Like they did back in the winter of 2018, NCT is making full use of their malleable roster for a new 2020 project. Unlike 2018, which saw multiple title tracks unveiled over the course of several weeks, this album’s promotion seems to be occurring in a tighter timeframe. But, NCT has exploded in popularity over the past couple of years. Where 2018 acted as a platform for introduction and a statement of intent, 2020 feels more like a victory lap.
Before the full album is released next week, SM Entertainment has dropped a full music video for NCT U’s Misfit. This unit shines focus on the group’s rap line, featuring members from across the entire NCT universe. Not all of the guys are strictly rappers, but Misfit plays almost like a cypher. To my great surprise and excitement, the track hearkens back to the rap-rock of the 80’s and early-90’s, bolstered by a robust guitar instrumental. “Retro” has become a prominent keyword during the second half of this year, but Misfit takes the trend in a different direction.
The track is quite slavish in its re-creation of this sound. Buoyed by modern production techniques, the production opts for a punchy approach that heightens both the rhythm and energy. NCT U’s flow echoes the instrumental. It’s big and brash and exciting. And best of all, it sounds like the guys are actually having fun. Yes, it’s all posturing and showing off, but in a goofy way that suits them well. Misfit’s immense, shout-along hook is irresistible in its unadulterated bombast. I certainly wasn’t expecting an NCT-related track to sound anything like this, and I hope the rest of the 2020 project continues to bring the surprises.