Military enlistment is looming for some members of N.Flying, making this comeback their final group promotions before hiatus. It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from the guys, and even longer since I’ve connected with one of their singles. Waaaay back in 2017 and 2018 I was firmly aboard the N.Flying train. Hweseung had just been added to the group and their music felt rambunctious and unpredictable. At the time, I saw them as the rowdy younger brothers to DAY6’s more serious idol rock.
Over the years (and especially since the success of 2019’s Rooftop), those quirks have diminished. Their music is still super solid, but it feels more middle-of-the-road. I appreciate how I Like You (폭망) isn’t some sad-sack ballad preceding their hiatus. Instead, it grooves along N.Flying’s amiable energy, mixing rock music with flourishes of hip-hop. I don’t find the track particularly catchy or memorable, but the performance is solid as a rock. N.Flying are now veterans of the industry and their skill elevates even meager material.
Small touches make I Like You deserving of a closer listen. I love the exclamations of guitar that pepper the verses. They give the arrangement more spontaneity than the song itself. I wish this extended to the dynamics of the production. I Like You would benefit greatly from more dynamic peaks and valleys. As it stands, the song is one enjoyable flatline. It doesn’t really go anywhere, despite an almost-there climax that teases Hweseung’s massive voice without fully committing to the bombast.
K, biased N.Flying fan here. Honestly, this is a super odd choice for a lead single. I mean, it’s cute, and I guess it fits with the style of their previous releases, but…well it’s not very exciting is it? Sort of plods along the whole time; it feels more like a b-side from one of their previous albums.
Personally, I would have chosen “Monster” to be the lead single. THAT’S a song with energy behind it. C’est la vie, I suppose!
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It feels like since the success of “Rooftop”, N.Flying have always promoted the tamest, most affable song on each album. I wouldn’t call their singles “bad” or “boring” but there are more exciting songs on each album that I would’ve promoted instead (“Leave It” or “Flowerwork” off Spring Memories, “Youth” off Sotong, “Video Therapy” off Turbulence). I miss having the freewheeling energy of The Real/Hot Potato on their title tracks. Ah well. Agreed that “Monster” would’ve been a great title!
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For reasons I do not fully understand, darling daughter likes to play their “Moonlight” from June 2021 often enough that it ranks strangely high on the ipod playcount list. This one here is like “Moonlight” part 2. I’ll probably buy it anyway, just for her.
Song is fine. I’ve learned not to place too much weight on N.Flying’s promoted tracks, as they’ll always go for the general-public friendly sound for that; they’ll often have a bunch of other tracks that are much more to my taste. (I mean, I don’t dislike any of their songs. I love N.Flying to death. But I love their rockers most!)
As far as the album goes, I’m of course more partial towards the last three songs. I find the whole thing a little weirdly paced, with the maudlin, sentimental tracks all in front and those stompers placed near the end. I would have had something like:
1. 1 (I mean it’s even in the title lmao)
2. I Like You
5. The Night
6. Shooting Star
(This is not a ranking, just an album shuffling for the sake of pacing).
Anyway, I’m gonna miss N.Flying. Seriously some of the most fun, funniest dudes in the business. Part of me feels that FNC dropped the ball with having them release so little and not take advantage of the fact that their vocal line don’t have to enlist (Hweseung being done, Seunghyub being exempt due to injury); at the same time, it’s not like I’d have wanted them to be overworked, say, the same way SF9 were (before Rowoon’s acting got in the way). I hope we at least get more solo stuff from J.DON or Hweseung to tide us over until the boys can all come back as 5.
(And again I will beg FNC to do another collab with Happyface, this time with Hweseung and Siyeon. If this ever happens, I will evaporate out of sheer happiness.)
I like this. I’ve really enjoyed N.Flying’s music in the past and this is no different. It’s not as catchy as their past releases but this still has that fun vibe that they had in their other releases.
I love it, honestly. I think it’s cute. N.Flying are always more consistent than I think to give them credit for, and I’ve been glad to have their revitalized presence around the K-band scene for the last few years. The one-two punch of The Real and Hot Potato was certainly something else (those dominated my playlists for a couple years), but I’ve got no qualms with this sort of thing, either!