Song Review: NCT Dream – Best Friend Ever

NCT Dream - Best Friend EverIt’s hard to believe NCT Dream hadn’t released an original Japanese single until now. Nearly seven years into their career, the unit has become one of NCT’s flagship brands. The brighter side of their music seems especially well-suited to a J-pop career. Best Friend Ever hearkens back to their earlier work and pairs them with frequent SMent collaborators LDN Noise.

Though this surging synth sound has lost some of its bite over the past few years, Best Friend Ever’s frothy pop energy is very welcome in the current K-pop landscape of shouty boy group bravado. It’s a simple, breezy track and I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s nice to hear the group’s vocals on a song that consistently embraces melody. Its light touch reminds me of CIX’s Cinema two years ago. It’s gently anthemic but never ostentatious in its delivery.

As uplifting as this sound is, Best Friend Ever lacks that extra spark that would vault it into the “excellent” category. It’s a fun sing-along with buoyant energy and a very pleasant vocal arrangement. But, its ambitions are relatively static. There’s nothing wrong with that, and if you set your expectations accordingly there’s little chance of being disappointed. If nothing else, Best Friend Ever is insipidly catchy – so much so that I’m not sure how its omnipresent hooks will age. The melodies and lyrics tow the line between cheesy and refreshing and could’ve used a bit more punch. But, that lively chorus goes down easy and the guys bring a polish that makes for a very amiable listen.

Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 9

Grade: B


17 thoughts on “Song Review: NCT Dream – Best Friend Ever

  1. So glad to hear them releasing a buoyant pop banger filled with tons of punch! The song feels like literal heaven, especially comparing to some of NCT’s most atrocious works, such as, let’s say, 2 Baddies. Rating is just about right.


  2. Add another one to the list of Dua Lipa-lite quasi disco boy band songs. bum clap, bum clap, bum clap, (pause) clap-clap. Its alright, if a bit bland.

    The other day in the car, I had The Who playing, and “Baba O’Riley” comes around. (Yanno, the “Teenage wasteland” song, that one.) Darling daughter was listening closely and declares why did One Direction steal this riff for their “Best Song Ever” song, and mom I can’t unhear it now.
    To which I say, #Raisingthemright

    And we danced all night to the Best Friend Ever …

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I actually really like this! And I always welcome a boy group track in which no one is yelling at me 🙂

    Also glad that this song escaped my one complaint about Beatbox/a lot of NCT Dream songs in general, which is the weird mismatch in tone that comes from rap segments being way too aggressive. Everything feels very cohesive here!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. It reminded me of CIX’s Cinema, too! My brain started attempting to mash them up somewhere in the first chorus. That’s not a bad thing at all – I love Cinema. I’m a sucker for light, ethereal, synthy-pop stuff, especially during the winter months, so this one is a winner with me!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Now why did I forget that this song is by LDN Noise? No wonder the teaser sounded familiar! But as a fan of the duo’s works, Best Friend Ever feels subpar compared to LDN Noise’s more iconic releases. It’s nice, but feels more like a background song. It lacks the memorable melody, especially in the chorus part. No ‘Neomu areumdaun-daun-daun-daun view’ or ‘Love is 4 walls’ or ‘I’m married to the music’. Even after the third listen I still can’t remember how it sounds without playing the song. Probably a 7.5 for me.

    Still a breath of fresh of air after the lousy streak of 2 Baddies & Ay-Yo. I wish more younger groups carry this simple & fun sound


  6. Will you be rating Class:y’s Target? I feel like there are some musical shortcomings, but it’s very J-pop in theme compared to most Japanese releases by Korean groups.


  7. Dunno if this will have any staying power for me, but I’m enjoying this on first listen! The synths and cheery mood are really carrying it for me. I also heard some Cinema (my favorite CIX song!) similarities in some parts.


  8. This is nice! While the verses sound like Cinema, as others have mentioned, the chorus totally reminds me of Maybe Baby by Cravity. I feel like I’m preferring all these recent Japanese releases (like OOO’s Chrome Arts) as much as or more than those groups’ regular releases.


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