Review

Song Review: Jaehyun (NCT) – Forever Only

Jaehyun - Forever OnlyWith so many members and diverse talents as part of the NCT universe, I’m surprised we haven’t seen solo releases every other week. “NCT Lab” – a spin-off of the long-running SM Station project – was established for this exact reason. But after two releases back in February and March, the lab took a hiatus until about a month ago. Now, things seem to be back on track, as Jaeyhun’s Forever Only follows last month’s sub-unit track Rain Day.

Like SM Station, these songs aren’t designed to be promoted title tracks, stuffed with bombast and driven by ear-catching hooks. Instead, a song like Forever Only paints NCT members as boys next door, just sittin’ down with a guitar and singing out their hearts. Billed as an R&B track with a writing credit from Jaehyun himself, the song is everything you’d expect it to be. Modern beats blend with guitar and a rhythmic melody that keeps energy dynamic throughout. It’s coffeeshop with an extra shot of caffeine – not quite groovy enough to pull you to the dancefloor but certainly head-nodding.

Jaehyun’s voice has a sweet tone that sometimes battles for attention among NCT’s bigger belters. His performance suits this style. It’s nimble in execution, but sincere in sentiment. If you’re already a big fan, I’m certain this will be a real treat. For me, Forever Only sounds like a very nice b-side. I’m not sure I’d seek out on its own, but I wouldn’t skip it either. Its chill, well-delivered style adds another level of depth to the NCT universe, and that’s always appreciated.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.75

9 thoughts on “Song Review: Jaehyun (NCT) – Forever Only

  1. To be honest, within songs of similar genre (in K-pop), this one is definitely up there. For one, its hook is actually deceivingly catchy. The lyrics flow nicely too which helps it quite a lot. I like how it has a constant energy that keeps the track from moving forward the whole time, and the key change was really well done. It really did its best to not succumb to the traps that most ‘coffee house’ songs do. Its verses, which weren’t the most memorable were much shorter than a usual verse which highlighted the best parts of the song (the chorus) even more. I’m quite happy with this, I’d rate it much higher than a 7.75, but I thought you were going to rate it lower (cause it isn’t really your taste), so I’m not complaining.

    It is also a coincidence that the last couple of days before Jaehyun’s solo was released, I was listening to his duet with d.ear called Try Again (released in 2017). It is among my favorite mid-tempo tracks from K-pop, the vocal performance, the production (the swell, dynamics, vocal layering and arrangement especially!), the vibes, it is just a really good song! I hope Jaehyun could sing another song similar to that, because it suits him.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I am very pleasantly surprised by this. It’s giving some 2000s R&B vibes, perhaps Jaehyun could k-pop’s Justified era Timberlake.
    I think what keeps this from being coffee shop filler are all the SM-isms. From melodically bass lifts, key changes and smartly arranged vocals, this fits well into the ouvre of SM.
    The song itself is simple but well written too, so even without the SM embellishments there is something quite strong at the core.

    Jaehyun has always been one of my favorite NCT members and I feel like he has both active and untapped star quality. I think this could be as popular as Kai’s Mmhm (which had true longevity). Very nice song.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I like it. Jaehyun’s voice is a real treat. Honestly, I feel like this kind of songs is gonna take over me soon as I got exhausted of boy group bluster and girl crush so much that now I consider the ones who love that stuff to be brainwashed. 8 for me.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. This definitely has an old R&B heartthrob vibe! I’m really pleased that the song doesn’t drag (a trap it could easily fall into) and it’s great to hear Jaehyun’s voice showcased in this subdued style. He’s a well rounded vocalist and rapper and it shows.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Yeah, why doesn’t SM put out more little one off singles from the NCT universe? “Baby Don’t Stop” is still one of my favorite NCT singles ever (I mean, Ten, yah), and “Coffee Break” is a frequent play as well.

    This one here lolls along nicely, not too rangey or showy, but a nice solo piece. The section starting at about 2:00 is very nice.

    Baby Don’t Stop. The dance as a duo is nice and refreshing from the usual triangular boy band center structure.
    ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0DqRstCgj4

    Coffee Break ft the best bass ever
    ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ieKUQRVx0Q

    Liked by 3 people

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