Song Review: Ten (WayV) – Birthday

Ten (NCT) - BirthdayWith WayV on a longer-than-expected hiatus and SuperM inactive, the always-beguiling Ten hasn’t had much time in the spotlight. That’s a shame for all of us. He’s long-since due for a solo album of his own. Instead, we’ve had a special single here and there and the occasional appearance on NCT’s Universe album. Last August, he released the English-language Paint Me Naked. Now he’s back with another English track and I have many of the same reservations that plagued the last one.

In short, Ten needs (and deserves) stronger material. Birthday is more “vibe” than song. It’s slinky and seductive, but utterly predictable. The jerky percussion is a cool touch, and provides the base for plenty of charismatic coos and icy falsetto. But without a compelling melody, Birthday ends up feeling more rote than it should. Once you’ve made it through the first chorus, you already know how the rest of the song will play out. I kept waiting for something to pull me back in.

A spike of interest emerges during Birthday’s instrumental breakdown, which twists the production just enough to make it feel as if we’re building toward some shocking climax. Instead, the song quickly reverts to its ho-hum chorus. Ten gives it all he has, delivering a nimble performance that recalls plenty of great R&B slow jams from the late 90’s. But with so many similar efforts from male soloists lately, I fear this Birthday will get lost in the shuffle.

Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7

Grade: C


14 thoughts on “Song Review: Ten (WayV) – Birthday

  1. I feel like the vibe set forth from this song is not even that different from NCT U “Sixth Sense” (which is now a six year old song)…I wish they could find a way and make it a bit more enthralling. Taemin-ify it perhaps?
    I don’t think it’s bad, probably a 8 for me because I do love iciness and I’ve always enjoyed Ten’s performances. but I would definitely like to see this concept amplified, embellished and developed.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’m not sure what all of you want with your criticism of this song and Ten’s performance. I love everything about about it. I love his vocals and his dance moves were beautiful and sexy. I love how Ten can captivate me when he performs. I’m sorry that you did not feel that it gave you enough pizzazz for your liking. I personally feel that this song & video accomplished what it was meant to do…entertain!


  2. I first heard this song on Great Dance Crew and was wondering if it would get the SM treatment. Ten’s vocals are nice on this but yeah, the song itself could be more musically interesting. This is the kind of slinky stuff he can do in his sleep. It doesn’t have, say, the surprising burst of electric guitar in the chorus like Jun’s Limbo that would have added an energizing element. I’m really looking forward to the dance practice though.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ten’s performance is great, but with so many similar tracks existing the track immediately gets lost in the sea of these. Though I decided to experiment by adding it to my Spotify playlist, I can see the song being removed from there soon. My rating would be a little higher, which is 7.75, raising production from 8 to 9.


  4. Ten sells this well – he’s a stellar performer and his vocals are great, but I’m pretty meh on the song overall. Kind of wish it was sung in any of the languages he speaks other than English, won’t lie. I love the melody and vocals in the bridge, that’s my favorite bit. I could see it going on a winter playlist if it ends up growing on me, but as of right now I’m going to have to give it a pass.


  5. Goodness gracious SM idols are NO JOKE. I like the song but this is the second Thai idol to release a song in English. And I’m not saying that’s bad but it would be so cool if they could release a title in their mother tongue. I wanted that to happen with Lisa and the same for Ten before listening to it


  6. Maybe I put a very high expectation considering his ongoing streak with great solo songs but this song really feels empty. Like I can’t feel his vibe at all, nothing in this songs scream TEN. Well, back to listening to dream in a dream.


  7. Automatic 10/10 for me, but if just the song, probably a 7.5/10. But again, that’s K-pop for you, most songs are not strong on their own without the visuals and choreo to back it up, you kind of need to take the MV into consideration if there is one. This one falls under the same class as Gotta go and Move, though the song itself wasn’t as strong, the choreo on other hand… Oof, very sensual.


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