I will continue my focus on lesser known acts on Sunday (I was unfortunately ill last night and had to take the night off from the blog). As for today and tomorrow, I will be focusing on a number of solo acts, as I feel they have been neglected over the last few months, as well. There are a few in mind that I really want to cover. But tonight’s review is actually a new release from none other than Mark from NCT. Mark has been a busy artist from the day he debuted as an NCT member, boasting the most extensive resume out of the all the members of his group (i.e. one of the two most recurring members in the various NCT units, had debuted more times than other artists – just to name a few). So it comes with little surprise that he is the first NCT artist to release a single under the new NCT Lab, a new SM Station series that focuses on solo tracks from the NCT members. Mark’s single is titled Child and it officially dropped today.
Child takes on the hip-hop genre, which comes as no surprise, as Mark is a rapper in his group activities. What did come as a surprise was how much I enjoyed the track upon the first listen. I know I sound like a broken record when I say that the hip-hop genre isn’t something that I enjoy. But there are a few elements within Child that really stands out for me. The deepness of Child stood out for me. Even before considering the lyrics, you could feel the heaviness of the song. When you read through the lyrics, you can get a sense of the deep thoughts that were put into Child. And from these lyrics you can feel his struggles as an artist and being lost as a person. Aside from the emotional side of the song. I really enjoyed the instrumental for Child. The song starts off with electric guitar riffs, before completely changing up the dynamic for the chorus with a heavy thumping beat and trap-like synths. This continues into the second verse, before opting for a much more energetic and upbeat tempo for the second half of the verse. Mark then takes Child back to the thumping chorus and the same electric guitar at the start for the bridge. When you think the song had wrapped up, Mark brings back the thumping chorus to close out the song on a more dynamic note (which works well with the conclusive endpoint in the lyrics). Mark himself was quite impressive with his delivery. His rapping was very captivating, while his vocals touches to the song were melodic and soothing. Overall, Child is a solid launching pad into this new NCT Lab series. But it also serves as an insightful view into Mark, his thoughts and experiences thus far as an artist.
Like the song, the music video has a lot of meaning behind it as well. Mark spends a lot of this video running away from hooded figures. My guess is that these people represent the hardships that Mark is experiencing in his life currently (i.e. the people putting pressure on him to be a certain way), as expressed in his lyrics. Honestly, this can be a range of people, including his company, managers, members, family, fans etc. Mark just wants to find himself and express himself freely. And him running away means makes a stand for himself, as he mentions at the end of his song. The ending where he is running in the darkness might suggest that he doesn’t see himself escaping these pressures anytime soon, but he is still making an effort to stand up for himself. Other than my proposed meaning behind the video, I liked the urban look of this video, which matches up with the hip-hop influences behind the song.
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9/10