WayV continue to expand their reach on the Billboard charts, this week debuting on their first album chart following the release of their new EP.
The Chinese pop group sees their Take Off: The 1st Mini Album EP debut at No. 7 on the World Albums chart this week. The six-song set was released on Thursday, May 9, meaning it had less than 24 hours to rack up enough downloads to land on the chart. It’s possible the EP could rise on next week’s chart after a full week of chart tracking.
While it doesn’t boast a direct NCT name, WayV is the Chinese-associated offshoot of the boy-band brand created by K-pop label powerhouse SM Entertainment. To date, three other NCT groups have debuted on World Albums: NCT 127 (who originally debuted at No. 2 on World Albums with their NCT #127 EP in mid-2016 before peaking at No. 1 with Limitless early 2017), NCT Dream (the teenage NCT act that debuted and peaked at No. 3 on the chart with their We Young EP in summer 2017), and the larger NCT collective (whose NCT 2018 Empathy album debuted at No. 5).
When it comes to K-pop companies releasing Chinese-pop music (a.k.a. Mandopop or M-pop), SM Entertainment has yet another win under its belt following successes in EXO-M’s Chinese releases (which include two Top 10 entries on World Albums) as well the releases from EXO member Lay Zhang (who has four Top 10 entries on World Albums, including one No. 1 in 2018’s Namanana that also entered the Top 25 of the Billboard 200). In both Lay and WayV’s case, the music was either distributed by or co-distributed by a China-based studio or label alongside SM.
Altogether, WayV’s debut EP shows off a promising music vibe that combines the stylish elements of the best kind of K-pop with refreshing sonic elements that aren’t typically heard in Korea and are likely utilized to appeal more to the Chinese market. Title track “Take Off” is a hard-hitting electro-pop cut that breaks into a hard-rock section towards the end that may tap into Chinese youth’s appreciation for angsty punk-rock while “Say It” has a sneering, classical violin motif. But if those go too far away from what’s expected in a K-pop song, there’s something for longtime fans in the acoustic R&B-pop vibe of “Let Me Love U” or the Chinese version of NCT single “Regular” that has also been released in English and Korean.