Half a year after debuting with “Chewing Gum,” NCT Dream returned on Wednesday (Feb. 8, Feb. 9 in Korea) with their new single “My First & Last.”
Fitting NCT Dream’s conceptualization as a youthful, boyish band, “My First & Last” is a lively dance track with a light-hearted melody featuring brassy horns and a pounding bass. The soulful vocals are pure ‘90s pop, proving that just because most of NCT Dream’s members weren’t born until the 2000’s, that doesn’t mean they can’t pay homage to the era.
The music video for “My First & Last” features the NCT Dream members portraying high school students who fall for their teacher. The cutesy plot is age-appropriate for the group — none of the members are older than 17-years-old — and fits the song’s lyrics about first love. But it’s the choreography where NCT Dream shines.
The group already proved their cutting-edge hoverboard performance in “Chewing Gum,” but “My First & Last” showcased NCT Dream’s synchronicity with their acrobatic moves, particularly during a rap bridge towards the end of the song. The impressive floorwork during the segment recalls INFINITE’s iconic “scorpion” dance from “Before the Dawn” and labelmates SHINee’s “Get The Treasure” star formation. (Unsurprisingly, both the song’s funk pop styling and other dance moves, especially a diagonal line formation, recall SHINee circa 2012-13.)
“My First and Last” was released in both Korean and Mandarin and was one of two new tracks featured on the group’s The First single album, also released on Wednesday. Along with “My First & Last” The First features a cover of Lee Seung Hwan’s 1993 hit song “Dunk Shot.” Both the Mandarin and Korean version of “Chewing Gum” also appear on the single album.
Along with NCT U and NCT 127, NCT Dream is one of three groups bearing the NCT title. The units were created by Korea’s biggest pop music label SM Entertainment to diversify its content and appeal to K-pop’s growing international audience. Since their inauguration in 2016, each of the acts has appeared on Billboard charts; NCT Dream’s “Chewing Gum” hit No. 2 on the World Digital Songs sales chart and No. 23 on the Spotify Viral 50 chart upon its release last September.
Watch the music video for “My First & Last” here: