[Review] Rookie group NTB showcases some potential with “Dramatic” debut

With the constant influx of rookie groups to K-pop’s already crowded marketplace, you’d think you’d want to give your act a unique name that helps them stand out. New boy group NTB is bound to get mixed up with the likes of NCT and UNB, but I guess the lure towards mysterious three letter acronyms is just too great to resist.

Fortunately, NTB have burst out of the gate with a pretty strong track — especially when it comes to under-funded rookies from small agencies. Much of this is thanks to composing team DEZION, who have previously supplied solid material for similarly budget-conscious boy group 14U. “Dramatic” isn’t quite as theatrical as its title would suggest, but it offsets its own trendiness with a welcome sense of pop bombast that feels eager to capture the listener.

“Dramatic” opens as so many current songs do, with atmospheric wisps of synth and a slow build to the chorus. This first verse is pretty much a wash except for a strong power note that comes much earlier than you’d expect. The forceful, percussive chorus improves things, even if its hook boils down to a repetition of the word “drama” with some “oh oh ohs” tacked on for good measure. The instrumental has a fitful appeal, never staying in one place for too long. This adds a welcome energy and helps to compensate for some of the song’s lacking areas. I wouldn’t call this a knockout of a debut, but it certainly hints at potential yet to come.

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