Song Review: NINE.i – Young Boy

NINE.i - Young BoyNINE.i emerged earlier this year with a song and album that positioned them firmly within existing boy group tropes. Their appeal lies in self-production, though they’re helped by composer Kim Seung-soo (who may or may not be one half of Sweetune, depending on your source). The teasers for their first comeback hinted at more daring sounds, bringing a synth rock edge to their burgeoning discography. Title track Young Boy supplies a welcome dose of rookie energy, even if it’s a bit rough around the edges.

The song’s fusion of synthwave elements and distorted guitars is like musical catnip to me. Even if the melodies or performance aren’t quite up to par, I’m bound to love the final product by virtue of its genre choices alone. I’m also happy to see NINE.i return with something that has more individual character. Some of the vocals are unpolished, but this gives them a scruffy appeal that accentuates the song’s concept. The synth line that opens the track is a crystalline beauty, adding great texture to the driving rock beat. The second half of the verse, leading into the pre-chorus, takes greatest advantage of this blend.

Conversely, Young Boy loses a bit of luster during its chorus. I appreciate its cathartic energy, but the melodies feel undercooked – particularly when we hit the vocal climax. This line warbles awkwardly in the center of the track. If we must have this melodic peak, more robust vocal stacking or different effects might have made it feel as immense as it should. But as a spirited battle cry from an under-the-radar act, the vast majority of Young Boy gets the job done (and might even get your fist pumping).

Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9

Grade: B


8 thoughts on “Song Review: NINE.i – Young Boy

  1. “I’m dreaming like a young boy”🎵

    It sounds youthful, refreshing, hopeful and fun. It’s nothing big, but it made me smile while I listened to it for the first time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This song would be great for me if I were about 14 years old or so. As I am not, it is a pass. But it is nice.

    The break – its just too low for this kid’s voice. It hovers around C3 then bottoms out at G2. A few tenors can go that low (Gaho for example), but this is usually baritone – bass territory – Felix, V, Lim Woo Young, Roy Kim, Ko Woo Rim, etc. The producers did the usual schtick kpop low breathy whisper to evoke deep meaning instead of placing it up an octave to C4 / G3 where the singer could comfortably hit it and be more emotive naturally. SM would have picked out a solid belter like Chen and put it up to C5 / G4 and have him belt the shit out of it.
    I thinks it OK. OKay ish Ok enough.

    Also, the twinkly vibe is thiscloseto the OST “Go” by DK of Seventeen from Feb22 which I have listened to more often that I will admit. DK would have belted the shit out of the break here.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. see, I’ve found them distinctive since the beginning. I like their main vocalist’s cutting, textured voice a lot. I like the rawness – I’ll always lean towards underproduction. Like Road-B and Tempest, they are among the few new bgs this year that did not disappoint with a second release. The album is a touch more uneven than the last one, but it’s still good. AND THEY PICKED THE RIGHT SONG FOR THE TITLE TRACK. I’m taking my wins where I can


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