Artist on Cover: NCT DREAM (@nct_dream)

South Korean Pop group NCT DREAM dropped their 3rd full-length album ISTJ today and in this article we will break down each song and give our thoughts. NCT DREAM is SM Entertainment’s sub-unit consisting of the youngest members in the full NCT unit. NCT DREAM consists of; Mark Lee, Renjun, Jeno, Haechan, Chenle, Jaemin and Jisung.

The group debuted in August 2016 and previously have released multiple EP’s and mini albums. As well, they released two full length albums; Hot Sauce (2021) and Glitch Mode (2022). Since NCT DREAM consists of the younger members in NCT, their whole unit sound is very youthful, bright, energetic and colourful and all these characteristics can be seen ad heard throughout this new album ISTJ.

The name ISTJ comes from the Myers Brigg (MBTI) personality type which stands for Introverted, Observant, Thinking, and Judging. The whole album focuses around the NCT DREAM members who “become extroverted after drinking an energy drink” (as Haechan explains in their comeback live showcase). The exact opposite of the ISTJ type is ENFP which is the personality type the members become after drinking the energy drink. The whole purpose of becoming an ENFP is kind of to talk about how opposites attract (ISTJ versus ENFP).

“ISTJ” is the title track for this album and has an accompanying music video for it. This song is a hip-hop dance song that expresses the emotions of an ENFP person wanting to capture the heart and appeal to a person with the exact opposite personality type (ISTJ). This song was written and composed by Kenzie, who is the agency’s producer that often works with NCT DREAM. It is said that the title “ISTJ” came from the personality type of Kenzie (Source: Korea Bizwire).

In just a little over 6 hours, the music video already has over 1.4 million streams and the song is already at number 5 on MELON’s Top 100 Chart. The music video is very bright and colourful. It also has a retro aesthetic which is a common theme amongst NCT DREAM. Overall, “ISTJ” is a very fun title track song and really sets the mood for the overall theme of the album.

Listen to “ISTJ” by NCT DREAM on Spotify:

“Broken Melodies” was the pre-release track for this album. It was originally released on June 19th and it currently has over 15.4 million streams on Spotify. As well, the accompanying music video has over 11 million views. This song is very upbeat and youthful. It also has a nostalgic sound to it and one fan even pointed out that the song reminds them of music that One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer would make in early 2012-2013.

“Broken Melodies” has lyrics that talk about overcoming the emotions one feels when they are far away from someone they love which results in them wanting to do anything to protect that love (Source: Melon – Album Details). This song is definitely our favourite song on the album.

Listen to “Broken Melodies” by NCT DREAM on Spotify:

“Yogurt Shake” first of all is such a cute name for an NCT DREAM song. This song describes someone who is shy and not able to show their true self when standing in front of your loved one. This song is very cheerful and falls under the pop genre. We really love the production of this song as it has a majestic feel to it due to the bell sound layered underneath the beat. Additionally, the song has a hip-hop feel to it as well because of the drum beat and the rap line rapping in between verses.

Listen to “Yogurt Shake” by NCT DREAM on Spotify:

“Skateboard” is a hip-hop style song and also has a nostalgic feel to it. Besides the rap parts, the song kind of reminded us of a song that you would hear in High School Musical. This song essentially is very energetic and is described as “NCT DREAM exuding coolness under the hot sun” (Source: Melon – Album Details).

We think this song is fun, but it definitely wasn’t one of our favourite songs, but it definitely will grow on us.

Listen to “Skateboard” by NCT DREAM on Spotify:

“Blue Wave” is a chill pop song with lyrics that portray the feelings of someone reminiscing about the blue sea and how the sea makes them feel. This song production is really summery and even has a steel drum type of sound during the chorus part. This definitely is a song that is perfect to listen to on a hot summer day by the pool or beach. Additionally, the lyrics in “Blue Wave” is a continuation of “Dive Into You” which was a song NCT DREAM released in 2021 on their Hot Sauce album.

Listen to “Blue Wave” by NCT DREAM on Spotify:

“Poison” is a song that talks about the feelings of love that one can’t escape. The poison is paralyzing their heart essentially. This is another favourite song of ours on the album because it is more in the R&B genre. Haechan’s vocals really suits this song and the contrast between his sweet vocals with Mark’s rap really completes the song. The chorus part when they sing the words “poison” is very catchy and the beat during that chorus has us bopping our heads.

Listen to “Poison” by NCT DREAM on Spotify:

“SOS” is another hip-hop dance song that overall expresses the feelings of wanting to be entangled and essentially needing help to escape. This song is very rap focused, but Renjun’s vocals really fit this style of song. This wasn’t one of our favourite songs because of the random siren sounds in the production, but nonetheless this song is one that is upbeat and enjoyable to listen to. The “round and round like a merry go” lyric is so catchy and definitely the best part.

Listen to “SOS” by NCT DREAM on Spotify:

“Pretzel (♡)” is a song that blends R&B with hip-hop. It’s upbeat and talks about the feelings towards a lover. We really like the production of this song and we think the blend between hip-hop and R&B worked really well and allowed each members strengths and vocals to shine. There were some parts that we didn’t enjoy like the siren part before the rap part in verse 2, but other than that the song has a cute meaning and vibe to it.

Listen to “Pretzel (♡)” by NCT DREAM on Spotify:

“Starry Night” is a romantic R&B/Pop song that kind of just reminisces about a starry summer night. It’s very catchy especially when the lyrics “you and me” come up. The song reminds us of the Vincent Van Gogh painting of the same name which has muted but bright tone soft blue, yellow and green – colours that resemble a summer night. The members vocal styles really fit this genre blend and we definitely want to hear more music from NCT DREAM like this song. It has a similar vibe to “Dive Into You” and “My Youth” from their Hot Sauce album.

Listen to “Starry Night” by NCT DREAM on Spotify:

“Like We Just Met” is an R&B ballad song and it’s definitely the sweetest. It’s a song that was written by all seven members together to essentially express their relationship. This was the first song they ever wrote fully and it definitely shows their growth in their musical skills, as well as it shows a more mature side of NCT DREAM. It was really amazing to see the Chinese members write Korean lyrics and express themselves through Korean too.

Listen to “Like We Just Met” by NCT DREAM on Spotify:

Overall, ISTJ was a great comeback and despite not favouriting every single song, it still is one of their best comebacks besides Hot Sauce and the repackage (in our honest opinion). The concepts were so fun and this whole comeback definitely was needed for this summer!

Listen to ISTJ by NCT DREAM on Spotify:

Check out NCT DREAM on Instagram: @nct_dream

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