Song Review: NCT 127 – Favorite (Vampire)

NCT 127 - Favorite (Vampire)Just weeks after NCT 127’s Sticker unleashed screechy flute on an unsuspecting K-pop industry, the group has returned with repackage track Favorite. The description for this one promised ample use of a whistle, which elicited ample eye rolls from me. It seems that SM is developing a tradition of releasing decent title tracks only to throw some irritating sample over the top. But, Favorite also comes courtesy of dream team Kenzie and Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins. It’s like we’ve landed back in 2006!

As with most NCT tracks, Favorite frustrates me. It feels quite uneven, with a standout chorus being undercut by boring verses. I wish the group would explore more energetic titles again. Sticker was intentionally minimalist, but Favorite is more of a mixed bag. The verses take a generic hip-hop beat and throw that spiraling whistle over every moment. I find the sample incredibly distracting. Even if the general sound is nice and atmospheric, it’s pitched at a level that grates. And without a fuller arrangement, there’s not much else to focus on.

Here’s where the chorus comes in to set things right. NCT 127 finally take advantage of their strong vocals, offering a towering blend that recalls past glories like 2017’s Limitless. The first half of this refrain is very satisfying, cresting with unexpected majesty as their voices ascend. In comparison, the second half feels undercooked and repetitive. But, I guess it offers needed tension. Then, we’re back to the verses, which don’t really go anywhere. And while the music video shoehorns in a dynamic dance break, the audio version segues right into a sleek bridge. The final repetition of the chorus comes bolstered with a dramatic drum line, adding oomph to the climax. I much prefer Favorite to Sticker, but I’m still waiting for the group to return to the consistent quality of their pre-2020 work.

 Hooks 9
 Production 7
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25


30 thoughts on “Song Review: NCT 127 – Favorite (Vampire)

  1. Yeah I predicted this would be your rating because there is this extremely fun fact! All the SM re-pack titles you rate are 1.25 points higher than the single preceding it! See for yourself.

    SHINee: Don’t Call Me *8.5* to Atlantis *9.75*
    NCT Dream: Hot Sauce *7.25* to Hello Future *8.5*
    NCT 127: Sticker *7* to Favorite *8.25*

    Liked by 9 people

    • Too much whistle sound that was not pleasing make me turn it off after a few minutes that killed the song for me this song is not a sound to dance or listen too. Don’t like it


  2. This is an 8.5 for me and Sticker is an 8.75. I love Sticker now lol

    The chorus is great, don’t mind the second half as much as I should. Verses are okay, kind of love the whistle, and I’m still torn whether I want the dance break to be in the audio version or not, because I love dubstep, but this shoehorning had absolutely no continuity. 8.5 for me, (9,7,8,10)
    Also, this seems the most “kpop” single both NCT 127 and SM have released in a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mrs Crankpot is confused. Its sounds like it is supposed to be a slow jam sexy song, but one that is not quite slow enough or jam enough, and certainly not sexy enough.
    And then there is glitchy dance break. Ooh baby bay, I love when you glitch dance.

    I am still on the Sticker bandwagon. Stickaah stickahhh stickaah
    Would you like some fry with that? Yes please.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I’d give it a solid 9 for me. I just love all parts of it other than the sound of the dancebreak which thankfully isn’t in the official audio. Btw, anyone else hear hints of TOP’s doom dada in the verse instrumental? No? Just me?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I really enjoy this chorus. The verses are a little headscratching.
    I really enjoyed Sticker and I liked how much it focused on the main vocalists raw, solo vocals. This on the other hand is full on SM vocal blend bliss.
    I can’t deny it!!!

    That dubstep dance break in the MV is really not for me. But yah the chorus is massive. Big fan.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You’re right, the whistle gets tiring pretty quickly…I’m just glad that the dance break isn’t on the Spotify version. If the verses were stronger then this would probably be one of 127’s best title tracks.

    Unrelated, but I read your blog like a morning newspaper. Thanks for posting often!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I didn’t like it. I was hoping it would be better than sticker because I hated sticker to the core. The flute sound made me cringe. But this is was boring , I got bored after 30 sec and clicked off the video. Sorry to stans but I heard the bsides are good 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hmm! Okay! I especially love the second part of the chorus. The harmonies they layer on? Delicious. And they always deliver an amazing performance.

