NCT 127 has returned in some form or another with a different member lineup and two music videos for “Limitless“, one “rough” version and one “performance” version.
Note: This post was edited to become a review after originally being just an article on the release.
The best way I can explain how this concept, song, and video made me feel is that it’s SM Entertainment‘s attempt to be YG Entertainment. I dunno, it’s like iKON on estrogen or a teen Big Bang cover band or something to that effect. A sweeter, poppier hip-hop concept with all of the embarrassing mess that comes with a lot of YGE, if you will.
“Limitless” is not aggressively bad or anything, but even the sweg-lite stuff doesn’t hold my attention for long. The weird thing is that the vocals sound great and the rapping is passable, but I don’t like how they were utilized within the song.
The worst I can say about “Limitless” is that halfway through I found myself tuning it out, because while it’s busy, none of the elements were particularly appealing to me. I’ve replayed it a bunch to see if the disjointed nature of it would eventually start to gel and make sense to me, but on the contrary it reinforced my desire to forget about it.
The video had cool retro elements to it…
…but it was a mess of cuts like they borrowed T-ara‘s editor, and the styling (sweg sweg sweg!) and sets (so street!) were honestly bordering on comical (sound familiar?).
Kinda think it’s a bit embarrassing honestly. Like seriously? It’s one of those things that I would never want to show to my friends who aren’t into K-pop.
Anyway, NCT stans have consistently backed up a truck of salt into my backyard when I give my opinions on their releases, but I can’t force myself to like it and I think the scary part for the stans is that thus far I’m not exactly the minority opinion for once. In general, I’m still just confused by what SME is doing with NCT, because while they have promising individual talent and visual members and all that, I still don’t REALLY know any of them and musically they have no identity or releases that I’ve enjoyed.
They’re from SME so I’m sure they’ll be fine eventually in terms of popularity, maybe as soon as this release, but they’re definitely behind the curve compared to their Big 3 boy-band peers that ended up as major successes.