Over the past six years NCT DREAM’s discography has grown alongside the members. It is diverse and showcases the unit’s identity, skills, and talents. They have experimented across genres, but have managed to keep their unique DREAM sound. If you were to only listen to the group’s lead singles, which are usually powerful and full of intensity, you would only get half of the puzzle. The supporting songs on their albums make up the rest of the full NCT DREAM picture.
To celebrate the release of their second full-length album, Glitch Mode, EnVi highlighted a few of their most beloved B-side tracks.
“1, 2, 3”
NCT DREAM’s second EP, We Go Up, released in fall 2018 showcased their growth from teens to young adults. The second track, “1, 2, 3,” is reminiscent of late ‘90s and early ‘00s pop songs with its percussion-heavy sound paired with melodic harmonies. The Stereotypes, a Grammy-winning production team who are known for their R&B, pop melodies, took part in the production process. August Rigo, who has worked with SWV, Musiq Soulchild, Kehlani, and many others, also contributed to the track. The song has an addictive melody and the energetic choreography pairs well with the youthful quality in DREAM’s concept.
“Life Is Still Going On”
“Life Is Still Going On” is a pre-released track off their 2021 repackage album, Hello Future. The fifth track on the tracklist is a R&B pop song with heavy 808 bass that harmonizes with the chimes of a metallophone. The lyrics express the sentiment to live each day to the fullest despite life’s troubles. As a bonus chapter of the DREAM-VERSE series, “Life Is Still Going On,” introduces fans to the vibe of DREAM’s first album repackage. The music video shows the members living a carefree summer (inspired by recent, vibrant DJ Khaled videos) as they enjoy the present moment with each other. The song was written by 1월8일, who is also credited on NCT U’s “The 7th Sense” and EXO’s “Call Me Baby.” Sam Klempner produced the track and has also worked with artists like TWICE, TXT and BTS.
Most recently, NCT DREAM surprised fans with the two-minute track video for “Dreaming.” The song was the first to be pre-released from NCT’s third album Universe. Known for their youthful concepts, DREAM took a more mature approach, granting them the chance to showcase their unique color as a unit. The song is described as a house R&B track with a dream-like hook and intense bassline. Even though the world is in the middle of a pandemic, the track brings the club’s party atmosphere to you. The song was written and composed by Scott Quinn, Sam Klempner, Hight, and Rick Bridges. The lyrics tell of the stories of the members connecting with each other through dreams, following the YearDream storyline.
“Bye My First…”
“Bye My First…” is the fourth track on NCT DREAM’s third mini, We Boom, which was released in summer 2019. This is the first release as an official six member group, after the graduation of leader Mark. The song surfaces around the hardships of first loves and coming to terms that their first love was not their last. According to Genius Korea, the song is “a direct continuation of “My First and Last” from their debut.” The correlation between both songs can be seen with the lyrics, “I truly knew nothing / Such a pure first and last.” Benjamin Ingrosso helped compose the track who also co-composed GOT7’s “You Calling My Name” and EXO’s “Baby You Are.” The song was written by Kim Eun Joo, Ryu Dasom, with NCT DREAM members Jisung, Jaemin, and Jeno.
Released in mid 2020, “사랑은 또다시 (Love Again)” is the fourth song on the Reload mini album. The track video was released a few days before the album dropped and showcased NCT DREAM’s free-spirited and sporty charm. The song incorporates 90’s hip-hop elements that exude funky old-school and R&B. Mike Daley, Mitchell Owens, Jeff Lewis and Micky Blue all took part in composing the project. “Originally the song was called On The Low and SM just wanted a young, cool, 90s hip-hop dance circle track. We brought it into today with some modern R&B vibes,” Daley told EnVi. Following “Bye My First…,” “Love Again” is the final chapter in NCT DREAM’s ‘first love’ trilogy. References to the first chapter can be seen in the lyrics of the bridge when they sing, “my first and last.” The lyrics detail the feeling of accepting the end of your first love and coming to the realization that you’ll be able to love again.
As the fourth track on NCT Dream’s first mini album We Young, “My Page” was released in August 2017. The track reflects sentiments the young members were going through themselves and focuses on growing up and the struggles that come with it. With lyrics, “I don’t know where I’m going now / but I’m writing out my own self,” the members ‘write’ their own depictions of life. The lyrics, “Even if this isn’t the right path / I think I’ll find that out as I walk,” indicate that even though they don’t know the correct path of life, they will find out through their own journey. Mark took part in writing the lyrics alongside Min Yeon Jae, who is also credited on NCT 127’s “Highway to Heaven” and “Dreams Come True,” as well as TAEMIN’s “Thirsty.”
NCT DREAM’s first full-length album, Hot Sauce, was released in May 2021. “Rainbow (책갈피)” is the last song of the project with its slow R&B pop sound and heartfelt lyrics. The song reminisces on the group’s memories of being seven. The lyrics are considered a continuation of “Dear DREAM,” the last song they wrote together in 2018. Members Jaemin, Jeno, Mark and Jisung participated in the songwriting for the track.
The English name of the song refers to how the group’s happiness shines like a rainbow when they are together. The Korean title focuses on a deeper meaning, as it translates to “bookmark.” Regarding the Korean title, 책갈피, Jeno wanted to convey to fans that it was titled “bookmark,” because they are just picking up from where they last left off. The song holds deep meaning due to the group finally being reunited as seven, after three years.
As NCT DREAM continues to showcase their growth as artists through their discography, NCTzens can look forward to more versatility in their albums and b-sides. While we wait for the release of Glitch Mode, you can stream NCT DREAM’s past albums on Spotify and watch all music videos on YouTube. To keep up with the group, make sure to follow them on Twitter and Instagram.
Missed out on the NCT DREAM comeback news? Check out our coverage of the Glitch Mode announcement here.