The holiday season is upon us, and there is no group better suited to bring a little bit of light and cheer than NCT Dream.
The youthful, seven-membered unit of NCT brought a little bit more joy to the world with their SM Station track, “Joy,” which was released this week—just in time for Christmas. The song samples two classic holiday staples, “Joy to the World” and “Jingle Bells,” and transforms them into a bright, ‘90s boy band-sounding tune that could warm the heart of any Grinch.
In the week building up to the release of “Joy,” SM Entertainment posted pictures and cute interview bloopers of each member called "The Dreamers’ Christmas” to get fans excited for the upcoming Station song. In the videos, the members tried to explain something about Christmas, but seldom got very far, either because of clapping and giggling like Chenle or getting distracted by the younger members like Renjun.
“Joy” is a fun, upbeat Christmas track all about spreading love and kindness during the holiday season. Given the two songs it sampled, a large portion of the song is in English, but the members do have verses in between to impart some wisdom to the listener about the importance of celebrating with loved ones: “everyone has the same heart and rhythm / the same body and water / no words needed in this exchange of feelings / these moments will last longer than today.”
NCT Dream’s leader, Mark, also wrote the rap for the song. Rapping in between Christmas tunes might sound strange, but strangely enough it actually works really well to bridge the two tracks in a fun, unique way.
“'Joy' is a combination of songs that have already been released,” Mark said during the group’s V LIVE in celebration of the song’s release. “Since the original tracks carry a bright tune, I wanted to do the same for this track as well. I tried my best to portray a similar mood."
The music video features the members dressed up in formal clothing and cozily celebrating the holidays together alongside… bunnies! Yes, just when Dream’s songs and style can’t get any cuter, there are scenes of the members playing with rabbits interspliced between food fights, dancing, painting, and eventually sleeping after a rambunctious Christmas day. The orange tint and soft focus of the video combines well with fairy lights strewn around the room to make the winter music video that much more warm and cozy.
NCT Dream is so fabulous because it gives SM Entertainment the platform to construct the perfect boy band-esque group at a time when there is a gap in the market for a group that is the same age as the girls who are fans of them. It’s a plus for both sides; the girls are drawn to members who are the same ages as them and the group’s “boy next door” image, and the boys get to debut as part of NCT and expand from there into other units as they get older. Add in the group’s past comebacks including the saccharine sweet “Chewing Gum” and peppy, tropical “We Young” and the group is an already-proven recipe for success; their comeback, “My First and Last,” was the first comeback to secure a win for any unit of NCT.
The Dream unit also allows members more time to shine than they might in other units. Haechan, for instance, gets a much larger role within the vocal line of NCT Dream than he does in NCT 127.
NCT Dream has plans for members to “graduate” out of the unit as they get older. Because of this, it is uncertain how much longer Mark will continue to be a part of NCT Dream, so every song he participates in is very much treasured. Now, if only member Jaemin could rejoin the group once he recovers from his injury, then everything would be perfect.
“Joy” is coming out at the same time many other SM artists are making their winter comebacks, including Taeyeon’s “This Christmas” and EXO’s “Universe.” While other artists are releasing hard-hitting ballads, NCT Dream does what it does best: lifting up their listeners’ spirits with their infectious joy with a perfect, happy-go-lucky song to celebrate the holidays.