Review

Song Review: NCT U – From Home

To this day, my absolute favorite NCT track remains 2016’s Without You. That song spotlighted vocalists Doyoung, Taeil and Jaehyun without resorting to the kind of piano ballad usually reserved for vocal-driven tracks. In my mind, there are far more interesting ways to showcase your vocalists than a traditional ballad. Anthemic synth-rock is only one of many, and I wish that SM Entertainment would give NCT’s vocal line a track as powerful as its more performance-oriented efforts.

With that said, From Home is a fine ballad. It has a supremely nostalgic appeal, drawing sentiment from its warm melody and beautiful vocal performance. This is a ballad with a beat, underlined by percussion that gives it a satisfying drive. Performed in four languages, the music video version also does a nice job spotlighting NCT’s global appeal. This configuration of members (Taeil, Yuta, Kun, Doyoung, Renjun, Haechan and Chenle) straddles all three main NCT units, but you wouldn’t know it from their tight vocal blend. The seven members unite as one seasoned group as we move into From Home’s chorus.

Though this track will have trouble competing with NCT’s more bombastic offerings, its chorus is no slouch. Its melody has a great build, climaxing in a gorgeous high note that brings a sense of energy to a song that might otherwise feel a bit maudlin. If I had it my way, From Home would become even more grand during its finale – backing choir and all. But, I understand why the producers opted to give the track a more personal feel. Given this, I’m not sure how well From Home functions as a single. But, it’s a satisfying capper on NCT’s otherwise beat-heavy Resonance album.

 Hooks 8
 Production 7
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 7.75

11 thoughts on “Song Review: NCT U – From Home

  1. This song for me is NCT does Boyz II Men soft R&B song circa 1992. All it is missing is a whistle register from a Mariah cameo. There are a couple of voices in there that are quite firmly in the typical nasal boy band timbre tradition, I have to be honest its almost painful for me to listen to. Its just not my style of singing. Even Nsync singing “This I Promise You” live is painful for me until the chorus when the nasal timbre is buried under the five part harmonies.

    My favorite NCT ballad is last winter’s “Coming Home” which is that piano ballad style to showcase mighty fine vocals.

    (Despite my love of kpop boy bands these days, I am both too old and too young to have stanned any US or UK boy bands from back when. I was more of the 80’s crystal clear booming tenor era. Or, if in falsetto, Morten Harket of A-ha. Rawr, Morten Harket. He’s over 60 years old now and still mister hotness hitting those high notes.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I also love Coming Home so I was hoping this would be similar. Other than also being a vocalist ballad, it’s not really. For one thing it’s missing Jaehyun, whose lower tone is always refreshing. I love the concept. It’s very NCT & very sentimental at the same time. I feel like the vocal performance was better overall in Coming Home (or at least mixed better). I prefer clear vocals, but this just sounds mushy to me. For some reason, this is less of an issue with Renjun, whose parts I like the most. I also don’t really like the percussion. This unit has so much talent, but I feel like this track didn’t give them a great outlet for it.

      Despite being really excited for the album, it was underwhelming to me. Misfit is my favorite track, & I also enjoy Nectar, but I feel like most of the album is just fine. I’m hoping Part 2 will have some more dynamic tracks that I really love.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean with that nasal boy band timbre. What I would give to hear less airy and less nasal singing and more ‘meaty’ vocals in kpop. It would probably help if they weren’t always made to sing songs that seem to be written for sopranos. Let the boys sing a little lower for once! But, that’s just my personal taste. Guys singing in falsetto seems to be really popular.

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      • I agree.

        NCT now has 23 members. Good size for a church choir.

        Johnny, Jaehyun, Lucas, and Jisung (probably even Jeno) are probably the ones who can hit lower notes better than other members. And they aren’t in this.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I understand why you didn’t put English at first. We are just so used to hearing the English we kind of forget about it.
        But there is a lot more than usual in this song. I didn’t notice it because I didn’t put lyrics on the first watch, but when I put them there was a lot.

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  2. It’s definitely no Without You, but I still love it. Haechan is one of my favorite vocalists in k-pop and his vocals are so pleasant to listen to.

    Like

  3. I’m not a ballad person, but the chorus made my heart swell. Kudos.

    With this new album, I think NCT’s group structure concept is finally showing its true potential. Hearing members of WayV, Dream, and 127 together is exciting, and the possibilities seem endless for how their talents can be combined for any genre of song.

    Make a Wish has grown on me, too. Not sure if I truly like it, but it’s certainly catchy…

    Liked by 1 person

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