Song Review: NTX – Kiss The World

NTX - Kiss The WorldThere’s so much to unpack when it comes to NTX’s debut. First, there are those uncomfortable teaser photos, where the guys cosplay as different “cultures” in the most awkwardly stereotypical way imaginable. Then, there’s the song’s nearly-eight minute music video, which opens with a lengthy credits sequence just as it should be drawing the attention of curious viewers. And, that music video tries to emulate a live performance, despite the song being slathered with vocal effects that are about as far from “live” as possible.

But even with all these missteps (and a few more), I find myself bopping to this weird, dated track. Between Kiss The World and DKB’s All In, today seems to be the day K-pop reaches back to 2009. There’s an unpolished appeal to this track, and I’ll chalk that up to nervous rookie energy and the limitations of a small agency. I’m not sure who thought it was a good idea to warp all the vocals with the kind of late-00’s autotune that was obnoxious even back then. Perhaps it’s to cover a lack of polish, or maybe it’s actually an earnest choice to give the song more texture.

Either way, I’m surprised at how much I enjoy this bouncy mess. The triple-punch mix of faux rock band, strings section and bounding melody feels oddly refreshing, and the guys get by with youthful exuberance even if their performance lacks the perfection we’ve come to expect from modern idol groups. It helps that Kiss The World hinges on an optimistic, sing-along refrain that embraces its own ridiculous nature. I imagine this as the opening of some relentlessly colorful anime – more a character piece than an attempt to be taken as serious artists. Depending on your preferences, that may be a damning criticism. But, I’m willing to embrace the cheese. Just please ditch the cultural festival costumes in your image teasers, boys.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

7 thoughts on “Song Review: NTX – Kiss The World

  1. Bright! Happy! Clappy!

    It sounds like every teen movie finale song ever. The underdog gets on stage to great acclaim, the villain appears in the wings and turns out to have a heart of gold after all. The hero nods his head at the underdog and the villain in turn, without missing a beat. The crowd is all jumping up and down. Close up shot of the best friend in the audience walking in with The Girl. Close up of the teachers boogy-ing on down, including the ultrastrict principal.
    Yeah, you know it.

    So its pretty good for that subgenre, but its not for me.

    OT: Why is this video special? I appreciate that this week of Passover, they chose to use a Jewish Star of David as their logo. (Do you think they know?) (It’s painted on the floor of the stage, most visible at about 5:52.)

    There was a ballad version prequel released late last week which is an interesting listen. I am a sucker for piano-based songs, so this version is more my thing.


  2. I’ve been wondering about this group. Their YouTube channel already has several 6 minute plus long “teaser” videos, sometimes both a performance version AND a drama version. For a small agency, Victory sure has some money invested in them. They seem to have been performing quite a lot and they’ve been releasing mixtape after mixtape. I know their debut was delayed but it still seems odd. I think I like the teaser videos better than this one. Oh, also there’s a ballad version of Kiss the World that was released a few days ago.


  3. Honestly, based on the teaser photos alone, I’m not going to give this group any of my attention. I’m so done with these Korean entertainment companies making their idols ( in this case literally) put on and take off other people’s cultures. If Korea didn’t have the issues it does regarding foreigners I might’ve been able to look past this, however, this behavior has been going on for years and “they didn’t know” just doesn’t cut it for me anymore.

    Honestly, the song wasn’t that bad, but it doesn’t feel retro; it feels like it was meant to be in Camp rock, but was abandoned until it made its way to this group.

    The video was nicely shot, I think having such a long drawn out intro was a bad decision, and while I like that they did somehting different with the live performance concept, I just can’t get the charms of the group’s members through it.

    Ultimately, I don’t hate the boys, I know they worked hard and have talent. However, where you put your views, your streams, your downloads, etc, is where you put your support. I’m not going to support that ignorant mess of teaser photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is quite specific and kinda irrelevant but I’m slightly disappointed that i can hear a few percussion samples that have been ripped straight from garageband’s stock sounds.


      • Haha well, I actually really like the song and the music video. It’s just small things like samples that draw my attention for the better or for worse. Those image teasers really had me laughing though – definitely were surprised by them hahaha


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