Review

Buried Treasure: WayV (NCT) – Electric Hearts

Most of the time, a k-pop group’s title track is the best song on their album. But, sometimes b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.


Every NCT-related album this year has had its high and low points, but when I compare them track by track, I think WayV’s Awaken the World is the most consistently engaging. And unlike most albums, its greatest treasures are mostly found in its second half. I like the diversity on display throughout World. Yes, WayV are known for their imposing hip-hop image, but they convincingly tackle a number of genres here. Special shout-outs go to the moody synth of After Midnight, the throwback groove of Up From Here and the smooth, sparse Domino.

But — me being me — you know I had to pick the bright summer track! These are currently in short supply, so I latch onto anything I can get. Electric Hearts’ peppy energy is definitely refreshing. I love the catchy vocal hook threaded through the track, draped in a satisfying reverb effect. The instrumental is also a treat. Its verses fuse an old-school trip-hop beat with all sorts of modern electronic touches to brilliant effect. It’s a dynamic brew, constantly ebbing and flowing and building to a series of mini crescendos. I wish they didn’t have to throw in the expected trap breakdown during the bridge, but at least it doesn’t last very long.

Melodically, Electric Hearts hinges on a simple hook, repeated often. But, it makes the most of it. Nearly the entire song is sung, which makes its brief bursts of hip-hop all the more effective. We even get a cool post-chorus shift in melody during Hearts’ final moments, ending the track on a high. I can see this sticking around on my playlist throughout the entire summer. I need K-pop acts to start releasing stuff like this!

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 9

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!

13 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: WayV (NCT) – Electric Hearts

  1. Even with only three comebacks I truly beleive that WayV is the Best NCT unit. This comeback truly solidified that and gave me what I think is the best NCT album yet! Though Neo Zone and Empathy are very close seconds. Electric Hearts is easily a standout on the album, and I love how interesting the instrumental is, its just to Crunchy! And the vocal melodies are good as always since its NCT, though my only complaint is that is would’ve sounded better in Korean, But for a chinese group, I don’t even think that could be considered a complaint. The main reason I love this album and WayV as a whole, is that their tracks hit all the right beats. Its like the producers know just what I want and when I want it, especially from a SM Ent group.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. This song screams “SHINee summer comeback” to me, like a solid successor to View or Good Evening. Of course that means I absolutely love it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s funny that I’ve been agreeing with you on b-sides a lot lately (Somebody Like, Drama, Love Me or Leave Me). Electric Hearts was definitely my favorite track on the album at first listen.

    Like

  4. I just found out that the song was meant for Shinee in 2016, but got put in the corner and then WayV put their own spin on it during production and it became the current version. It sounds like a Shinee summer bop with some WayV flare and it’s just an amazing song overall. WayV is 100% the strongest unit right now like every album they’ve released is out of this world good.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s actually one of the few I don’t like in the album. The chorus didn’t really work for me. If it was catchier like View, I’d probably love it though.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have decided my favorite is Domino, but electric hearts is also great. It used to be so easy to pick which NCT unit was my favorite, it was easily Dream. However, with the debut and growth of Wayv I have no hope of picking in between the two. That just means if your an NCT fan you will almost always have content to enjoy. Out of 127, Dream, and Wayv’s recent comebacks I would rank them Wavy > Dream > 127 but I enjoyed all of them. Honesly though since Dream didnt get a full album (I wish) its not a totally fair comparisson.
    Also I totally agree that this would have made a great Shinee song. I am still doing my best to patiently await the return of my favorite group! Although I think Taemin’s coming back with another solo soon.

    Like

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