They’ve brought powerful charisma into songs like “Cherry Bomb” and “Limitless,” but now NCT 127 is showing its softer side with “Touch.”
Released Tuesday (March 13), the K-pop boy band’s first single of 2018 switches things up for NCT 127, moving them away from the intense hip-pop styling they’ve been previously focusing on and instead moving in a softer direction with “Touch.” The ’90s-imbued pop track incorporates funky instrumentals, sleek synths and a brassy beat over which the nine members sing, putting their saccharine vocals front and center through soaring harmonies and sharp ad-libs.
Bright in sound and effusive in its confessional lyrics, “Touch” is a complete stylistic reversal for NCT 127 but the romantic, airy vibe comes off feeling a bit more natural for the act as it allows for the vocalists to truly showcase their capabilities unhindered by the experimental, performance-driven sound that they’ve previously favored on singles.
NCT 127 preppily charms their audience with the visuals of the “Touch” music video, which feels like it’s straight out of a Gap ad thanks to its color-blocked set design and the crisp collegiate ensembles they wear throughout, especially a white shirt-and-jeans look that appears to pay homage to labelmate Girls’ Generation’s 2009 hit “Gee.” Playing tug-of-war with one another and ebulliently delivering the playful choreography with bright smiles on their faces amid pastel backgrounds, it’s a fitting music video for a sweet song such as “Touch,” especially considering that the track was released on White Day, a holiday in South Korea where men express their romantic affections, often in response to Valentine’s Day confessionals.
While a new look, fans of NCT 127’s former imagery and musicality won’t be lacking: youthful counterparts NCT Dream and NCT U recently put out singles that could easily have come from previous NCT 127 albums. Those songs, as well as “Touch” and other assorted releases associated with SM Entertainment’s NCT project, will appear on the NCT2018 Empathy album, out on March 14.
Watch the music video for “Touch” below: