NCT’s music has been synonymous with loud, eccentric beats and in-your-face lyrics. They have carved out their own lane of music, affectionately dubbed “NCT Noise” by the fans and artists themselves. The subjects can range from telling haters to #[email protected]! off and matter-of-fact break-up anthems, to setting yourself free from the pressures of society. But in between the vroom vrooms and cherry bombs, the group (and each sub-unit) makes sure to balance out the noise with some prosy, romantic tracks.
For Valentine’s day, EnVi put together a list of a few of NCT 127’s most heartfelt love songs.
Written by: Adrian McKinnon, Jo Yoonkyung, Kim Minji, Shin Jinhye
Composed/Produced by: LDN Noise, DEEZ
A fan favorite, NCT 127 took everyone by surprise when they swapped their edgy concept for a more sweet, cutesy image in 2018 with “Touch.” The song is described by SM as “expressing the excitement toward love that just began.“ Or, if you go by Mark’s simplified explanation, “it’s about being social and touching each other.”
Outside of the jokes, the song is about being so head over heels for your significant other that their touch is the biggest source of comfort to you. The first verse of the song sets the stage as Taeyong proclaims: “My heart is beating at the sound of your voice…I started copying your way of speaking. I can become aware of everything if I hold your hand.”
At the peak of the song during the chorus, the members bare their feelings. “I can’t remember a day without you. I used to be comfortable being alone, now I wish for us to stay like this. Your touch that I feel like I can fall into; at your fingertips”
Written by: Jaiko Lawrence, Oluwayomi Oredein, Lee Changhyeok, Darius Michael Bryant
Composed/Produced by: Ryan S Jhun, Otha “Vakseen” Davis III, Droyd, LES Alliance
Throughout various lyrics in the NCT universe, there’s a recurring theme of comparing love and adoration to diving or swimming into the sea (see “Dive Into You” by NCT Dream). NCT 127 took it a step up in “Focus,” a sexy sounding track from their latest album, Sticker.
“Do you know that feeling when you calmly stare into someone’s eyes that you love,” the group explained the meaning behind the song to Spotify prior to release. “It’s like staring into the endless wave of the sea, something so deep…”
The lyrics tell a story of the toe-curling anticipation and excitement you might feel as you wait until you can hang out with your person next. It’s affecting the members so much, they’re having trouble focusing on anything else.
The references to swimming are sprinkled all throughout the track. Taking the common, corny “swimming in your eyes” pick up line and turning it on its head. “A gaze that comes from far away as if swimming,” the very first line of the song. Followed by Jungwoo’s “a gaze that surrounds me like the sea, the wave-like corner of your eyes,” in the first pre-chorus.
The way the lyrics are phrased, these feelings are being expressed directly to the person they’re in love with. Mark in his second rap verse conveys his urgency, “baby call me if you want me to, I’ll go to you quickly.”
Taeyong continues the song, shifting the mood to something a little more intense. “I fall into that sea I’ve been waiting for, falling into that transparent sea, that is you.”
An abrupt yet seductive “what you wanna do?” from Johnny ends the song, leaving the conversation in the other person’s hands.
Written by: Bazzi, Seo Jieum
Composed/Produced by: Mike Woods, Kevin White, MZMC
A sweet, melodic track from NCT 127’s album Neo Zone, “Boom” picks up right after the high energy of lead single “Kick It.” The ‘boom’ in question is a metaphor for the explosive feeling in your heart when you long for your crush. “Can you take all my love? I’m longing for you right now. My heart is floating again..a place higher than the clouds.”
Towards the end of the song, in a late bridge, the members gain the confidence they need to finally confess their feelings. Johnny begins with syrupy-sweet words: “sunlight or moonlight, no matter what shines, you’re beautiful.” Taeyong tags in with an urgent “I’m knocking on your heart, can you hear me?”
Mark takes over to finish the bridge, his raw vocals conveying the anxiety as he waits on bated breath to see if his feelings are returned. “Your small breath that can be heard over the phone. My heart is floating higher this time, perhaps you’re thinking the same as me right now? The moment when everything stops…BOOM.”
There’s never a clear answer; the song fades out to a group chorus of just a repeated “boom” to the instrumental, leaving the listener hanging and wanting more.
