NCT 127 are making waves in the world of Kpop; they have continuously proved themselves to be versatile and experimental artists. Their unique concept, personalities and musical talents gives them that special edge every time. It’s only upwards from here, of that I am sure.
Kpop Review Café’s Overall Ranking: 6.5/10
Written by Jessica
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