Quick Reviews: TEN (NCT) makes solo debut with “Nightwalker”, could’ve used something more “Dangerous”

NCT‘s TEN has musically had my ear since “New Heroes” (and “Paint Me Naked” to a lesser extent), so his solo debut was always something that I’d be paying attention to. “Nightwalker“, the all-English single off the self-titled mini, is now out and gives a nice taste of TEN as a soloist, even though I would’ve strongly preferred at least one other song on the album be the lead instead.

The heavy bassline certainly makes an impression, and the squiggly guitar riff and TEN’s shrouded vocals help to enhance the mysterious mood. The pre-chorus is ambitious, and while it must be tiresome for fans of male idol soloists to get Taemin comps, the falsetto seeking the heavens makes it hard to avoid. Eventually, it drops down to a spoken lead-in to an EDM-heavy chorus that feels club and performance ready. Though unlike what appeals to me about Taemin’s best and his own (like “New Heroes”), it lacks at least one memorable refrain that helps to tie it all together. The beat itself is nothing new and it completely overwhelms his vocals the further the song goes on and the more you replay it, which is a shame. It’s a solid song, but you could convince me that most of it was intended as a featuring on the album of some DJ, which isn’t ideal for establishing yourself as a soloist.

To be fair, the music video does help to compliment the track thanks to his expected dancing quality and charisma, and the concept that features dual versions of TEN is intriguing. But in the end, I still find it pales in comparison to “Dangerous (off the same EP with similarly familiar sounds), both in terms of music quality and the choreo he featured in the extended teaser lead-in.


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