Review: K-pop’s NCT127 adds neo-chill hop to album repackage

January 30, 2023 GMT
This cover image released by SM Entertainment shows “Ay-Yo - The 4th Album Repackage” by NCT127. (SM Entertainment via AP)
This cover image released by SM Entertainment shows “Ay-Yo - The 4th Album Repackage” by NCT127. (SM Entertainment via AP)

“Ay-Yo — The 4th Album Repackage” NCT127 (SM Entertainment)

NCT127 should be credited as inventors of a new genre: neo-chill hop.

Their upcoming repackage “Ay-Yo” of their fourth studio album “2 Baddies” comes with three extra tracks that move the needle in the too cool direction. The titular “Ay-Yo” goes hard on an industrial trip hop sound, “DJ” finds a funky jazzy beat embracing the ’70s, while “Skyscraper” pins its hopes on a straightforward hip-hop line.

The triptych rounds up the tracks to a total of 15 in a cohesive record that nevertheless has its ebbs and flows in terms of catchy hooks. Sometimes NCT127 deliver an epic melody with outstanding vocals like “2 Baddies,” or a sexy smooth “Gold Dust” or an R&B groove with Caribbean undertones such as “Designer,” but you also get a low energy “Black Clouds” from time to time.

The nine-member K-pop group is known for its more experimental sound and they prove yet again you can do people pleasing with a twist.

___

For more AP Music reviews, go to: https://apnews.com/hub/music-reviews