K-TREND | March.27.2024

From EMPATHY to Golden Age: Tracing NCT's Innovative Odyssey Through Their Albums

The Phenomenon of NCT

NCT, a multinational boy group under SM Entertainment, made its debut on April 9, 2016. Known for its extensive lineup of 26 members, NCT's activities are predominantly carried out through its sub-units and the central unit, NCT U, rather than the full group performing together. The name NCT stands for "Neo Culture Technology", embodying SM Entertainment's vision for a new cultural technology and the hope of having NCT teams in cities worldwide. This introduction aims to explore the innovative structure and the major full-length albums released by NCT, showcasing their versatility and impact on the global music scene.



Debut Date: April 9, 2016

Debut Album: First full-length album NCT 2018 EMPATHY

Leader: Taeyong

Genres: Dance pop, Ballad, Rap/Hip hop, R&B

Company: SM Entertainment

Agency in Japan: Avex Entertainment

Fandoms Name:

- NCTzen

- NCTzen 127


- WayZenNi




Infinite Openness and Expansion

NCT's system is designed for infinite openness and expansion, allowing for an unrestricted number of members to join and form teams based on different regions around the world. NCT 127, based in South Korea, was the first regional team, followed by WayV for the Chinese-speaking market. In 2024, NCT WISH will debut as the unit based in Japan, marking the end of the group's expansion phase. This unique system has enabled NCT to reach a global audience and adapt to diverse musical styles and cultures.



The Unit System: A Blend of Fixed and Flexible Memberships

Within NCT, there are fixed regional teams and the flexible unit, NCT U, where the lineup changes for each song to match its concept. This system highlights NCT's core principle of unlimited possibilities and diversity, with different member combinations and musical styles presented in each project. In early 2023, NCT introduced its first fixed-member unit, showcasing the group's evolving nature and commitment to innovation.



Full-length album Highlights

NCT 2018 EMPATHY: Released on March 14, 2018, this album marks the first full-group endeavor, featuring all members active in NCT at the time. It includes four title tracks, with "Black on Black" serving as the group song. This album was part of a mega-project, captivating the music industry with six music videos and a plethora of content, highlighting NCT's diverse appeal.



RESONANCE: As the final single of the NCT 2020 project, released on December 4, 2020, this album combined "Make A Wish (Birthday Song)", "90's Love", "Work It" and "Raise The Roof" into a grand finale. Showcasing the synergy of 23 members, "RESONANCE" embodied the ambition to extend their influence globally, wrapping up the second full-length album with a powerful message.


Universe: Unveiled on December 14, 2021, NCT's third full-length album featured double title tracks "Universe (Let's Play Ball)" and "Beautiful" alongside 13 songs that displayed the unique colors of NCT U, NCT 127, NCT DREAM, and WayV. Following the success of "RESONANCE" this album further solidified NCT's status in the music industry, demonstrating their brand power and musical versatility.



Golden Age: Released on August 28, 2023, the fourth full-length album "Golden Age" included a variety of genres across 10 tracks, showcasing another facet of NCT's musical identity. This album, emerging 1 year and 8 months after "Universe" featured the involvement of 20 members from NCT 127, NCT DREAM, and WayV, offering a unique blend of talent and charm exclusive to NCT.




NCT's Musical Journey and Future Prospects

NCT's innovative structure and diverse musical offerings have not only challenged the norms of traditional boy groups but also paved the way for a new era in the global music industry. Through their full-length albums, NCT has demonstrated their ability to adapt, innovate, and captivate audiences worldwide. As they continue to evolve and expand their musical horizons, the anticipation for future projects remains high, with fans eager to see how NCT will continue to redefine the landscape of K-pop and international music.


Related Merchandise

View More Details

View More Details

View More Details

View More Details