Song Review: WayV (NCT) – Bad Alive

Of all the tracks I would choose for promotion on WayV’s (very solid) album, Bad Alive would be pretty low on the totem pole. And, I certainly wouldn’t opt for a (mostly) English-language revamp. This isn’t meant to be a knock on the track itself. As a piece of music, it’s solid. But stacked against some of the album’s more interesting material, Bad Alive feels like little more than “that thousand dollar shoes song.”

As with last year’s great Love Talk, I will be continuing to embrace the Chinese version of Bad Alive. I mean, most of its chorus was already performed in English anyway, yet for this re-recording they opted to change some of those lyrics. Very odd. And, it’s not as if suddenly being able to understand Bad Alive‘s deep meaning adds any appeal. Let’s take verse one as an example:

“All these women come a dime a dozen (Drip spill)
Cool me off, I’m hotter than an oven (Chill, chill)
We just touchin’, I don’t do no cuffin’”

Yeah. Pretty horrible. Still playing with that queso, apparently. I’ll take “I’m alive on the mountain top” any day.

So, let’s remove the lyrics from the equation, since they’re not an element I usually discuss anyway. As an actual song, Bad Alive has its charms. It’s the kind of NCT swag track we’ve heard many times before, which is one of the reasons I find it an odd choice for promotion. I don’t see how it would draw any new listeners to WayV’s sound. Synth distortion supports a beefed-up trap beat and an arsenal of catchy electronic flourishes add texture. In this way, Bad Alive is emblematic of many current C-pop trends, which tend to favor attitude over melody. To the song’s credit, its chant-along chorus is a lot of fun – especially if you ignore many of the awful lyrical choices. I suppose this is a testament to WayV’s charisma. They can truly sell anything. As they so eloquently put it during verse two:

“Yeah, I don’t talk, I need mine, off the top, on go
Yeah, Milly Rock on your block, make it pop, let’s go”

I mean… who’s writing this nonsense?

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.75

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