Sticker - The 3rd Album
Name a K-pop group that has risen to prominence in the last half-decade, and chances are, they owe something to NCT 127. Since debuting in 2016, the Seoul-based nine-member NCT sub-unit (featuring members Taeil, Johnny, Taeyong, Yuta, Doyoung, Jaehyun, Mark, Jungwoo, and Haechan) has no doubt influenced generations of K-pop artists to mimic their impossible choreography, their impeccable harmonies, their hip-hop hybridity. Sticker, the group’s third studio album, produced by Yoo Young-Jin, Ryan Jhun, and Dem Jointz (Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar), pushes the envelope even further. The driving bass and penetrating flute of the title track, the wobbling production and smooth, bright harmonies of “Breakfast,” the suit-and-tie R&B romantic balladry of “Focus,” the boom-clap drumline of “Far,” the jagged industrial trap of “Bring the Noize,” the Naughty by Nature-esque cheers of “Road Trip”—no moment on this record sounds quite like another.