NCT 127 - Simon Says
I’m pretty sure that K-pop is currently playing some weird arms race against one another, pushing their groups to their absolute limits to see who can make a comeback the fastest. On that note, SM is having NCT 127 promote a brand new song for a repackage album of their previous release which wasn’t even two months ago. I get that it’s a repackage, but in my opinion that short of a time span is just insane.. well that and it really just makes it clear that repackage are cash grabs, but we can talk about that another time. For now, let’s dive into “Simon Says.”
Good God, does this song really need to start off with the disturbing yelling at the beginning? Okay that aside - I don’t actually know where I fall on this song. On one hand, I really like and appreciate all the weird and interesting experimentation going on in this track. There’s awkward, almost a-rhythmic pacing on the rap delivery of the pre-chorus and a host of bizarre instrumental choices that make this song intriguing, but it also makes it loud. I suppose that’s a distinct style of sound that NCT 127 has - loud. They have some very abrasive, aggressive sounds in some of their songs that just make for a distinct atmosphere that I don’t know I’ve heard any other group try out before.
Ultimately, though, I’m not really a fan of loud music. Still, there’s some great flows in this song and I can’t deny that the “Simon says” hook is insanely infectious. Additionally, there’s a delightful sense of progression as each run through the chorus adds something new to keep you on your toes. However, while the experimentation is something I appreciate and actually quite like, I’m not sure that this kind of music will ever really be something that I can personally say I enjoy. It’s solid for those that are fans of the more boisterous, thundering booms of chaotic energy that the track provides, though, and I would never say that this wasn’t a high quality, well-produced song.
The concept for a song titled "Simon Says” honestly could have gone a number of ways, most of which probably would have been extremely corny. However, SM decided to kind of forego the idea almost entirely. Instead we basically got a sort of older SM style of video - the guys are mostly in boxed rooms dancing.. and that’s pretty much it. That isn’t to say the concept wasn’t there at all, however. All of the members don masks to hide their faces, making them just one among many that seem to be following the same directions.
Conceptually this is actually kind of neat because choreography for dances tend to show off the member singing anyway, so when it’s their turn and they sort of control the others as though they’re acting out the part of Simon, it’s fitting while not being too intrusive. Other than that, I’m kind of bummed out on the video, though. I get that it’s a repackage and all, but after watching “Regular,” I thought SM was finally stepping up and really throwing down some money into the groups. Again, it’s a repackage and I should have expected to get something much lower on the budget end, but I’m still just as disappointed.
“Simon Says” brings back the roaring, caustic sound that NCT 127 has dabbled into in the past, throwing in an unwieldy array of bizarre instrumentals and painting a unique landscape with those sounds. While I’m not the biggest fan of the song, I don’t have any doubts that it would sit well with a large portion of people that enjoy this emphatically aggressive style. If you’re a fan of blaring, belligerent music or even if you just enjoy unusual uses of sounds for instruments, this is probably one of the better produced tracks for 2018.