If any group might have been spared the effects of k-pop’s prolonged tropical love affair, I assumed it would be one like N.Flying. Since reemerging with new member Hweseung last summer, they’ve consistently delivered a rollicking brand of punchy power pop, as joyously silly as it is addictive. Tropical house doesn’t usually play well with rock music, but thankfully How R U Today isn’t completely indebted to the trend.
The song’s tropical influences are most strongly felt during its verses, which pulse with a laid-back, guitar-plucked groove reminiscent of reggae. I could do without those infernally pitched synth (or are they vocal?) squiggles in the background, but I like how the arrangement takes advantage of the band’s natural gift for rhythm. N.Flying initially debuted as a rap/rock hybrid, and they’ve always been at their best when blending genres. How R U Today isn’t exactly rap, but it’s never totally straightforward radio rock either. This allows for a looser, attitude-driven delivery that plays off leader Seunghyub’s strengths before segueing into more subdued, melancholic territory.
Speaking of melancholic, Today‘s success is cemented by its big, sweeping chorus. It’s the most emotional melody we’ve heard from the guys since 2015’s underrated Lonely, and a wonderful match for Hweseung’s powerful vocals. This is also where Today is at its most quintessentially rock, presenting an influx of guitars and harmony for added anthemic heft. It’s not nearly as fun as either The Real or Hot Potato, but feels just mature enough to deepen this promising young band’s appeal.