Review

Buried Treasure: NCT Dream – Deja Vu

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.


When listening to NCT’s Resonance Part 1, I’m struck with the thought that the album’s concept and configuration is a lot more exciting than the music itself. Resonance is solid all the way through, but doesn’t really break any ground within NCT’s exhaustive discography. I’m still hoping for this 23-member project to deliver music as immense as its level of talent, but I think my hopes are misplaced. In my mind, there’s never been a better conduit for SM to channel a Rising Sun Pt. 2. I mean, if any project warranted music that bombastic and over-the-top, it would be NCT. Right?

Well, it appears that SM would rather steer toward the vibe that’s been working so far, and I can hardly blame them. This means that most of Resonance is comprised of strong, but unspectacular, K-pop. There aren’t really any showstoppers here. The closest we get is NCT Dream’s Deja Vu (무대로). The track sticks out within the context of the album, harnessing a more upbeat sound to great effect. It’s further proof that Dream is a unit to be reckoned with.

Over a carnival-like beat, Deja Vu unveils a playful melody that’s more chant than traditional pop song. Its stomping percussion is incredible, and supplies the track with great energy. I’m a firm believer that the best pop songs are highlighted by an excellent second verse. That’s why you so often see me lament the half-time breakdowns that have plagued K-pop’s second verses over the past few years.

A great second verse is worth its weight in gold, and works magic when it comes to building (and retaining) momentum. Deja Vu’s second verse is incredibly fun, intensifying the percussion and bringing a great sense of rhythm as we slide toward the song’s exhilarating pre-chorus. I can’t help but wonder how immensely satisfying Resonance might have sounded if more of its tracks embraced this kind of energy.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75



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9 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: NCT Dream – Deja Vu

  1. YES! The instrumental in the verses is so fun and consistent. Also that chorus is so energetic and youthful while maintaining that youthful NCT vibe!
    Easily one of my favourite tracks on the album, and my third fav Dream track behind quiet down and boom.
    Best Album Tracks:
    1. Volcano: 9.5
    2. Misfit: 9.25
    3. Deja Vu: 8.75
    4. Make A Wish: 8.75
    5. Nectar: 8.5
    6. Faded In My Last Song: 8.5
    7. Light Bulb: 8
    8. Music, Dance: 7.75
    9. From Home: 7.5
    10. Dancing In The Rain: 6.5

    Average Track Rating : 8.3

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yey! NCT Dream is my favorite among all NCT units and I’m happy that they have their own track in this album. This type of music suits them better, definitely a great addition to the album. I feel like I’m in a mystical carnival listening to it 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This sounds like it would fit in perfectly with Red Velvet’s ReVe Festival Day 1 mini — as soon as I heard Deja Vu, my mind just screamed CARNIVAL! Cue the happy zimzalabim chants.

    Ahem. Anyway.

    Deja Vu is one of those tracks I appreciate more than I enjoy. It’s fun and bright, it has a nice melody, it has heaps of energy, it has a creative instrumental. So I’m a little surprised that I don’t actually gravitate toward it much.

    Also, is it just me, or has SM been really obsessed with Moonshine lately?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really like the verses and the prechorus but something about the carnival chimes in the chorus really turns me off about the song :/

    Like

  5. Volcano is the best one off the album for me. Yes, Boss vibes, but that is a good thing! I mean SuJu did the Mr Simple – Bonamano – Rokkugo three-fer which all have a similar vibe, and ITS ALL GOOD BAYBEE! Naega something I’m the boss, naega something I’m the player.

    On the side topic, I went to itunes to buy some of the songs. The album is credited to just plain “NCT”, and different songs on this album are credited to U Dream Wayv or 127. No wonder I can’t tell them apart. Alrighty then: Left click, mouse scroll to highlight all, shift-left click, Right click, get info, edit song artist to just plain NCT, click OK, and I am done.

    Liked by 1 person

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