    As for the things I’m less thrilled with, the verses (especially the rap, sorry rap line!) are pretty lackluster for me.
    And I get that they’re trying to tie this to Sticker with the whistle, but I wish the whistle melody in this was performed by a different instrument (like orchestral strings, wouldn’t that be awesome?).

    I’m still at a crossroads regarding whether the good of Sticker outweighs the bad for me. We’ll see how this new song ages.


  9. I love the chorus on this song, but the verses were flat. I also am not a fan of the rap parts and the generic hip hop beat. If they would have stayed in the bag that they were in with the chorus and expanded on that soundscape, then this would’ve been a really great track. But I think that would’ve made them sound too much like TVXQ (the chorus is giving me both 2nd Gen Kpop and 90s R&B vibes), and so they had to add something that will make listeners scratch their heads. Now, I’m just left longing to hear how a track that fully explores the chorus’s melody would sound like.

    Also, I think they brought the whistle in to early and overly used it. It should have been minimally at the right points to add spice, and they could’ve used strings as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed, its frustrating that NCT has so much potential but their latest songs don’t live up to it

      Can I recommend “Love On The Floor?” It is my personal “favorite” on this album. It has the same disoriented feeling as “Favorite” but it suits this song a lot better.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Agreed, its frustrating that NCT has so much potential but their latest songs don’t live up to it

    Can I recommend “Love On The Floor?” It is my personal “favorite” on this album. It has the same disoriented feeling as “Favorite” but it suits this song a lot better.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I guess this is better than Sticker for me given that I can at least stand to listen to it without wanting to turn it off. Overall though this entire era from 127 has left me feeling largely indifferent. There’s something about feeling almost nothing towards a major release from one of your favorite groups that is somehow worse than straight up not liking it. Granted I always preferred both Dream and Wayv to 127 but still I always considered NCT as a whole to be one of my favorites. So feeling this much nothing towards this is somehow far more disheartening than if I had strong negative feelings towards it. I want so badly to love or at least enjoy NCT releases again. Oh well I guess I will faithfully wait for their next era.


  12. (Decided to come out of my hiatus just for today because I really couldn’t resist leaving my two cents)
    You know, after a few listens, I cannot help but think back to GOT7’s “Not By The Moon” whenever I listen to NCT 127’s “Favorite (Vampire)”. I mean, both songs are built on the similar foundations of the moody atmosphere we’re familiar with in boy group songs (looking at you 2020…). Heck, we even have the synth-trap influences for the chorus!
    Of course both songs are distinctly different that makes both songs unique in their own right! I say this because it’s fascinating how similar both songs are in concept yet how they approach it is so different.
    What I think makes NCT 127’s “Favorite (Vampire)” a much easier song to return to is because it never overwhelms you when the cathartic instruments come rushing in after the gradual build of the thumping beat in the pre-chorus. The chorus feels a lot more smooth in execution (bless the guys harmoniously sing the majority of the chorus) where the members fill the space in. It may also help the instrumental underlining the catchy hook is a lot more mellow. For GOT7’s “Not By The Moon”, it feels like it had to drag its chorus afloat to catch up with the brash(er) instrumental as it peaks in loudness in the second half time to time.

    I’m glad that the one notable feature off the crazy “Sticker” that has been carried over to this comeback is the focus on vocals. So… yeah, I quite like “Favorite (Vampire)”!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I loved the chorus,it sounded familiar. But that’s it I do not love anything else about the song and why is it necessary to add a dance break to every other song?But it’s definitely better than sticker in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Are sexy vampires in again? I feel like I’m back in 2008 lmao. With that said, I like the chorus, but everything else is messy imo. I think generally NCT 127’s music is not really for me as I have liked very few of their title tracks. That is a shame because I am usually really in to SM groups!


  15. I like it a lot – it starts off a little clumsy, but I’m invested in it by the end. The dubstep break just makes me chuckle as an example of the WTF moments for which I cherish Kpop. I am here for vampire Doyoung. Which is something because I think vampires are idiotic.
    It made my OMGWTFBBQ playlist on Spotify, lotsa drama bracketed by the always hilarious Enhyphen and their interludes.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I gotta say, I actually really love the openings and rap sections of this song even more than the chorus. And I love Doyoung’s vocals around 1:27. But overall, I don’t find myself listening to this song as much as I used to.


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