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The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

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Ahmed Basheir
Ahmed Basheir
Sports Co-Editor

LH ALBUM REVIEW: DREAM()SCAPE

K-pop boy group NCT Dream returns with their 5th mini album
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Claire Hartwig

Released on March 25th was NCT Dream’s fifth mini album titled DREAM()SCAPE. Made up of 7 members, NCT Dream is a subunit of NCT, the large 26-membered K-Pop boy group of SM Entertainment. Nctzens (fandom name of NCT) were excited to hear about the group’s upcoming album after approximately 8 months since their last comeback. DREAM()SCAPE conveys a message to their fans that even if they don’t hope or dream, that this album offers an escape from reality for them. The mini album has 6 songs on it ranging from hip hop to slow ballad genres. 

The title track, Smoothie is a hip hop song with subtle rap undertones. NCT Dream is known for their great rapping and vocals so that their mixture of rap lyrics to high notes for this title track really emphasizes this. The song is categorized as groovy hip-hop with a driving 808 bassline. The chorus repeats “smoothie” over and over again, making it slightly repetitive. To listen to this song, it is key to definitely know how NCT title tracks sound like and what their lyrics are like as they are known for their interesting and funny sounding lyrics. Although this song holds a deeper meaning behind the silly sounding chorus. Leader of the group, Mark Lee, described the song as blending all of the negative things in the world into a smoothie and drinking them away. This plays into the music video as the smoothie in it is featured as a dark black color while typically smoothies are bright and colorful.

icantfeelanything, which is the second song off of their 5th mini album is the perfect definition of a song where an empty chorus is done right. The lively and thrilling instrumental of the drums give the song a more stand out vibe. Later this year, NCT Dream are set to embark on their third world tour and with this stand out song, this song would be the perfect intro for their upcoming tour! 

Their 3rd b-side, Box is a catchy track that is a fan favorite out of many off the album. Once again, this is an example of them executing hard hitting raps alongside impressive high notes. The post chorus is the most talked about because of the catchy and mesmerizing lyrics. ‘B-O-X-oh-no-oh-oh/(Oh, put me in a box)/B-O-X-oh-no-oh-oh/(Yeah, no, no, no.)’ The song conveys the message about not wanting to be put in a box and that they can keep going further. Fans of the group have compared this song to Quiet Down from their 2020 mini album, Reload, due to the same type of formulas that the songs both share. If you were to listen to any song off of this album my recommendation would be to listen to Box as it truly is a great song. 

Another fan favorite that is actively talked about is the song, Carat Cake. This song is another groovy hip hop song. Carat cake being a metaphor for a blingy diamond watch, is about impressing someone with your wealth. Originally Mark wasn’t a fan of the song but was convinced by another member Haechan that there was potential with it. 

Unknown is the b-side off of the album that they’ve chosen to promote alongside the title track. Changing the vibe of the album a little bit, this song is slower and holds a smooth electronic pop sound. It focuses more on the vocal line of NCT Dream by having them hit some impressive high notes for long periods of time. Although most assumed Box would be the promoted b-side, Unknown is a good change of pace. 

The last song off of the album, Breathing is a more meaningful slow song. “When I’m falling down, down, down/You always save me” is the main chorus of the song. The song is very emotional and talks about how you can be the one to save them. This is truly a perfect ending to the album and is a very deep song.

Overall, this album proves to be one of the best-engineered albums the group has released with multiple songs that their fanbase has been actively promoting on social media. Additionally, the group has swept music shows by taking home four wins for the lead single, Smoothie. As NCT Dream gears up for their upcoming world tour and stops promoting DREAM()SCAPE, fans wait with anticipation and excitement to see what new songs from this album will be on the setlist. 

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About the Contributor
Claire Hartwig
Claire Hartwig, News and Culture Co-Editor
Counting down the days til J-Hope returns from the military <3
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