K-pop group Nct Dream, stylized NCT DREAM, of SM Entertainment, released their second full-length album “Glitch Mode” on March 28. A subunit of NCT, the K-pop group whose concept revolves around having an infinite number of members, NCT DREAM consists of seven members Mark, Renjun, Jeno, Haechan, Jaemin, Chenle and Jisung.
After the success of their first studio album “Hot Sauce” and the repackage “Hello Future” in 2021, NCT DREAM began teasing their comeback on Feb. 27 via social media posts. Pre-orders for the physical album became available for purchase on multiple websites worldwide shortly after the announcement of their comeback was made. By March 27, over 2 million copies were pre-ordered, surpassing last year’s 1.71 million pre-orders.
“Glitch Mode” includes 11 songs, which feature R&B, hip-hop and pop. Though most of NCT DREAM’s discography has been more of “bubblegum pop,” such as their debut song “Chewing Gum,” their latest album is a mix of genres that the group has yet to fully explore. The highlight medley released on March 25 introduced fans to the songs and showed them what to expect as NCT DREAM veered from their typical music scene. As the youngest NCT subunit, the group has primarily focused on cuter music and video concepts, but as they’ve grown older NCT DREAM have begun to put out more mature concepts such as the one seen in this latest release.
The album is named after the title track “Glitch Mode,” whose lyrics describe the way a person feels when they see someone they like. The song compares those feelings to glitching, in the sense that a person freezes up and “buffers” when they see the person they like. One lyric that stood out to many was “299,792 per second,” a reference to the speed of light. Some speculate that the oldest member, Mark, may have been the one to include the lyric since he co-wrote some of the rap verses for the song and others such as “It’s Yours” and “Replay.” Even the choreography seen in the music video matches the glitchy concept, with the members having more robotic, abnormal and repetitive movements during various parts of the song.
From the wardrobe to the set, the music video that goes along with the song captures a futuristic vibe. When teaser photos were released in early March, most fans were excited to see such a bright Year 2000 (Y2K) concept. This imagery was consistent throughout the music video, which heavily incorporated Y2K fashion and accessories. Many members were seen wearing colors such as hot pink, bright green and orange. Background sets were mostly bright in color and included multiple neon signs.
Of the 11 songs, “Saturday Drip” and “Teddy Bear” were two that particularly stood out and were definitely attention grabbing. Many NCT DREAM fans, known as dreamzens, gravitated toward these songs. More specifically, they seemed to enjoy the R&B song “Teddy Bear” for its harmonization and ability to capture each individual member’s soft voice. This song was more of a mellow song compared to others on the album, such as “Saturday Drip” which leaned more toward older hip-hop styles. Though the message is quite simple, with the song depicting a Saturday night of fun, many enjoy the musical aspects of the song, such as the intro and the rap. The rappers in the group perform, attributing to the overall hype of the song as many dreamzens appear to enjoy it when the rappers participate in songs together.
Aside from “Teddy Bear,” other songs from the album that lean more toward the softer side include “Never Goodbye” and “Drive,” both comforting songs. “Never Goodbye” includes lyrics such as “you’ll find a way” and “I will always shine upon you from afar” as a way for NCT DREAM to reassure and guide their audience. The song “Drive” is about the remembrance of happy memories and creating new ones when one feels sad. It includes lyrics such as “we’re going back to that time together” and serves as a warm reminder that anyone can find happiness even when they don’t feel their best.
Arguably the most important song in the album is “Rewind,” which serves as a reminder of the precious memories NCT DREAM have made throughout the years. It talks about wanting to go back in time to relive the moments that made them happy and the hope to forever remain as “7dream,” their group nickname. Lyrics such as “because we’re together, we’re the seven that completes ‘lucky’” awed fans. This song solidified NCT DREAM’s deep connection with each other, something fans have seen develop throughout the years.
The entirety of “Glitch Mode” showed fans that NCT DREAM have a desire to continue to make memories and put out music. This release was a mere glimpse at what 7dream has to offer as they begin to venture further out in their music careers.
Brisa Ramirez is an Entertainment Intern for the spring 2022 quarter. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org