Today it’s AshTalksCpop 🇨🇳😂
It’s tiiiiiimeeeeee 🎉 I’ve been a WayV girl, a WayZenNi, pretty much from the jump. Whatever group that was gonna have Ten in it, I was here for.
I’ve also talked about how much I love WinWin and Kun as NCT members (in different articles), so finally having them all in the same group felt like the universe finally aligning in favor of me and other WayZeNi/Czennies for our time served.
I’m so excited to talk about WayV’s music on here. Technically, our first C-pop deep dive. I think it’s funny that the Chinese subunit has the best English songs. How’d that happen?
I know how. Half the group are English speakers that’s how, lol.
Okay, time for the disclaimer part in these fave articles. I think I’ll probably have a part two or more because WayV’s discography is still pretty light. I love their sound and unless they completely fall off for me.
I expect to have more songs of theirs that I’ll love in the future, and make another article in the future for those songs.
We’re gonna start with Take Off instead of The Vision. Most of the songs I like from The Vision are on Take Off, so there’s no reason to really talk about it twice. So let’s kick things off with WayV’s first mini album!
I’ve been saying this a lot lately, but I haven’t seen this video in ages. I used to watch music videos all the time. Especially if it was one I was enamored with. Maybe it’s because I spend my time on YouTube now, watching other content.
The styling in “Take Off” is… interesting. The first group look is giving leftover SuperM fits. Wait, this happened before “100”?? I guess SuperM was giving leftover WayV fits, lmao.
I forgot about the scene with WinWin in that leather jacket, shirtless, chillin. That took me out. But he looks good. I loveee Xiaojun’s look in the next scene. You can never go wrong with a suede jacket and boots. His “can I be honest, I so hate to be controlled” and the harmonizing going on is the first thing I think of when I think about “Take Off”. Fantastic.
I also think about this catchy ass chours and Lucas’s “take take off”. Which, sorry guys, we gotta talk about Lucas again 😅. I’m gonna try to keep it minimal. Oh yeah, Ten has a leather jacket moment too. That yellow jacket is such a fun twist on your typical black leather jacket like Lucas is wearing. I love that. It kinda reminds me of that teal jacket Taemin wore for one of the livestages of “Pretty Boy“. Like you could have kept it safe but choosing the bright color for a basic just elevates a look.
Then Kun!!! In that Gucci blazer!!! And the crowd goes wild. Such a simple fit, but again, because you have a color and print that stands out, it makes the entire outfit look more engaging to the eye.
As much as I don’t love the sporty-er look, it’s not awful. It’s kinda NCT tradition to have a questionable group look in your video, lol. I don’t think it downgrades any of the WayV members at all.
Also, them filming this video at an airport with a giant plane in the background is so literal, and I’m here for it. The scenes of them in the parking garage are great, and I love the racetrack scenes too. It’s like the director was like,”how many forms of transportation can I fit in five minutes?”.
The gray outfits at the end of “Take Off” are my favorite of the group looks as a whole. It’s a mix of Star Wars Jedi pilot and high fashion. I love the mix of materials like leather (or pleather idk) with a silk or polyester going on here.
I haven’t said anything about hair, but I really don’t have any complaints. I like everyone’s hair here. I think Yangyang’s crimped hair is fine. I’m glad they didn’t also bleach it because that might have been a bit too much.
While using the Wiki as a guide for this article, I didn’t realize this video was also filmed in Ukraine, like “Boss“. “Take Off” was filmed in Kyiv.
Matthew Yen is responsible for the lyrics. Apparently he also wrote what I’m assuming are the Mandarin lyrics for EXO’s “Boomerang”. Love that for us. Matthew Yen also wrote “Come Back” and “Regular”. We’ll talk about those later.
Yoo Youngjin (a familiar face) and Hitchhiker (another familiar SM face, they need to get his credits right on Discogs, come on now) participated in creating the music arrangement. I had no idea about this prior to working on this article, but it makes sense.
For more details on everyone who worked on this album, check out the Wiki here.
AAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. My favorite version of “Regular”. It’s not that I think the song flows better in Mandarin, it’s the music video and vibes of it. I know that 127’s take was tongue in cheek and the English version was like the “dream” version and the Korean version is the more “realistic” one. I’ve talked about NCT 127’s “Regular” already, lol.
It’s that WayV went allll in on the dramatic, extravagant take on “Regular”. There was no back peddling. It’s the audacity that still in this year of our lord, 2023, life. I still get giddy over this damn video. When Xiaojun appears on that electric bull and completely stole the show, something in the universe shifted. Things were never the same after that.
