[Review] Resonance – NCT 2020

NCT is nominated for Best Male Group, while NCT 127 is nominated for Best Male Group and Best Subunit in the 2020 KPOPREVIEWED. To support NCT, NCT 127 and your other favourite artists, click here to vote for them below the 31st of December.

NCT has been extremely busy over the last two months, splitting their 23-member lineup into four different units for promotions of Make A Wish (Birthday Song), From Home, 90’s Love and Work It, all of which were title tracks from their second studio album, NCT 2020: Resonance (Click here for Part 1 and Part 2 of the album reviews). To wrap up promotions for this album, NCT have regrouped as a 23-member group for the surprise release of the Resonance single, which officially dropped on Friday this past week. Aside from being a song performed by 23 members, Resonance is also a mix of four songs from their album – Make A Wish (Birthday Song), 90’s Love, Work It and Raise The Roof.

It sounds very ambitious and like many, I have my reservations. A hybrid of four songs in one. But we need to remind ourselves that SM Entertainment are the creative minds behind Sherlock and One, both of which are all combinations of two songs. So SM Entertainment has done this before. Rather than taking bits and pieces of the songs and merging them together into something really tight and cohesive, Resonance delves more down the mashup route, rather than a hybrid song at first glance. It borrows segments of Make A Wish (which had the honour of providing two parts to Resonance), 90’s Love and Work It (one part each). Interestingly, it isn’t the choruses of each of the three title tracks that make it into Resonance, as that would confuse listeners with four different sets of hooks and energies. Instead, the segments are combined with Raise The Roof‘s chorus, which is a clever move. The song does make an attempt to blend the four songs together by applying a new intro, spoken boldly and proudly (?) by Mark himself, amplifying the chorus (compared to the original) and infusing intense EDM into the mix through a standalone dance break. Altogether, Resonance does manage to come off as epic and powerful, which suits their image. Does Resonance work? I would say so. While we are clearly reminded of each song individually, the new additions do a lot of heavy lifting to give Resonance a fresh and individualistic sound that hasn’t been in any of the four songs before. In other words, there is something new in the track. And that I consider a win.

With such an epic and powerful tone to the song, the music video is equally as epic. It too was quite ambitious, but SM Entertainment really pulled out all the stops to make sure the video works. The editing between each part was super cool, especially Ten’s kick in the dubstep dance break. I really liked all the sets of that were used. I liked how they recycled that box set with different coloured lights to use for each of the title tracks and for one Resonance‘s choruses. The stage with the big screen was definitely a bold power move, while the one with the flow silk was so fitting for that bridge. But my favourite has to be the stadium stage. When the high notes hit and we are shown an drone shot of all the lights turning on, my jaw was on the ground. It was so epic and will be a music video scene that I will definitely remember for a long time. Likewise, all the drone shots at the end left me speechless.

The choreography was like the song. It didn’t change up the choreography for each of the three title tracks. And I completely understand that. It would have been too much of the members to relearn a whole new routine for the same song, given that they will be learning new choreographies for award ceremonies and end of year music festivals concurrently. For the new sections, I did like the intensity of the chorus’ routine, which they made look almost animalistic. The dubstep dance break was equally as full-on and even more powerful.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 10/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.5/10

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