Boy band NCT Dream poses during an online press conference Monday. (S.M. Entertainment)
Less than a year since NCT Dream spiced up the summer season with seven different flavors of “Hot Sauce” by releasing its first LP, the boy band dropped its second LP, “Glitch Mode” on Monday evening. This marks the group’s return in nearly nine months since their previous work.
In a press conference Monday, Mark described the album as “an album that has upgraded compared to when we released our first LP last year, and the album consists of a total of 11 tracks.”
Jeno also added to what Mark‘s description. “I would like to take the time to thank fans for all the love that many had sent us when we dropped our first LP,” he said. “I was surprised when I heard about how many albums we have sold, and we’ll continue to show good performances and stages through our album.”
Monday’s online press conference event was hosted by Doyoung of boy band NCT 127.
With the new album, the seven-member band achieved its second “million-seller” record as pre-orders for the album have surpassed the two million mark by selling 2,030,000 copies as of Sunday. The band has sold more than 1.71 million copies compared to its previous album, “Hot Sauce.”
Leading the 11-song package is “Buffering (Glitch Mode),” which Haechan described as a “hip-hop-based dance song that has an addictive hook and a chant, and a song that you would keep wanting to hear.”
The vocalist went on to say that the composer came up with a tune that best matches NCT Dream’s concept. And as the title suggests, the term “buffering” is used to liken how a person buffers when one sees their lover. Also, Mark participated in writing the lyrics for rap making.
Jisung chimed in, saying that lagging, being frozen and electrified are the main keywords of the dance moves. “The choreography shows how we buffer, and the dance moves are easy to follow,” he added.
When asked about the music video to be released later, Chenle said the whole storyline is how an error is caused by falling in love and hinted that each bandmate played two roles in the music video: An employee of a game store and a love cupid.
Renjun piped in, saying that the “buffering” in the music video was shot by making the music 0.5 times faster than the original track, and the band danced to the song two times faster. “Please look forward to it because it’s fun,” he said.
Apart from the title track, the seven member group’s rap line –- Mark, Jaemin, Jisung and Jeno -– listed themselves as lyricists on the album. The four members wrote “It’s Yours,” “Replay,” “Never Goodbye” and “Saturday Drip” as the rap unit’s track.
This time, NCT Dream drifted away from its high-teen concept and went for a mature look. Haechan said he wanted to show that the band has matured more than its previous album, and as seen in concept photos, the album’s overall concept matches the frenzied beats of the song.
Asked about the gradual change that the band had gone through since its debut through “Chewing Gum,” Jaemin said he thinks NCT Dream has done an excellent job archiving its high-teen concept.
“It means we’ve poured that much effort, and we were able to grow because of NCTzens, although we are still like a kid when we play,” he said, laughing and thanking fans.
And as the band’s concept has gone through a seismic change from being teenagers to grown-ups, Mark described NCT Dream as a “group that continuously matures.”
“I think that best illustrates our musical color because many people have seen us grow over the years, and those are reflected in our music. ‘Glitch Mode’ is something different from ‘Hot Sauce,’ and our mindset has matured. Striving for new things -- this is something that best describes our color.”
Mark also added that the Korean crime-comedy film “Attack the Gas Station” was a big inspiration for the band’s concept and the music video.
“The concept popped in my mind after listening to ‘Glitch Mode,’ and we wanted to express how everyone’s abnormal. Pink-colored clothing also appeared in our teaser images because the color means an error.”
Jeno also shared his thoughts about the concept. He said the title track’s concept is quite solid and suited for the song “Buffering,” so he thought there would be many fun elements he could show through the various performances. “Also, the track itself is fun, so we picked it as our titular,” he said.
“Many of the bandmates said ‘Buffering’ was their most memorable song, and I liked it because many elements could be used as choreography,” Jisung added.
At the end of the event, Mark thanked fans for their support.
“We can’t start preparing an album without thinking about NCTzens. We’ve melded in our thoughts toward our fans in this album. We’re continuously going to do that in our upcoming albums and show that we’ve upgraded,” he said.
Also, despite the pandemic, NCT Dream has prepared a present for fans to celebrate its album’s release. The band will invite fans to “Glitch Arcade Center Pop-up Store” from Saturday until May 20 in Seongsu-dong, where a photo zone that recreated the scenes of the music video and a game room that matches the album’s concept will be displayed.
The 11-song package was released on Monday at 6 p.m.
By Park Jun-hee (firstname.lastname@example.org