Review

Song Review: WayV – Kun & Xiaojun – Back To You

WayV Kun & Xiaojun - Back To YouSeemingly 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!

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.5

6 thoughts on “Song Review: WayV – Kun & Xiaojun – Back To You

  1. A gorgeous ballad though I would’ve loved a more dynamic one instead of being this stripped to its bare bones. But this projects spotlight onto their voices and the harmonious interplay. The chorus is soft and gentle and slowly rises up.

    Like

  2. Is that a French horn in the opening? I never hear a French horn without thinking of Brideshead Revisited. Ballad isn’t my favorite form, but their vocals are pure pleasure.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a classic SM move, give the primary singers a ballad just like this, right about now. Really, it is showing off. I dig it. I love this kind of stuff.

    That the melody resembles “Girl from Ipanema” is the only demerit from me.

    Like

  4. It came out of nowhere because SME refuses to properly promote WayV, but it’s a wonderful song nonetheless. Kun and Xiaojun’s pure vocals are always a treat!

    Like

  5. This was a really good song, and I think the stripped-backness of it all is really kun and xiaojun’s strength, especially kun. their vocals sound amazing and xiaojun’s note near the end was so beautiful.

    Like

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