This is another video where the cinematography is stunning. From start to finish, you can’t help but to have your eyes locked on the screen. There’s just soooo much going on.
Lucas in that paisley black and white suit? Sorry, it’s a slay. Then Ten in a teal/blue velvet suit? Slay. And then we get Kun in a black turtleneck all black suit look? Looking like a whole super villian in Prada?
And this is all in the first 30 seconds of the video. We still have three minutes to go!!! Slay after slay after slay. OH MY GODDDD. The stylist were on a 1000 with this video.
WinWin’s slicked down hair and white Prada sweater, jacket thing reminds me of EXO’s “Lucky One”. Maybe all these universes are connected, lol. I love this group look a lot more than what was going on in “Take Off”.
Yangyang’s look where he and Kun are in the stock exchange is probably one of my favorite looks on him to date. I love the mullet, and I love the glasses. WinWin keeping his line in “Regular” feels so cathartic. And Hendery just looks flawless in this video the whole time. It’s almost annoying, lol.
The yeehaw agenda outfits are another look I strongly associate “Regular” with. They really said cowboy, but make it editorial.
One of my favorite music videos ever.
I somehow forgot about this song. I’m bringing this back into full rotation on my Spotify playlists. It fooking slapppps. Of course, it’s a LDN Noise song. And of course, I’m obsessed with it. Andrew Choi (another familar face around here) is also to blame for my love of this song.
Pan Yanting wrote the lyrics, but I wasn’t able to find much on them, other than that they’ve also written some songs for EXO’s Lay.
I’m a simple lass, I just love a House/EDM moment.
I’ve talked about my love of “Come Back” already, too. In both my Other Fave NCT 127 Songs article, and in my Regular-Irregular article. You can put this song in any language and I’ll love it. The melody is flawless.
WayV does a wonderful job with their take on the song. I’m happy SM gave us a dance practice video for “Come Back”. I never grow tired of these.
“Dream Launch” is such a cozy vibe. I love the teasers they made leading up to this release. Because at this point Hendery, Xiaojun, and Yangyang were newer members, it was a fun way to get familiar with them. Of course, my favorite of these was them singing “New Heroes” to Ten.
You can watch all the Dream Launch trailers here. I adore grayscale videos. The styling here again is perfect. In “Dream Launch” music video and the trailers.
Xiaohan wrote the lyrics and a bunch of Joombas peeps worked on music and arrangement. I think this is my favorite midtempo song like this in their catalog so far.
I forgot to mention it earlier, but this album’s sound is described as Mandopop, Trap, Dancepop, and Future Bass.
Take Over The Moon
King of Hearts
If there were Twitter, I’d call this segment, NCT/WayV songs were don’t talk enough about, a thread. “King of Hearts” is soooo good. I didn’t realize I wanted an R&B midtempo track from them until this song dropped. My favorite from this mini.
Daniel “Obi” Klein and Andreas Öberg, two other fave producers of mine, are two of the geniuses behind this one. But what really surprised me was seeing Yangyang and Hendery on the lyrics, let’s fooking gooooooo.
Charli Taft is the remaining genius on here that needs to be mentioned. If there’s one thing about me is I love BritPop. She wrote one of my favorite songs ever, “Automatic” by Red Velvet with Daniel “Obi” Klein, who is apparently her husband. You learn something new every day. I gotta keep my eye on her for future song credits, me thinks.
I haven’t really talked about album covers, but this is my second favorite one. I love the old school sextant like device here being incorporated into the logo.
Love Talk – English Version
*clears throat* Everybody, please rise for the national anthem. If you have managed to have NEVER heard this song before. I need you to change your ways. Not to be dramatic, but this is one of the best English versions of a song by a group. When I said earlier that it’s funny that that Chinese group has the best English songs, I was mostly referring to “Love Talk”.
It’s shocking because one, this song is literally a thirsty shoutout to the international fans.
Baby we’re two distant strangersWayV – Love Talk – English Version
I know you don’t speak my language
But I love the way she’s talking to me (talking to me)
And two, this song released in 2019. Kpop/Cpop has been around a long ass time and NO ONE has done this yet?!!!! And WayV got it right on the first try? I fooking conic! WayV is the best NCT unit for this song alone. They didn’t pass the vibe check, they wrote the vibe check with this one.
The fans screaming along at KCON 2023 is so heartwarming. I’ve been asking for a WayV tour for years, SM GIVE US THE FOOOKING TOUR 🔫🔫🔫.
I’m trying so hard not to include a meme here. I’ve been dying to talk about my love of “Love Talk” for years, and I’m having difficulties articulating how genius, how mind-blowing this song is.
