[Review] WayV deliver quality r&b throwback with “Love Talk”

Unlike K-pop, it’s not unusual for C-pop albums to be promoted by more than one music video. WayV were quite a tease in this regard, dropping their mini album with Moonwalk” as the title track last week, only to reveal additional teasers for “Love Talk“. They made a smart choice in picking this song, as it’s easily one of the album’s standouts. With that said, I think I’ll stick with the original Chinese version, as the English lyrics in the newly released music video are … a downgrade.

“Love Talk” appeals to my nostalgia for late-90’s r&b. It’s trussed up with modern trap elements and Latin flourishes, but its roots lie in smooth, mid-tempo pop. This includes a standout chorus, which melds an insanely catchy melody with a beautiful vocal blend. The song retains the edgy performance style that characterizes most NCT units, but never at the expense of musical continuity. The producers have found a satisfying groove and build everything around that. Even when the instrumental roughs up during the second verse, it feels like a natural progression.

Like “Moonwalk,” there’s probably a bit too much rap padding the running time of “Love Talk”, but it’s not jarring or counter to the song’s general vibe. Still, the vocal moments are so good that I just want them to continue throughout the entire track. Oddly enough, the chorus actually reminds me of a more subdued echo of NCT 127’s “Regular,” drawing from the same hodgepodge of influences but arranging them into a completely different tone. It’s subtle through-lines like this that tie the whole NCT universe together, and ensure that quality remains high regardless of country or language.

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