BY JOHN CARTER JR
NCT 127’s music career has been marked by tracks and albums that could have been subtly described as bops, or loudly called exquisite images to the Michael Jackson era of music. This is delightfully no different in We Are Superhuman. At the very least the titular tracks “Superhuman” and “Highway to Heaven” represent a retro, neo-futuristic vibe that makes this album’s aesthetic stand apart from the rest of the group’s discography. It acts as a precedent in NCT 127’s musical sound and seems to have been a precursor or inspiration for their following album Neo Zone.
Leading off the album is the previously mentioned titular song “Superhuman”. This song showcases the talents of the vast majority of the boy band. There are, however, specific members who are in particular focus. Taeyong’s rap skills are commonly and elegantly expressed throughout this piece, while Haechan’s belts are ridiculously reminiscent of those of which the aforementioned king of pop would let out. The song’s chorus and foundation is strongly supported by the likes of Doyoung, Taeil, and Jungwoo. While Jaehyun calmly leads us into the second act of the piece it is up to Taeyong and Haechan to truly finish the song before the last chorus.
The focus of the music video for “Superhuman” has an interesting aesthetic in its futuristic or robotic motif. The video has visual cues that represent what the track’s sound expresses. The opening of the song sounds like the launch of a computer program or that computer being powered on before being shifted into a steady beat by the declaration of the titular line “Yeah Superhuman!”.
Leading into lines by Haechan, a known fan of MJ, whose movements and vocalizations are similar to the pop star’s own style. Throughout the video in between the different solo components are odd inclusions but overall represent a moment of liberation, a common trait of being heroes. Johnny Grabbing Mark Lee and the floating Motorbikes are representative of this in this crazy laser light show.
“Highway To Heaven” is gorgeous in its representation of retro boy bands in its execution. The vocalizations in the chorus are the majority and one of the highlights of this song. Jungwoo (along with Haechan) really shine in this song in their ability to belt a note or two. This song is an exploratory love letter, which plays out in the chorus:
“We’ll take the highway to heaven
And I can’t wait to love you all alone (I can’t wait to love ya)
(Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah oh yeah yeah)
We’ll take the highway to heaven (Highway)
On the 101 let’s see just where it goes (Let’s see where it goes)
(Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah oh yeah yeah)”
Finally, in analyzing the music video we are taken to a destination that is completely through the whole neo-futuristic theme established by “Superhuman” out the window. However, the song establishes itself as a clear fluid component of the album through its own aesthetic. The gorgeous look of driving on the road in the Mojave Desert expresses the song’s theme of exploratory love and adventures in youth clearly. The shots white shirts worn by the group throughout the majority of the song harkens back to the heavenly young aesthetic.