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NCT 127’s “Fire Truck” has an interesting concept, but woeful execution

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NCT 127, the most recent formation of NCT, recently dropped the music video for “Fire Truck“. While the concept had promise, the rest was more of a mess than anything else.

I made the mistake of reading reactions before reviewing this, so I was expecting the worst from the instrumental, but I actually felt like the instrumental was fine. It wasn’t energetic or melodic, but it had a haunting aura to it and it could’ve fit the concept well. The bassline had a groove to it, and things like the post-chorus “whoop whoop whoop” effects switched things up enough that it wasn’t just a flat-line throughout.

My problem, then, was the execution of the song. It seems like people are trying to convince themselves that this is SM Entertainment‘s first group/unit/whatever with quality rapping, but while they’re generally better than previous efforts, that wasn’t a high bar to clear. With the useable bassline, the only thing I could think throughout this song was a how a quality rapper could’ve killed the verses instead of making it sound forced, stiff, and uneven in flow.

Even if you ignore the criticism of the rapping (or liked it), what was really distracting was the chorus with the “ay-ay-ay” repeater and then the jarring whiny vocal like it was being processed through a loudspeaker or something. It’s almost designed to not make you want to hear it over and over again, and unlike most harmlessly basic tracks, this is one that would make you want to actively avoid it if it came on the radio. Even the most pleasant part of the song, the vocals during the bridge, just felt out of place and random in the context of the rest of the track.

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At least the music video was entertaining if for no other reason than the amount of things going on within it.

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Sure, why not?

Plus, even though it was hard to see in the music video, this look like it could be a blast to watch live with the choreography.

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Granted, I’m not sure it’s the best sign when the novelty of the music video is by far the main attraction of the release.

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NCT 127’s “Fire Truck” seemed a lot like SME trying to re-create the YG Entertainment boy group formula and failing miserably at it. While the instrumental had some potential, it was surrounded by failings in either construction or execution by the members, and the negatives were distracting enough that they actively turn you off from listening.

While I wasn’t a fan of NCT U‘s releases, that unit showed a lot more potential than whatever this was.

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