Review

Song Review: WayV (NCT) – Moonwalk

More than any other year so far, 2019 has seen SM Entertainment’s NCT project expand its tentacles toward foreign markets. Chief among these initiatives is WayV, the Chinese branch of the NCT Universe. C-pop has its own musical preferences, but WayV’s discography has acted as a pretty seamless extension of SM’s Korean work. This proved to be a huge success with May’s addictive Take Off. New single Moonwalk (天选之城) isn’t quite as impactful, but the song retains many of WayV’s best elements.

The song gradually unveils a theatrical blend of orchestral elements and more standard, trap-influenced beats. The former is obviously more exciting than the latter, and imbues the instrumental with a welcome sense of grandiosity even when the melodies don’t hit quite as hard. The verses feel a little meandering, but they have their high points. I like the vocal arrangement overall — particularly the harmonic backing vocals. The rap is par for the course for NCT, riding the same flow and attitude of most of their tracks.

Moonwalk really proves its mettle during its standout chorus. This imposing, vocal-rich refrain echoes SM works of years past, coming across as a long-lost EXO track — circa 2012/13. The classic K-pop fan in me appreciates this approach very much, even if I’ve heard more exciting chorus melodies before. Even better is the injection of guitar during Moonwalk’s climactic dance break. This segment echoes Take Off in the best possible way, and could easily become one of WayV’s signature production flourishes. In fact, I’d go further and say that it shouldn’t only be a flourish. I hope WayV’s next single finds a way to harness the energy of Moonwalk‘s final third and distribute it through the entire track.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

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2 thoughts on “Song Review: WayV (NCT) – Moonwalk

  1. okay PHEW, i’m soooooo glad i’m not the only one who heard the revival of early EXO’s sound– my fellow WayV fans were not inspiring a lot of confidence in me today.

    i thought it was really interesting that WayV and ACE basically came back at the same time twice this year; Take-Off and Under Cover felt closely related to me back in May, in that i always had to play them back-to-back… but i will definitely not be doing the same with Moonwalk and Savage. Moonwalk is really up my alley (but it really is obvious almost immediately how it’s no Take-Off??) but Savage… what a letdown, what with the teasers/prologue with Lia Kim and everything.

    Like

  2. despite normally detesting trap, i’ve found myself strangely drawn to the b-side “love talk.” although the rap-heavy verses feel rather unnecessary, i love the prechorus & chorus enough to compensate. during the chorus especially, the trap elements actually provide a nice contrast with the melody. also there’s just something about xiaojun’s voice…

    Like

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