[Review] Work It – NCT U

I promised album reviews for NCT’s NCT 2020: Resonance this weekend. But before I can get to the album review, I need to review one more song, the second title track from the Part 2 of the album. Conveniently, the music video for this second title track, Work It, dropped officially today. So I will be reviewing it before I publish any album reviews for the massive group. From the 23-member lineup, Work It features Johnny, Yuta, Ten, Jungwoo, Hendery, Jaemin and Jisung. Let’s see what these members bring to the table.

I really wanted to like Work It, but I couldn’t. I don’t think I ever watched/listen to a song with such a straight face before. Out of the four title tracks that NCT have given thus far, Work It is probably my least favourite. But before I delve into the reasons why the song didn’t work for me, let’s start about the positives of Work It. The chorus was pretty solid and I can see it growing on me (provided I look past the reasons I will list later on). It features two very strong hooks. The first being the simple ‘Work It’ that is essentially spoken into the song. The second is the main synth of chorus’ instrumental, which brings some edge to the song and the fast tempo. If you know me, I like my energy and this chorus definitely tried to bring it. Unfortunately, the rest of the song just felt dull or mis-matched. I can’t get over the blandness and over-consistency the verses brought to the song. The members had pretty decent delivery with their rapping here. But the verses lacked the instrumental to really bring the song some life. I just got bored with its plainness and lack of energy. The fact that the second verse didn’t do much to change to up and felt like a repeat of the first verse didn’t help. I feel like this is a case where the producers were trying to do a lot with the members, but very little with the instrumental. The bridge was nice vocally, but it did not fit in with the rest of the song. We went straight from a fast tempo EDM track into a smoothed out, classically approach and slowed tempo backdrop for vocals. It is something that NCT does a lot and it tends to work fine. This time around, the difference was too noticeable. They could have at least gone with a slower form of EDM to give the different parts a chance to blend sounds or at least make it seem like it would fit. Overall, Work It had some highs. But it was the lows that got my attention.

Work It’s music video was no way meant to be taken seriously. Based on the casual way the members were acting and the smiles plastered over their faces, it was a fun video. The music video adopts the choreography and closeup formula that I dislike. similar to how the previous NCT U’s music videos were also structured. From memory, those ones had a bit going on, so the formula wasn’t as noticeable. Work it didn’t have much going on, so it was very noticeable from first glance. The editing felt plain (for the most part – there were some cool transitions) and I wished more could have done to it. Also Haechan’s presence at the end of the 90’s Love video is answered in Work It, creating a bridge between the videos. But I don’t see any that indicates that the connection is there for fun.

The choreography looks good. I felt more energy in the small snippets of the choreography that I saw in the music videos than from the actual song. I would like to see if they bring some of their boogie freestyle that we saw in the music video to the stage performances or not.

Song – 5/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 6/10

2 thoughts on “[Review] Work It – NCT U

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