Song Review: Taeyong (NCT) – Long Flight

Like it or not, this summer in K-pop has been completely hijacked by downtempo hip-hop and r&b — a holding pattern that is likely to continue next week with big releases by EXO-SC and Kang Daniel. I personally despise this turn of events, but what are you going to do? The music charts want what they want. Still, if I have to hear the word “chill” used to describe a song one more time, I’m going to flip a table. Remove it from your lexicon, K-pop.

Based on this introduction, you probably already know what Long Flight is going to sound like. SM Entertainment has a bonafide superstar in Taeyong, and he proved his versatility as a soloist with 2017’s Cure (a surprisingly hefty duet with vocal legend Yoo Young-Jin). He’s a bundle of charisma, and one of the undisputed pillars of NCT. Long Flight offers the chance to spotlight his vocals, blending melody with hip-hop. In a somewhat indulgent way, I guess this is a solid platform for him to display his skills.

As a song, though, Long Flight is another dime-a-dozen r&b mid-tempo, bopping on the kind of moody, generic beat that seems to underline every track of this nature. I get that people enjoy this general vibe, but nothing about Flight draws attention. It’s too easy — too neutral in its lack of ambition. The melody just kind of slogs along, going nowhere. There’s no real modulation in the instrumental, save for a brief injection of organ during the track’s bridge (followed by a dreaded “skrrt, skrrt,” which feels especially ill-fitting here). If it wasn’t for Taeyong’s always-captivating performance, Long Flight would disintegrate into thin air.

 Hooks 6
 Production 6
 Longevity 7
 Bias 6
 RATING 6.25



9 thoughts on “Song Review: Taeyong (NCT) – Long Flight

  1. I thought it was thoroughly meh. Pleasant meh. It also sounds like it has been shopped around for a kpop group, the style where everyone sings s line or two, and landed with a solo with Taeyong singing all the parts. Its a shame really because Taeyong has a shed-load of charisma which is thoroughly wasted here. I was hoping for another “Baby dont’ stop”, but didn’t get one. Baby did stop.

    Hey Nick, I am crushing on W24 “Solfamiredo” right now. Hella good actual instruments. Real horns! Walking bass is fantastic. Actually written by one of the band members, in full and not just the rap. And the video is el cheapo in a good way.


  2. The whole 2019 to me is being probably the most boring in KPop history so far (I hardly found 20 memorable songs to put in my chart out of the 20K which came out), and this sudden, soporific r&b twist is even worse than the tropical EDM trend of the past months and years.

    Moreover, in this case I watch the problem from another perspective: SM Entertainment marketing strategies. With SHINee and EXO in stand-by due to military service, it’s crystal clear they have to squeeze NCT as a lemon in order to withstand BTS global overpower. The result is a schizophrenic product placement in every US spot available (some of which almost embarassing, like their travel vlog on YouTube) and a schizophrenic agenda of productions (some of which almost embarassing, like their Hello Seoul photobook and this new title track by Taeyong).

    Highway To Heaven and Superhuman are huge bops, but the way the group is managed sounds like “Hey world, if you’re tired to see BTS anywhere anytime, maybe you should get tired to see NCT 127 anywhere anytime too, ok?”.
    And uh, ok.


    • Haha! I’m glad my frustration amuses you 😉

      Judging from previews of this upcoming week of comebacks, you’re probably going to hear more moaning and groaning from me in the near future.

      It’s funny, because two words I would use to describe this track (and you used one in your comment) are “pleasant” and “chill.” It seems that these two reactions are par for the course when it comes to k-r&b, and that’s probably why it rarely appeals to me.

      To me, saying a song is “pleasant” or “chill” is more damning than saying that it swung for the rafters but missed. “Pleasant,” while positive in nature, just makes me think that the song didn’t really try to do anything interesting. It won’t offend anybody, but doesn’t exactly compel repeat listens either. That’s modern-day K-r&b in a nutshell — at least for me.

      That being said, I would love to hear why this genre appeals to those who seek it out. I’m honestly curious, and hoping that hearing from fans might sway my thoughts.


  3. Pingback: Taeyong (태용) – Long Flight: MV Review – TweetNewscaster

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