Written by: Lucky Daye, Rick Bridges, Wes Period
Composed/Produced by: Rykeyz, Britten Newbill
“아 깜짝이야 (Fool)” from the 2019 We Are Superhuman EP plays out like a scene in a 00’s rom-com. It opens with Mark expressing the exaggerated feeling of heart palpitations, he just saw the girl of his dreams. Jaehyun then takes over the next scene (verse?), fixing his appearance in a store display as he prepares himself and his nerves to make his approach. Taeyong leads the conversation, shooting his shot, “sup girl, what’s good? To be honest, I fell for you [at] first sight…”
Taeyong leaves the verse hanging, trailing off as if he forgot what he was going to say. If the song were actually an early aughts movie, this would be that classic freeze frame moment with the voiceover saying “Yup that’s me. I bet you’re wondering how I got here.”
But instead the song goes into the chorus which is just the inner thoughts of our main character. “I’m really dizzy now…I just told you everything I’m feeling inside. Ah it’s a shock, ah it’s a shock.” They seem to realize they’ve been awkwardly standing there in front of their crush without saying anything and are losing the window of opportunity to ask her out.
Finally, after the chorus, Taeyong regains his composure to finish sweetly baring his heart and asking for a date. “What I wanted to say was the halo that’s above your head, is it real? Let’s meet again tomorrow night.”
We never really find out if the members were successful at getting the date or if they failed miserably, but it’s the effort that counts, right?
As the song winds down, the members take turns narrating the bridge with more relatable inner thoughts and adlibs. “I think it failed. Wait what? I don’t know. Pull over, I’m dizzy. You’re a goddess but I’m a fool, what should I do?” A harmonic “awkward” repeats in the background with a few hilarious skrrt skrrt’s and vroom’s thrown in. We can only imagine that the scene fades to black as the members drive away, poking fun at one another in classic NCT 127 fashion.
“Sun & Moon“
Written by: Jai Waterford, Jung Joohee, Jeon Jieun, Hwang Seonjeong, Kim Jeongme Composed/Produced by: AFSHeeN & Josh Cumber (Nonfiction)
Sitting right in the middle of NCT 127’s acclaimed Cherry Bomb EP, “Sun & Moon” is a love letter between two star-crossed lovers. From the first timbre of the piano, the song intentionally gives off a bittersweet vibe. Jaehyun and Taeil start the song, “even if I close my eyes, I see you, even if I cover my ears, I hear you. Even if it’s a different place I can’t reach with my two hands, I can feel you.”
As the track goes deeper into the verses, we find out the reason for the melancholic lyrics. The lovers of the song are doomed to permanent separation. Much like the moon and sun in the sky, which can be seen simultaneously but will always be a world apart. “In this unsynchronized time our hearts are connected under the same sky,” is sung during the pre-choruses by Taeil, Doyoung, Jaehyun, and Yuta, each time feeling a little bit more intense than the last.
In the bridge, the song hits a raw, emotional climax. Jaehyun’s voice audibly hitches while he expresses his longing, “will I be able to see you again at the end of this long journey? Want to be together.” Taeil chimes in, calling the situation their “distorted fate.”
The song keeps a hint of sweet hopefulness throughout, though the simple chorus recalling old memories or even predicting a new escape:
“You and I, you and I, you and I, our secrets between us. You and I, you and I, you and I, two that are like one.”
Written by: Junny, minGtion
Composed/Produced by: Junny, minGtion
Fly away from your everyday life with NCT 127 in “Pilot,” a b-side from their 2021 repackage album Favorite. The group sings of the perfect escape if they had the ability (and time) to go anywhere they wanted with their love. The track starts with a flight announcement as the production comes in with a light, floaty feel and catchy whistle. Then, leading directly into Jaehyun asking “why wait? There’s no need to worry” Jungwoo follows up, promising to “take you anywhere you want.”
The weightlessness of the song is echoed in the lyrics of the pre-chorus, as the members wish to let go of the baggage burdening them. “Let’s take off to where we’ll let go of our own luggage; fly away” Doyoung and Taeyong urge.
The song paints the picture of this romantic, fantasy getaway and then multiplies it by one hundred and twenty-seven thousand. “My paradise I prepared for you, the clouds might tickle
when we count the stars. A new world will welcome us. Imagine the falling sunset, blue sea and above it, you and me.” NCT 127 promises nothing but the clear skies ahead as long as they’re piloting the Neo airlines.
But wait, there’s more!
These six love songs are in no particular order and are only a few of some of NCT 127’s most memorable and heartfelt lyrics. A deep dive through their extensive and ever-growing discography will prove the group has a hefty amount of romantic tracks to pick from.
As they continue to release new music, and the members become more involved in the songwriting process, fans can look forward to exploring all sides of NCT’s music.
Enjoyed our round-up of some of NCT 127’s love songs? Dig deeper into their discography and check out our interview with Dem Jointz, the Grammy award winning producer of tracks like “Sticker.”
Lyrics translated by Jin and Dani.