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The student news site of Alisal High School

Trojan Tribune

The student news site of Alisal High School

Trojan Tribune

Album Review – Youth/Doyoung

Album Review - Youth/Doyoung

Kim Dong-Young better known as Doyoung is one of the main vocalists of NCT sub-units NCT U, NCT 127, and NCT DoJaeJung. Doyoung debuted in the sub-unit NCT U in 2016, but was later added to sub-unit NCT 127 and then NCT DoJaeJung in 2023. 

On April 22, 2024, Doyoung made his solo debut with his full-length album, YOUTH – The 1st Album. This album consists of 10 total tracks: “Beginning,” “Little Light,” “From Little Wave,” “Time Machine (Ft Mark & Taeyeon),” “Serenade,” “Rewind,” “Warmth,” “Lost In California,” “Rest,” and “Dallas Love Field”.

Doyoung has released other singles for OST’s in the past but this album marked his official debut as a solo artist. Some of his past well-known solo projects include See You in My 19th Life Pt. 6 OTS, YUMI’s Cells Pt. 4 OTS, and Cafe Midnight Pt. 2 OTS. 

The group NCT is known for their “noise” music and most of their releases incorporate hip-hop, R&B, and EDM elements. Considering his previous group releases, it was much of a surprise when the artist’s solo album consisted of pop, ballads, and a modern rock-indie feel. 

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The album was a way to represent the artist’s transition throughout the different stages of life. After debuting in his early twenties and transitioning into adulthood, this album represented those memories and phases of his life that would now be left behind. 

Out of the 10 tracks, my top four would be “From Little Wave”, “Serenade”, “Rest”, and “Little Light”. The album is quite comforting and has almost a nostalgic feel, making it an easy and pleasant listening experience. 

“From Little Wave” –  The first time I listened to the album I knew this would be my favorite. The song opens with soft guitar strums that are followed by serene instrumentation. The mix of effortless vocals and soothing melodies in the background allows the listeners to feel emotions of yearning, nostalgia, and reminiscing. I interpreted this song as a farewell almost as if you’re leaving a lover behind despite not wanting to part. “Leave behind the small ripples as they depart,” is a reference to the fading memories shared by the lovers. “You are my sea, it’s the desire to keep you by my side.” As the song comes to a close the messy overlap of muffled vocals, guitar riffs, and other instrumentals resemble the wave of emotions that come with losing a lover. This by far has been my favorite on the album as I was able to resonate with the lyrics making it the perfect mix for when you’re seeking comfort or reminiscing. 

“Serenade” –  This song is a soulful ballad that combines sentimental lyrics with heartwarming vocals. “My growing feeling that I haven’t been able to confess yet,” this song describes a journey of longing full of hopelessness pining after someone. The song starts slowly with a soft piano melody and as the vocals come into play a sense of yearning captivates the listeners. I enjoyed this song because it almost sounds like something you would hear in the background of a romance drama. There are not too many high notes that make it overwhelming but you get that sense of vulnerability and raw emotion. While it may not be my favorite on the album, this would still be one of my top tracks as it is a calming and refreshing listen for when you are in the mood for some K-Cafe beats.

“Rest” –  Similar to “From Little Wave,” this song opens with soft guitar strums that are followed by sorrowful and poignant vocals. The delivery of this song was perfectly captured through the use of gentle piano chords, guitar strings, and minimal instrumentation making listeners fall into a world of longing and reflection. This song is a comforting reminder that we sometimes need to find our peace amidst a world of chaos and just “rest” for a while. We see this conveyed through lyrics such as “Let go of past worries” and “It’s okay to stumble for a moment”. “Rest” is one of the many songs on the album that shines a light on Doyoungs powerful vocals which are sometimes overlooked in his group releases. 

“Little Light” –  Although this is the title track it didn’t stand out to me much. The song itself is unique and a good song overall, just not my favorite for a title track. Much like the other songs on the album it relies on lots of guitar and piano followed by soft vocals. The pre-chorus is unique as it is almost like a whisper and empty instrumental rather than building suspense for the chorus gives a sense of calmness and tranquility. My favorite part of the song would be both the beginning and the end as it utilizes lots of guitar. This song symbolizes the light that guides people towards their goals and aspirations which gives them strength when in need. 

While this album may be quite different from NCT’s discography, it is still one of the best solo debut albums from the NCT group in my opinion. Overall, I would give this album an 8/10 since I feel like the title track could’ve been a bit more impactful. The album itself holds great meaning and is a good listen for when you need comfort as it is so calming and peaceful. 

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