Quick Reviews: NCT 127’s vision on “Ay-Yo” is intriguing but progression issues are limiting

NCT 127 are such an extreme group for me, vacillating between ahead-of-trend bops and absolute noise pollution. So naturally I was excited for the release of “Ay-Yo“, which I think will probably be polarizing as well, though maybe for different reasons than usual.

The song is built on an flat-sounding synthy loop with a consistent beat, and features a pre-chorus appealingly adorned by keys before it transitions into the futuristic synth-heavy chorus that has almost an organ feel to it. There’s definitely a sparseness to the production at times, but through the vocal sections in particular it all has a sense of bouncy rhythm to it that’s more addictive than you’d think after multiple listens. That said, what ultimately prevents an endorsement was the lack of progression in the song, especially bogging down in the second verse and chorus, where things get repetitive as it remains relatively static in execution with only the gentle bridge serving as a change-up.

So while I see the vision at play for “Ay-Yo”, it’s difficult to imagine ever seeking out the whole song to listen to again, yet unlike some of their previous efforts that I loathed, for this one it’s not hard to see how this could charm a listener if something like the chorus is particularly appealing.


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