With NCT 127’s Taste the Feeling, SM Station has given us a song with a purpose, though it might be kind of a silly one. The track is a cover of a song used to promote Coca Cola, and that’s exactly what it’ll do in Korea as well. It’s also tied to the upcoming Olympics, acting as a sort of theme song. This description likely conjures images of a total cheesefest, rife with product placement. But in order to be a little objective, I think it’s important to realize that that’s exactly what this release was designed to be.
As an advertisement track, things could be far worse. I will certainly remain eternally grateful that the horribly cringeworthy “taste the feeling” phrase only comes up once in English, as an overly earnest ad-lib towards the end. In fact, taken apart from the music video, the song sounds more like a pleasant album track. It’s the direct opposite of Fire Truck in sound and image, but then again the NCT project has made their name on releasing a wildly diverse group of songs so far. I appreciate that Feeling allows the guys to show off their vocals, and they sound great on the layered, sway-along chorus (even if it is incredibly cheesy). The bridge is even better, with a nice bit of funk that feels less like a commercial and more like one of their actual songs.
When it comes down to it, it’s impossible for a song like Feeling to be rated truly excellent, as that’s not really its goal. As a call to arms for the Olympics (and Coca Cola… I guess), it does its job. It’s not irritating, nor is it particularly galvanizing. But it’s a pleasant enough counterpart to bubblier songs like Once Again from the group’s mini album, and proves that the guys can tackle any genre. Even eye-rolly ones.