NCT U
NCT U

NCT U

About NCT U

NCT U were the first subgroup to splinter off from the K-pop collective NCT. The South Korean boy group was formed by SM Entertainment and made its debut in early 2016 with two singles: the stuttering, streetwise “The 7th Sense” and—in an unusual move—“WITHOUT YOU,” a slice of utterly straightforward pop-rock. Some might take the group’s stylistic extremes as evidence of a cynical attempt to attract a vast number of fans. But NCT U are savvier and more interesting than that: They have undeniable swagger, and they’re willing to take maximalism to the next level. After all, why should genre distinctions matter to youngsters who played no role in creating them? The group include an ever-shifting array of members: Taeyong, Mark, Jaehyun, Doyoung, and Ten made up the group’s first iteration, and nearly each release since has featured a rotating cast of vocalists. Their 2018 LP NCT 2018 EMPATHY was an electric piece of ’90s-influenced pop, and in 2020, they reiterated their stylistic allegiances on the two-part full-length NCT RESONANCE 2020, the second half featuring the anthemic “’90s Love.” Songs such as “Misfit,” with its Chumbawamba-style shouted choruses, bore that love out. The band also maintain a strong television presence, having appeared in three seasons of the reality series NCT Life while continuing to churn out some of K-pop’s most kinetic sounds.

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