Despite its many units and incarnations, the NCT universe has remained fairly consistent in sound. This also applies to the Chinese avant-garde WayV. Her burgeoning discography was a sampler record with SM entertainment influences, which are linked by an injection of distorted guitar and tight, multi-layered vocals. The new Single Turn Back Time (超时空 回) starts its first full length album and delivers everything you expect from a bombastic SM boy group.
My favorite elements in WayV's music are reminiscent of seniors from agencies like TVXQ and EXO. WayV is more focused on rap than any of these groups, but they always offer space for towering vocal arrangements and excellent dance breaks. Now that I am myself, I would prefer verses that were more melody than vocals, but I am happy to surrender when the instrumental feels this daring. The NCT brand is no stranger to aggressive, abrasive production, but Turn Back Time does a good job and bypasses the line between experimental and satisfactory. The powerful mixture of raging drums and evasive, distorted electronics hits just the right thing – and that's before the crunch of the electric guitar comes into play!
While the verses of Turn Back Time are mostly filled with the kind of hip-hop attitude that defines most of the current boy group releases, the song flies during its vocal chorus. The pre-chorus sets the tone and withdraws for a muted tune before the full weight of the group's voices is reached. The militant hook is pure SM – great and icy at the same time. It gets more satisfying every time additional elements are dragged into the orbit of the track. This culminates in a high point, fueled by the power notes that have always made this type of song a wild experience.
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