Review

Song Review: N.Flying – Starlight

N.Flying have had an atypical breakthrough ever since last year’s Rooftop. Though none of their follow-up material has yet to match the ubiquity of that track, they’re not a one-hit wonder either. Their albums sell well enough, and a number of variety show appearances have helped keep their name in the conversation. Like Rooftop, digital single Starlight was composed by the group’s leader Lee Seunghyub, and draws upon the same general vibe.

The addition of marimba gives Starlight a bit of summer appeal, but when it comes down to it this is N.Flying by the numbers. Those who loved Rooftop will enjoy Starlight too – especially its driving chorus, which layers the guys’ vocals for a guitar-heavy peak. I find these kind of choruses to be a little too melodically predictable and repetitive, but there’s no denying that N.Flying conjure a pleasant sound. As usual, much of that is thanks to lead vocal Hweseung, who has really become one of the most indispensable voices in this generation of K-pop.

Amidst all of the vocal bombast, I’m quite partial to Seunghyub’s rap during the verses. I’ve always found him an appealing rapper, and that was one of the group’s biggest draws before Hweseung joined. With Starlight, the rhythmic flow of the verses offers a nice contrast to the more tightly-structured chorus. Starlight offers a pleasant sense of catharsis that’s well-timed to this moment in our world, especially as it climaxes in a killer power note, supported by anthemic electric guitar. It’s far from their most memorable work, but N.Flying rarely disappoint.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.75

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5 thoughts on “Song Review: N.Flying – Starlight

  1. i like your reviews but you do realize not every mood has to be related to “this time in our world.” we come here to read about kpop, not be reminded of the pandemic that america can’t sit through

    Like

    • Forgive me if, as an ashamed American, it is constantly on my mind.

      On the same topic, this is a lose/lose situation. I’ve been called out for not mentioning the pandemic in my writing, and called out for mentioning it too much.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. At some point we could use the phrase N.Flying is flying on autopilot. We aren’t quite there yet. But I really miss the cheeky N.Flying of years past, the Hot Potato and The Real era. I suppose every band loses their cheekiness as they grow up and have some success. (Except of course They Might Be Giants who haven’t grown up at all.)

    This track brings in a heavy dose of their now characteristic choral harmonies of Seunghyub + Hwesung in tight thirds, which is fantastic. It is these kind of sung harmonies that let the band nail covers of Queen and such.

    The rest of the song is okayish.

    As an American, I don’t think we need any more catharsis but instead relief. My city downtown has seen enough catharsis in the past months. Nick, as a mom of two school age kids, I feel for whatever uncertainty about your library position that you are in right now. I signed up sonny boy for all virtual through Christmas, but darling daughter’s school has only declared the first two weeks are virtual and then … then … then what? They surely can’t …

    Like

    • Yeah, we don’t have a definitive announcement yet, but my gut says we’ll be online as well… at least for the first few months. That’s the only safe option, honestly, and I’m lucky to live in a state and city that’s taking this whole thing more seriously than many.

      I’m well aware that everyone’s looking for some escape from reality, and K-pop/music in general has become that escape for me — as it usually is. I try not to dwell on non-music issues within my reviews, but I also think it’s disingenuous to separate a piece of music from the era and climate with which it exists, regardless of whether that was the artist’s original intent.

      At any rate, I think at this point I’m just so grateful that pop music exists. Writing about some of my all-time favorite songs has only cemented that feeling.

      Like

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