NCT DREAM have arrived at the perfect time for the holidays, and they’re whipping up something sweet! On December 16 at 6 PM KST, NCT DREAM released their special winter mini-album Candy. The six-track album is sprinkled with musical gems and provides the perfect reprieve to cozy up with this holiday season. 

Continuing NCT DREAM’s high road of superstardom, Candy surpassed two million pre-orders, mirroring the group’s highly successful previous full-length album Glitch Mode released earlier this year. NCT DREAM are the only artists to achieve this double-million-seller accolade in 2022. It’s a fitting title for the septet, who have had a very prosperous and busy year. Title track “Candy” also topped MelOn’s TOP 100 chart and debuted at number one on Worldwide iTunes Album Chart. From the release of their movie NCT DREAM THE MOVIE : In A DREAM to their “The Dream Show 2 : In a DREAM” tour, the seven members have been on an endless move in 2022. Now with Candy, NCT DREAM give fans a final treat to close off the year. 

Remaking a Classic Hit

The mini-album’s titular track is a remake of the classic “Candy” by H.O.T released in 1996. The 90’s hip-hop track is bright and youthful, and the 20-somethings who make up NCT DREAM encapsulate this sprightly energy seamlessly. The new jack swing style track is immediately catchy and describes unsettled post-breakup feelings. NCT DREAM aren’t fazed at all though. Through the song, the members ride the waves of heartbreak, push their feelings away, and pledge to start anew. By the end, they realize that despite not being together anymore, they still “stand below the same sky.” In the expansive sky, the possibilities are endless. The song closes with a charming declaration, “I tell you again … I’ll always be by your side.”

The music video for “Candy” opens with NCT DREAM in a candy factory too cute to exist. Surrounded by pink walls and machinery, the members are busy at work when an alarm suddenly blares. The seven members’ voices take listeners through the bubbly track’s verses. Later, the members are seen reclining in a cozy Christmas setup, accompanied by presents and a twinkling Christmas tree. In NCT DREAM’s winter wonderland, the members are as fun-loving as ever. Throwing it back to H.O.T’s hit song, there is an appearance of a carousel in the song’s latter half that pays homage to the original hit. 

Redefining Graduation

Following the bubbly title track is a heartfelt ballad titled “Graduation.” The song is a gentle reminder of the now abandoned graduation system where members of NCT DREAM would “graduate” and leave the unit once they reached the age of 20. Starting off gentle with soft instrumentals and feathery vocals, it builds to a riveting chorus with the members singing “Wave your hand, goodbye / Let’s say goodbyе / If you turn around / Go to the world where you waited for me / An / unknown star / When I started my longed-for trip / My graduation, that first step / It’ll be very happy.” With these lyrics, the members reminisce but also say goodbye to the former graduation system. In a previously released video to promote the upcoming winter album titled “Winter Night with 7DREAM,” the members explained “we feel careful about saying the word graduation, it’s true for both our fans and us, but now that word can be heartwarming to us. We like it now.”

Season of Love

Switching up the tone, NCT DREAM are refreshingly energetic in the early 2000-esque upbeat retro love song “Tangerine Love (Favorite).” The members compare their love to a tangerine, describing a sweet bursting love that colors in a white winter. Main vocalist Haechan tops this treat of a song with a high note during the bridge. Continuing with the romantic theme is “Take My Breath.” The confession song is about a love so strong that the feelings are like breaths that can’t be stopped. Mark, the main rapper of the group, penned some lyrics for the rap. The vocals and rap smoothly transition throughout the song adding a laid-back feeling. 

NCT DREAM then slow it down with “Moon,” a ballad-like track led by the sweet melody of a piano. The members’ heavenly vocals grace the track, one fading into the other as they pass the mic, each shift accentuating individual members’ unique vocal tone and range. With the soft keys of the piano, the gentle song is akin to something angelic. The lyrics paint an image of a winter love confession made to a crush during a snowfall. “It will be our beginning ooh / I want to open the door to your heart.” The lyrics play on the word “moon” and the Korean word for “door” (문), which has the same pronunciation as moon. Youngest member Jisung’s vocals in a lower register coupled with Chenle’s and Renjun’s honey-like high notes introduce an addicting contrast. 

Walk With You” closes the mini-album. The funky track is Jisung’s pick for the bright feeling it imparts to listeners. Jeno raps, “Thoughts about you fills up my head leaving no empty space.” Jaemin later adds, “Now that very same spot is filled with excitement.” With an upbeat synth sound and vibrant mood, the song closes out the winter mini-album with a festive touch. 

Looking Forward to the New Year 

In the twinkling wintertime, NCT DREAM shared the warmth of the season with fans around the world with Candy. With all seven members returning for this mini-album, the sweetness is at an all-time high. More recently, the group has begun promotions for the album, performing it at the 2022 KBS Song Festival and Music Bank. The group also announced plans for a world tour in 2023. Ending 2022 on a high note, the new year is already looking bright for 7DREAM. 

Want more NCT DREAM? Check out our review of Glitch Mode here!