The universe shifted AGAIN when WayV dropped this banger. I think it just goes to the lack of praise and recognition WayV gets out of all the NCT units. Because there is absolutely NO reason for why SM didn’t capitalize more on this song.
I think them performing it at KCON and having thousands of people singing along just shows that even if something doesn’t chart at number 1, it doesn’t mean it’s a flop.
So, if you’ve been keeping up with my SM articles over the last couple of months, you won’t be surprised to see Adrian Mckinnon and LDN Noise in the credits for this track. Ebenezer Olaoluwa Fabiyi is also listed. I couldn’t find much on him. But there’s a special place in heaven for everyone here who worked on this track.
If your only takeaway from this article was to check out hat the hype around “Love Talk” is, and you listened to this song once, my job is done.
Awaken the World
Bad Alive – English Version
Another baaaaaanger! I’ve been dying to talk about this one too. I love the chorus choreo and lyrics. Everything is leading up to that point in the best way.
I’m alive in my back, like wowWayV – Bad Alive – English Version
I’m alive in the club, oh well
난 좀 달라, what you gonna do?
I’m a bad kinda player
Thousand dollar shoes
Thousand dollar shoes
‘Cause I’m bad, 追不上的
Thousand dollar shoes
‘Cause I’m bad, 如此特别
10/10 for real. I love these performance focused music videos. I forgot how frequently Ten is shirtless in these, lol. We love a man (or more) in crop top. Red is one of my favorite colors, idk man. It kinda feels like they made this video with me in mind.
I will say I always thought about Lucas when it comes to this song. Like this just felt like his song. And I think it was a premonition, lmao.
We have a few familiar faces who I haven’t mentioned yet, but have been very active in WayV’s library. Pan Yanting on lyrics, Mike Daley, Mitchell Owens, Deez, and Wilbart “Vedo” McCoy III.
There’s a bit of a rock vibe with “Bad Alive” and I like that switch up in their sound.
NCT RESONANCE Pt. 1 – The 2nd Album
I think it was in my fave NCT Dream Songs article, I talked about how there were only two songs from this album that I liked, and it was the Dreamies song and WayV’s song, lol.
I could throw away the rest of the album. I wasn’t feeling it at all. I was in my NCT get your shit together era. They just weren’t really making music I wanted to hear from like 2020-2022 overall. Long story short.
“Nectar” being one of the exceptions wasn’t a surprise to me because in WayV and the Dreamies we trust.
Looking at the credits, the only one I really recognize is Mike Daley.
Not a WayV song technically, it’s a U song. Buuuut Xiaojun slaaays on it. I haven’t talked much about his vocals, but he’s my favorite vocalist in WayV.
Hearing him and Jaehyun’s soulful voices was something I didn’t know. I needed until my life until I heard this song for the first time. I’ve been listening to it a lot this year. I rediscovered it. I saw they performed it during an NCT convert recently. Love that for us.
I wanted to bring this song up now because I’m probably not going to cover Universe in its own article. There aren’t enough songs off it for me to really talk about it in depth.
Okay, on to the real reason I wanted to talk about this album.
🎶 Oh, oh Oh, oh, oh 🎶 I think that’s the main reason why I love this song. I love the harmonies during that part. The choreo in this video, I think this is the first time I’ve watched it, they killed it.
They look amazing, I love this old school R&B vibes. Adrian Mckinnon and LDN Noise are back on the track.
My favorite album cover. I’m obsessed with them incorporating an overpass with WayV’s logo. Legendary. Shout out to the graphics department for this.
Anyway, “Good Time” is a song I never listen to. And I think I forgot how much I enjoy it. This article is reminded me how much I love WayV’s music. I had a bit of that realization in December 2022 when Phantom dropped. But it’s really hitting now.
I’m bringing this song back too.
This is my favorite WayV album to date. Start to finish. Not one bad song. It feels like a rebirth for the group. I’ve talked a bit about this album and song already.
Ah yes, my other favorite NCT unit, WayV is back and again, they don’t miss. I know I know, technically not Kpop but WayV is the exception to the rule, lol. “Phantom” is my favorite NCT related title in a loooong time.
I can’t remember when the title track, from a non-repackage album, had me hooked like this. I might have put this somewhere in my fave 2022 albums list had it not released like 3 days before the year ended, and I managed my time better. Probably going on the 2023 list, tbh.
“Bounce Back” is my current favorite b-side from Phantom. It’s very much a mood and feels like I’m hearing it at a perfect point in my life. Especially the, ”hurt me bad, I won’t stay. I will bounce back” part. “Good Life” is highly relatable. “I want to know what that’s like, that good life” me too bestie. “Diamonds Only” and “Try My Luck” are the other songs I think I’ll have on replay this year.
