Song Review: NCT Dream – Hello Future

NCT Dream - Hello FutureNCT Dream’s Hot Sauce had an interesting trajectory for me. On first listen, I was repulsed. That chanted chorus felt like a jackhammer to the skull. Then, something switched, and I found myself bopping along. The instrumental’s percussion and guitar became highlights and I was happy to embrace Dream’s aural madness. That lasted about a week before the chant regained its divisive power. It’s hard to believe this chorus comes from the same group who delivered My First And Last’s buoyant hook.

Repackage title track Hello Future might not compete with Dream’s absolute best work, but it’s a welcome return to form. The hot sauce has cooled down and the boys have embraced another standout chorus. This isn’t surprising, given the all-star team behind the track. Longstanding SM composer Kenzie joins with Adrian McKinnon and producer-team-of-the-moment Moonshine. Together, they craft a song that’s a little off-kilter but very enticing.

Hello Future will disorient you from the start. There’s no real introduction, as the percussion and rap come in together full-force. I like this approach, especially given the gurgling – almost robotic – bass running underneath. It’s brash without being obnoxious. But more importantly, Hello Future blossoms into a sunny chorus that brings a welcome shot of melody. This contrast between verses and chorus reminds me of NCT 127’s Limitless. If that song played the part of dark, rugged sibling, this one’s the happy-go-lucky optimist.

And while Hot Sauce utterly misused Haechan’s impressive vocals, Hello Future gives him a chance to shine. A surplus of power notes powers the chorus with an enjoyable sense of lift. If I had it my way, I’d bump up the entire track’s tempo to give it even more drive. But, along with SHINee’s Atlantis, this is a repackage track that far surpasses its predecessor.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8

24 thoughts on “Song Review: NCT Dream – Hello Future

  1. I love this! And I’m so relieved, because I never liked Hot Sauce for even a single second. It’s a ton of fun and I couldn’t help but smile and bop along – a very welcome return to the bright, engaging NCT Dream I know and love.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I enjoyed watching them perform a teaser of this on the Music Bank mid-year special. The full song delivers! Maybe they kept this one a bit slower to contrast Hot Sauce even more.

    Haechan sounds so great on this one. I love his power notes, but the melody he sings in verse 2 is lovely too.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. This is probably the best out of the songs released today. It’s nice. I like the aesthetics and even though it’s not their best work, it is still feels like a Dream track at its core.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Absolute 9 for me!
    The instrumental is awesome, with a bunch of surprises underneath. Dream unveil a charismatic performance, with earworm melodies and bubbly raps. But For Me, That Chorus is the real WINNER! The Instrumental surrounds everything like a carnival, The Melody is absolute magic and larger-than-life. I was really worried about this, but I turned out on loving this song!

    One Question: How…is…this a Hip-Hop…dance song?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Yep, this is exactly my kind of song.

    When Yan Zaman told me this song was described as happy trap, my nightmares of American pop and Winner’s Everyday made me keep my expectations pretty low. But when I actually started listening to the song, it became pretty much clear that there was no trap in this song (at least to my ears). So, this is how I should go into any NCT track now onwards – with my expectations low and (hopefully) be surprised. This is easily my favourite title track from Dream since My First And Last. 9 for me.

    Now, SM, keep Dream upbeat.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Off kilter, yes. NCT signature style off kilter, with those super interesting chord progressions in the chorus. Its like Kenzie takes out the chord progression charts, like this one ‘ and thinks hmmm how can I make this even more interesting.

    I think it works out great. Its like Superhuman and Turning Back Time meets a 127 song – I was thinking Cherry Bomb for its regular heavy 1 – 2 beat but there could be others. Its like all of the above, and _sounds_ so NCT and yet is a new song wholly its own because of that vocal falsetto lines that lifts it and introduce novel melodic content that is higher and brighter than the usual darker lurking NCT fare.

    Quirky as all hell, and great,

    Liked by 5 people

  7. The recipe of Kenize, Adrian McKinnon, and Moonshine is already primed for success! The opening grabbed me, and it was engaging throughout; hard to grasp but always sonically interesting. And I LOVE how the song just goes into an extended victory lap after the final chorus, what a moment.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. This is really core NCT Dream. It’s not totally happy, it’s not totally cute, but it’s…uhh, youth? Like idk but this is totally what I expected from NCT Dream. No group is doing like them. I love the chorus so much.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. This song takes back to their roots, like We Young and My First and Last. It is very quintessential NCT Dream but with their newfound confidence as a unit.

    The song started quite shaky, but when the chorus is just so good and it is my favorite NCT hook in a while. Just like what you said it reminds me of Limitless but with a My First and Last tease to it. It is a very satisfying hook and definitely carried the song throughout.

    Glad that the rapline has proper lines and the vocal line were properly utilized, especially Haechan, which for me kind of owned the song.

    I would rate this a solid 9. It’s just so good and is definitely my favorite song released today.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I wholly agree with your ranking, although this song is at least a 9 for me. It’s so good, couldn’t stop smiling when listening to it. It’s also great that they did this sound again, bright Dream was missed 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I thought the verses were a bit forgettable on first listen but the chorus is so exhilarating! Made me smile at 2 AM when I couldn’t fall asleep due to the torture that is the PNW heat wave right now (please save me)


  12. Ahhh yes! This song has NCT DREAM written all over it. It’s a bright and youthful concept without boy school uniforms or sailor caps. Totally fresh and fitting! The other two new songs are great too!! I hope NCT Dream utilizes this type of music while they are at this age since they’re gonna grow older soon and may just need to do more 127-esque style – we don’t need that! I still can’t believe they are 3rd gen group that can pull off youthful concepts because they are literally younger than most 4th gen groups 😀 Anyway, this song is a solid 9 for me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m a little late! Hot Sauce left me so turned off that I didn’t end up checking out this song at all until now.

    I should have! This is not only enjoyable, but it’s unique, unpredictable – what amazing work by the composer team. This is the kind of quirkiness and creativity that I really want from kpop. The guys all sound good here; the rap makes me bop along without getting boring, the vocals are a treat.

    The uniqueness of this track is what would take it up to a 9/10 for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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