Buried Treasure: NCT Dream – Bungee

NCT Dream - BungeeA K-pop group’s title track isn’t always the best song on their album, even if it’s the one most people will hear. Sometimes, b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.

I wasn’t able to find a buried treasure on NCT Dream’s Hot Sauce, but their fantastic Hello Future hints at a return to form. The song’s inclusion on the album acts as a needed anchor. Repackages can sometimes feel extraneous, but this one elevates the entire project. Even better, the track is followed by Bungee, which delivers an optimistic summer sound in keeping with Hello Future’s sunny vibe.

After a series of wispy synth strings, the track bounds into its off-kilter groove. The verse catches you off-guard, sputtering to life while flirting with a rhythm that never quite materializes. I would have loved to hear a more dynamic beat here, but the scattershot instrumental builds tension for the knockout chorus soon to come.

Like Hello Future, Bungee’s chorus twists its melody in unexpected directions. The guys’ vocals are layered to lend the track maximum texture, and their performance is incredibly funky in a subdued way. I love the descending structure of this hook. It spirals downward before swooping up again, bringing an addictive sense of movement. Coupled with the herky jerky synths, this refrain plays with rhythm in a way that infuses this thoroughly modern production with a touch of old-school funk. Bungee knows how to utilize dynamics and space, crafting a loose arrangement that will surely get your head nodding.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8


5 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: NCT Dream – Bungee

  1. I’m surprised you didn’t find a buried treasure in Hot Sauce! I’ll admit the b-sides aren’t anything new, but they’re fun, summer-y, and well produced.

    On to “Bungee”. From the moment I heard those halting synths at the beginning, I knew I was in for something fresh! The beat has that ~Moonshine bounce~ that reminds me of their work in BoA’s “Got Me Good” and “Feel Good” by Irene and Seulgi.

    The second part of the chorus (starting 0:59) is so harmonically strange and unlike anything I’ve heard before! I need someone who understands music theory to tell me why it’s so interesting to the ear.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. What a refreshing song! The Hello Future repackage broke Hanteo’s record of most sales for a repackage album’s first day of release, wow!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed this track too, though I’m surprised to hear you describe this as optimistic and summery. The icy baseline and layered vocals feel almost steely and metallic, giving the track a harder edge than most of Dream’s early work. A strong b-side for sure though.

    I will say I much prefer Rocket for its lithe, addictive groove.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I thought I was the only one who felt that Hot Sauce B-sides lacked a bit of magic. They were all very good tracks. That’s it. It was missing an X-factor. Hello Future Repackage songs have solved this problem! I like all the 3 additions! And Bungee seems like an uncharted territory for NCT DREAM to explore. And they did it superbly well! Looking forward to more such songs from the Dreamies. I feel like the chorus has a rhythmic movement which matches the Bungee jump aspect!

    Liked by 1 person

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