ISTJ - The 3rd Album
If you’re a K-pop fan, then you may already know all about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, aka the MBTI. The personality test divides humans into 16 different “types,” each with its own four-letter code and accompanying psychological traits. For the MZ Generation in Korea, the test is often used as shorthand to determine compatibility between romantic partners, friends, and co-workers. For their third album, NCT DREAM—the youngest sub-group of SM Entertainment’s Neo Culture Technology project—embraced MBTI as a theme, using “ISTJ” as the name for the album and its lead single. For a group that was initially intended as the teen-only unit of NCT only to be rebranded as a seven-person fixed-member group in 2020, the concept is a rich one for exploration. With ISTJ, members Mark, Renjun, Jeno, Haechan, Jaemin, Chenle, and Jisung are using their music and performance to consider who they want to be—both individually and collectively—now that they are in their twenties and committed to 7DREAM. The album is composed of 10 tracks, totalling 33 minutes of play time. It’s a diverse collection of songs—ranging from the hip-hop dance title track to the glam-rock anthem “Broken Melodies” to the acoustic-guitar-driven R&B ballad “Like We Just Met,” which the members have a co-writing credit on—that ultimately rejects the idea that a fixed personality type can encompass our ever-shifting humanity, or how we will relate to one another. NCT DREAM cannot be pigeonholed into a single concept or genre. With ISTJ, and just ahead of their seventh anniversary as a K-pop group, they want the world to know it.