After about a week and a half after the release of WayV’s debut full length album, ‘Awaken The World’; I’ve come to the conclusion that it and its lead single are the strongest the NCT project have sounded all year. Not only is Turn Back Time a dynamite blast of rock and hip-hop, but the rest of the album is full to the brim with interesting sounds and potent pop melodies. Tracks like Up From Here, After Midnight and Electric Hearts could have all acted as strong title tracks. But for once, 2020 finally came through with a single that’s the strongest and most instantly ear catching track on the album.
I liked Take Off and loved Moonwalk, so It should come as no surprise that I’m in love with Turn Back Time. It takes everything great about the groups last two singles and ups the ante on each and every element. The beat, more dirty. The rock guitar, more grungy and pronounced. The rap, more aggressive. And the production, absolutely thrilling. Even the potentially cloying “stop, rewind, turn, back, time” line feels absolutely necessary to the whole package. WayV and NCT in general have always been more hip hop focused but they have some of the best male vocalists in the industry. And I just love it when they’re given something as melodically grandiose as Turn Back Time‘s hook, which absolutely soars. It’s instantly impactful and the strongest hook on any NCT related track this year. It’s militaristic nature recalls the best of early SM and it’s wonderful.
I also love the instrumental here. It swerves in interesting and exhilarating directions, perfectly complimenting the performers whilst still holding its own throughout. It carries that industrial beat that I adore and never really lets up throughout the tracks runtime. The guitar that only peeked out during the climax’ of their previous two track is in full focus during most of Turn Back and boy is it great. I just wish some of this unrelenting energy transfers into Korea’s own musical output.
Final Rating: 9 / 10