Seemingly out of nowhere, WayV’s Kun and Xiaojun announced the release of their first single album. Both are designated as main vocals within the group, yet don’t always have the opportunity to shine as part of WayV’s hip-hop heavy sound. Unsurprisingly, Back To You (这时烟火) is a ballad, stripped to its bare bones to offer maximum spotlight on their vocals.
I’ve been upfront about my ballad bias before. I don’t always write about them because… I don’t often have much to say. Ballads tend to be pretty formulaic – more about performance and sentiment than dynamic production choices. Most of the time, you know exactly what you’re going to get and you leave satisfied. And, Back To You follows this approach. It’s stripped back, arranged with soft piano, plaintive strings and muted brass. That final element is particularly welcome, lending a unique texture to the track.
As expected, Kun and Xiaojun give a gorgeous performance. Their voices complement each other and drive the emotion forward without coming across as overwrought. Back To You’s chorus has a pleasant lift, gradually expanding the track with each repetition. This climaxes in an earned power note during the song’s finale. I’m not sure I’ll come ‘back to’ this song often (my preferred c-pop ballad of the moment is this one!), but it’s always nice hearing performers flourish in their element. It’s also a welcome reminder of all the vocal talent within the NCT universe. These kids are more than just hot sauce!