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NCT Dream deliver summertime bliss on buoyant, catchy “We Young”

Though they’ve only released two singles so far, NCT Dream has quickly become my favorite NCT unit. While 127 has been focused more and more on a hip-hop driven sound, Dream are bubblegum pop music through and through. Despite its title, “We Young” is probably the most mature the group have sounded so far … but take that with a huge grain of salt because this is NCT Dream we’re talking about.

“We Young” takes the guys into more tropical territory, but rather than recycle the same ubiquitous synth beat that’s become synonymous with the genre, the instrumental takes a more diverse — and frankly, Disney-fied — approach. This might sound absolutely dreadful, but for a bright group like Dream, it works. The song’s buoyant atmosphere isn’t immediately apparent, though. The first verse opens with the type of atmospheric electro bass more closely associated with NCT 127. If anything, this is the song’s biggest stumbling block. It really takes until the first chorus to get going.

Thankfully, the chorus itself is pure summertime bliss. It’s guaranteed to get lodged in your brain from the very first listen, but never crosses the line into complete novelty. This is thanks to the group’s performance, which has rarely sounded better. Haechan takes the lead, anchoring the track with his effortlessly smooth vocals. Even better is the members’ blend during the hook. Maybe it’s due to their uniformly young age, but their tones come together to create a gorgeous, feather-light harmony that lends “We Young” a vibe all its own. It’s definitely a more limiting track than February’s outstanding My First And Last, but NCT Dream continues to deliver the goods.

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