Fact Check - The 5th Album

Fact Check - The 5th Album

Of NCT’s various subgroups, NCT 127 has made the most headway in the West, where the K-pop group’s hip-hop hype bangers hit. Fact Check - The 5th Album is, well, their fifth album, and it’s lighter and brighter than recent efforts, less concerned with convincing anyone of the group’s musical competence and agility than simply delivering. To be fair, NCT 127’s albums have always had depth and variety, and the group is known for being the most sonically experimental of the NCT subunits. But here their experiments are consistently playful in a way recent albums haven’t quite aspired to be. From the uptempo horns that open pop track “Space” to the punchy vocals of pre-release song “Angel Eyes,” Fact Check is just a lot of fun. In “Yacht”—a cheerful, ’90s-esque B-side about letting go of anxieties—NCT members slow things down to croon “Can’t nobody kill my vibe, vibe, vibe.” The mantra applies to the entire album, and is expressed with the group’s signature swagger in tracks like “Je Ne Sais Quoi,” “Parade,” and title track “Fact Check.” Things slow down in nostalgic “Love is a beauty” and ballad “Misty,” but the damage is already done.

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