One of the reasons why I also get so hyped for WayV is for the visuals. Members and the actual scenery for the music video, lol. We kinda get vampire vibes in “Phantom” and I live for that. They look so good.December 2022 Best Kpop Comebacks & Debuts
The only thing that I’ve changed my mind about slightly was not including it in my favorite albums of 2022. I try to base my list and ranking on what albums I was reaching for the most in that year.
And because it dropped so late, I didn’t feel like it was fair to include it when I had only listened to it a few times. I kinda regret that decision, but trust it’s going on the 2023 list because I listened to it sooo much early 2023.
Everything else I said, I still feel the same on. I need to get a physical copy of this one.
Again, we have some of my favorite producers and writers on this album. I’m just gonna include the Wiki here. They said it best:
The Phantom of the Opera-inspired lead single of the same name… Consisting of six new songs and two bonus tracks that fall mostly in R&B and hip hop with influences from trap and classical music, the album saw participation from frequent collaborators, namely Adrian McKinnon, LDN Noise, Mike Daley, Mitchell Owens, Ryan S. Jhun as well as first collaboration with the McDonough brothers of Before You Exit. Released almost two years from their previous EP, Phantom marks the group’s first album release as a sextet, following suspension of Lucas in August 2021.Phantom Wikipedia Page
I figured The Phantom of the Opera was the reason behind the visuals and song name. I love that they leaned so heavily into that concept. I miss concepts like this in Kpop. I think I just miss dark concepts in general, lol.
THERE’S A VIDEO FOR THIS???? And no one told me 😫. What in the senior final project fashion show are the outfits? There are parts of them I like, like Ten and Kun’s looks. But WinWin looks like his pants are clouds, and Xiaojun and Hendery are still fighting to get out otf their looks. Yangyang’s is actual okay too.
Minus my intial shock, I do think they look good. Them being a lab with, I guess, lab grown diamonds is an interesting concept for a video.
I just can’t believe I missed them announcing a video for this, what the heck.
Okay, now I remember them announcing this, and I just didn’t get around to watching it, lol. That transition from Yangyang to Xiaojun during that payphone scene??? Girl I see you!!
Where are they still finding payphones in 2023? 🤔
This is such a cute video. I smiled the entire time.
No music video for my favorite song off this album? One of my top WayV songs period?
SM, get in the ring, we gotta box this one out 🥊🥊 . I’ve already talked about my love for this song earlier. So I’ll spend this time talking about other areas about this song I love.
I saw this comment under the video for “Bounce Back”:
I use dark mode for everything, lol. But I hard agree with this commenter. Xiaojun reminds me of D.O from EXO with his singing abilities. Both can adapt to these songs so beautiful. Like a duck to water.
I think I’ve had in the back of my mind a preference for WayV’s R&B tracks more. But I think it was much more subtle compared to like EXO or NCT 127 (or Dream). I think I enjoy WayV’s more experimental side because I expect them to be different but still make it sound like something I want to hear. There are different expectations and I don’t know why, lol.
I will say it’s so much nicer having Yangyang and Hendery holdin down rapline. As much as I loved Lucas’ deep voice, I wasn’t crazy about him rapping. Also, WinWin has a deep voice too that isn’t really utilized and I felt away about it while Lucas was there, if we’re gonna be honest lmao.
The group feels much more balanced. I think they’ve been able to refine what works and who does what the best and letting that member or member do their thing. I can’t wait to see more from WayV as they continue to grow as artists.
Okay, one last song.
Try My Luck
There’s something about “Try My Luck”, maybe it’s the casino reference. I love a good casino theme. Anyway, I knew from the title I was gonna love this song.
The harmonizes, oh my Gooooood. Angelic. They killed it on this track. You can’t help but to dance a long.
Omgggg this ended up being soooo much longer than I thought it would be. I guess that’s what happens when you cover a group you haven’t talked about much before.
I wanted to have this out before Golden Age, but I missed the deadline by a day. I’m okay with that. I have listened to it, and I do love it. It will be on my August 2023 monthly faves article.
I mostly wanted to have this article out before WayV’s next album, which I do anticipate to be soon. I’ve already forgotten the NCT timeline for the rest of the year. Other than 127 has an album on the way. Mark and Haechan will never get a break, huh 😅.
Anyway, I’d love to hear y’alls thoughts on WayV and your favorite songs from them. Are you a new fan, or have you been a fan of them for some years now? Tell me everything in the comments.
If you’re interested in buying Phantom. You can buy this album with my Amazon link ⬇️
Or any WayV album, if you use that link, I make a small commission off it.