Album review from SeoulBeats.com. (Lightly edited.)
From top to bottom, the album is filled with gems of diverse styles and colors that showcase NCT 127’s different talents; there isn’t a single song that is “skippable.” I appreciate how the group continuously takes risks with their music, testing the boundaries.
1. Cherry Bomb
The title track, “Cherry Bomb,” takes on the same name as the album, and the song really packs a punch. It is jam-packed from top to finish with contrasting, fragmented elements — electronic sounds and sound effects — without any seeming order or logic, which could sound messy and disorganized, but it somehow works, creating variety and interest. The main hooks, “I’m the biggest hit / I’m the biggest hit on the stage” and “If you’re happy and you know it / Clap your hands,” are pounded in constantly throughout the track, so that hours after listening, you are still nodding your head hypnotically to the beat.
Perhaps my favorite parts are the vocals; the layered effects of the vocals create a rich texture that is consistent with the rest of the track. I really enjoyed the explosion of flavor that the track offers.
2. Running 2 U
“Running 2 U” could potentially double as a more public-friendly title track. It is not as non-linear, shall we say, as “Cherry Bomb,” as it clearly has a known song structure that makes it a lot easier to follow, but it also keeps the dark, electronic, and tough themes of the album. The track is softened by the interjection of the melodic vocals, which provides a welcome contrast from the hard-hitting bass lines.
3. 0 Mile
This third track has a more upbeat and lively mood — the quick beats keep the song moving and flowing, and it is more vocal-focused to contrast the rap-heavy “Cherry Bomb.”
4. Sun & Moon
Jaehyun, Doyoung, and Taeil reunite in “Sun and Moon” to bless us with their amazing vocals. One of the reasons why this trio is so pleasantly interesting is because of the diversity of their vocals. Jaehyun has a deeper and richer vocal color, whereas Doyoung has a more lyrical voice, and Taeil has a lighter and airy timbre. The song itself stands out from the rest of the album, as it takes on more of a chilled, laid-back, and carefree mood supported by the muted electronic notes in the accompaniment. This is definitely my favorite track off the album.
“Whiplash” is, simply put, a swag-filled jam. Whereas the previous track was more vocally focused, this song puts the spotlight on the talented rapper of NCT 127. With Mark having done well on “High School Rapper,” there was a lot of anticipation for his performance on this album, and he does not disappoint. The chorus is particularly enjoyable, as well as the added “long-ass ride” tidbit that is of course reminiscent of NCT U’s “The 7th Sense.”
6. Summer 127
The final track of the album, “Summer 127,” is your typical feel-good summer song with pop and dance vibes. The melody is catchy, and it’s all too easy to jam to the song. It’s a great listen for the upcoming summer months.