Sensually fragrant and royal. I think Favorite is a clear thumbs up.

Let’s see what we have here!


Favorite by NCT 127 was produced by Kenzie and GRAMMY-award winning, Darkchild. Now, if you know the Darkchild from Stay with Me by Sam Smith, then yes that is the Darkchild here. Before we proceed to the actually review, I would like to address that Darkchild was also behind the recent hits of Michael Jackson from the 1990s to his passing in 2009. Darkchild is a big player in the R&B style, and so this should be reflected in the song. Well, Favorite is a great song but it lacks many things.

Favorite first and formost heavily relies on this flute, or rather now “whistle”, that was previously used in Sticker. While Sticker’s flute production and arrangement was rather irritating and sometimes blunt for many it was aromatic. This time, that aromatic nature of Sticker was properly projected in Favorite. Favorite uses many rhythmic notes. The vocal performance of NCT 127 reflects very heavily on this SM-trademarked high choral-singing and the song is pretty much centered around this staircase ascension of verses and lines.

Favorite is a clear grower. By the time I’m about to hit publish on this review, I may have been addicted to the song itself. The proper use of time, dynamics and lyrics are the key factors in why Favorite never falters in appeasing its audience. It floats and carries the song by itself. The same technique surely you’ll remember back in the 90s and 2000s. The song is heavily melodic, stylized and even purified. This is particularly the key reason why it falters.

Favorite is not my favorite when it comes to lyricism, creativity and innovation. The line of catchy music and revolutionary music has been blurred so much by so many great releases in this year. There has been a clear uptrend of mainstream, heavy-production records that promote, a variety of sounds but never stray from being a pop record. Favorite, when stripped back to its purest song form, is incredibly lethargic and plodding.

SM never hesitates to give its listeners the best in innovation and addictive hooks. That was before, everything in their philosophy has changed starting the dawn of the new generations. Instead of trying to push the envelope of recording, sound and genre. They started pushing the envelope for culture. Mainly cultural imperialism. Favorite has this thing, that has been bugging me ever since someone left their job at SM. It is the deep connection of the song to ethnic culture.

The whistle use is rather aesthetic for this song. A commodity humidifier. An extraction of exotic sounds from within the culture. That was the problem NCT always faced ever since their debut. Their neo-cultural philosophy and politics has lead to major upsets in the line of musical excellence. Instead of improving the line between cohesiveness and experimentation. They have forgotten cohesiveness at all. Instead of bridging cultures, they capitalize on it, in the most exhaustive way possible.

That was a tangent, now back to the review. I mean its a great song, a great production, decent mixing, and a sub-par song on its own. I can’t wait for more people to be stressed about this release, as much as I am. Kidding aside, Favorite might be the right direction after all, in the wrong track.


Overall

The songwriting was dull, unimaginative and weak. The arrangement was rather aromatic, sensual and fragrant. The instrumentation was basic and rather safe, mainly for the song, not the dance break. The production was well-done, well-polished and interesting. Overall, this song was a great shot at trying to be out of the ordinary for this year. I mean did we ever get a clearly aromatic song that is centered around culture? (P.S. we did with [redacted for your sanity] and [redacted because it was too obvious])

How about you? What do you think? Let me know your thoughts below!

Lyrics5
Instrumentation7
Rap/Sung Vocals9
Musical Direction7
Song Structure7
Cohesiveness7
Record Mixing7
Song Cadence6
Musical Style6
Production8

Rating: 7

Producers: Kenzie, Darkchild

Songwriters: Kenzie, Rodnae Bell, Darkchild