Review: Ending a Chapter by Blowing out the “Candle Light”

Bittersweet endings blossom into new beginnings. That is a sentiment that is prevalent in NCT Dream’s newest single, “Candle Light,” which marks an end of an era for the group.

The song starts with soft vocal ad-libs from one of the groups vocalists, Renjun, accompanied by a pop beat with an acoustic guitar playing in the background. The song then leads to more vocals done by Mark, who has a surprisingly soft singing voice for a rapper. The acoustic guitar continues through the song, as well as the pleasant sound of the members’ vocals.

The chorus of the song includes harmonization from all the members, as well as meaningful lyrics that signal a parting, but not a goodbye. The members are thanking the people who have been with them through their short, but successful careers, while also showing off their vocal talents. Though they are young, their voices fit perfectly with each other, as well as the song.

The rap parts didn’t feel out of place, either. The rap breaks in the song, done by Mark and Jaemin, matched the softer tone of the song. The lyrics Mark wrote for his rap break also matched with the message of the song. It is different from their previous style of rapping, as their previous song, “We Go Up” featured a more aggressive, yet playful style of rapping. This demonstrates their versatility with their talents.

The music video was simple, yet enjoyable. It features the members having fun while making a movie. The enjoyability of it comes not from the concept itself, but how the members have fun with it. It displays their youth, as well as their relation with one another, with them playing around with one another as teenagers would.

The song and music video is a closing of a chapter due to the graduation of their oldest member, Mark, in 2019. NCT Dream is a sub-group of NCT, and has a unique system in that when one member reaches a certain age, they graduate from the sub-group and move into another sub-group of the overall group. In the music video itself, Mark is portrayed as the director of the film; he is the one behind the camera and the one who presents this “film” as a whole. This is a perfect way to graduate, as they are remembering how Mark was a leader to them through their short careers.

Compared to the other NCT sub-groups, NCT Dream has a more playful tone to their songs. This song is no exception. Other songs from NCT, such as “Cherry Bomb” and “Simon Says,” are more aggressive. This song does not follow that trend. It is, however, still musically interesting, which is a common trend in NCT songs. NCT songs are quite experimental, which keeps their music unique. This song has an interesting mix of drum samples and acoustic guitar, which continues through the song.

Compared to NCT Dream’s other songs, this showcases the members vocal abilities more than any other song. The flaws of most of NCT songs are that there isn’t enough time for each member to highlight their talents, which is understandable. NCT Dream has slowly been fixing that, with adding more vocal parts to balance out the rap parts, such as in”We Go Up.” This song prioritizes the vocal parts because it is a mellow pop song, which is something that suits the members voices and also requires more vocals than anything else. Haechan, Chenle, and Renjun, who are the main vocalists of the group, carry the song well with their vocal abilities.

This song is like a chapter ending in a book. NCT Dream debuted in 2016 with the youngest members in NCT, and this is the last song with the original line-up. It is the perfect ending to the beginning of their story, as they grow older and continue with their career. It is also the perfect farewell to Mark as he turns 20 and goes on to another group. It seems sad, but this song gives thanks to the fans who have been there since the beginning, and thus is a perfect parting to these teenagers who have grown with each other.