Review

Buried Treasure: NCT Dream – Dunk Shot

nct-dream-dunk-shotMost of the time, a kpop group’s title track is the best song on their album. But, sometimes b-side tracks deserve recognition, too. In the singles-oriented world of kpop, I wanted to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.

NCT Dream have only recorded three songs so far, but they’ve got a perfect record when it comes to crafting addictive pop music. I was a little worried when it was announced that My First And Last‘s b-side would be a cover of the 1993 Korean hit Dunk Shot. The original is a fine track in its own subdued adult contemporary way, but I wondered if it could translate to Dream’s youthful sound. Thankfully, SM enlisted Kenzie — one of their most consistent and prolific composers/producers — to update the song’s arrangement. And she crafted a total winner.

NCT Dream’s version of Dunk Shot heightens every element, from the glossy, guitar-assisted verses to the gorgeous harmonic blend of the chorus. I’m a sucker for the kind of euphoric hands-in-the-air chant that makes up the track’s central hook. There’s something unashamedly jubilant about it, and that conviction to a good time is infectious. Kenzie’s reinterpretation of the instrumental gives Dream’s Dunk Shot a glorious sense of build, culminating in a collage of vocal ad-libs that echo the original track while upping the energy a hundredfold. Rather than completely abandon the percussive island nature at the heart of the original, Dream has bolstered its best elements with bombast and added a sense of cheekiness that helps temper the track’s cornier urges. With songs this awesome, we really need a full length album!

 Hooks  9
 Production  9
 Longevity 8
 Bias  10
 RATING  9

3 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: NCT Dream – Dunk Shot

  1. Pingback: The Top 40 K-Pop Album Tracks & B-Sides of 2017 (Part One: 40-21) | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  2. Pingback: Looking Back: The Top Three K-Pop Songs of September 2009 | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  3. You are right. jubilant *is* the right word to describe this song. It is not the first rendition of the original I’ve heard but this rendition is addicting. And the guitar and the instrumental really pull some major nostalgia vibes. It makes me feel good but unlike a lot of feel good songs, I don’t think I can tired of this one.

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