We’re finally getting more details on NCT 2021’s long-awaited return. With 23 members and counting, fans eagerly await the full group reunions; which will allow their favourite subgroup members to engage with one another. Following NCT 2018 Empathy and NCT 2020 Resonance, NCT 2021 Universe is their third group comeback. We have 21 members for this year’s comeback because Winwin is filming a drama in China and Lucas is on hiatus.
On December 14, NCT will release their third group comeback album, ‘Universe.’ Following group teases with 21 members; we received a poster that hinted at a sci-fi idea. The members are dressed in blue and are in robotic settings; with the words ‘new axis’ written on several of their faces, which fans believe is a spoiler for a subgroup.
SM has also produced video teasers with some of the members dubbed ‘The 7th Sense’; and ‘Synchronization of Dreams,’ which have NCTzens (the fans) creating fan theories once again. While we receive one main track with all of the NCT members; the other songs on the entire group albums are performed by subunits so that everyone gets equal lines and screen time. According to reports, the album ‘Universe’ contains 13 tracks.
1. ‘New Axis’
2. ‘Universe (Let’s Play Ball)’ – Title track
5. ‘Birthday Party’
6. ‘Know Now’
11. ‘Sweet Dream’
12. ‘Good Night’
13. ‘Beautiful’ – Title track
Fans are asking if NCT’s webshop mistakenly disclosed “confidential but erroneous information” about which subunits will be performing which tracks. If it is, NCT 127 will perform ‘Earthquake,’ NCT Dream will perform ‘Dreaming,’; and WayV will perform ‘Miracle’.
However, it has been verified that the album’s title tracks are ‘Universe (Let’s Play Ball)’; and ‘Beautiful.’ Johnny, Taeyong, Mark, Hendery, and Jeno wrote the rap parts for ‘Beautiful,’; a pop ballad. While fans believe that all 21 members will play ‘Beautiful,’ we now know who will be performing ‘Universe (Let’s Play Ball)’.
‘Universe (Let’s Play Ball)’ will be performed by Doyoung, Jungwoo, Mark, Xiaojun, Jeno; Haechan, Jaemin, Yangyang, and Shotaro. It’s a hip-hop-influenced R&B dancing song. At the same time, it was revealed that member Mark Lee was involved in the creation of the track’s rap. As a result, he is now the NCT member with the most songwriting credits, having contributed to the creation of 54 songs.
Excited fans have been making tweets like, “The main protagonism-ification of mark lee,” and “Mark lee… 54 songwriting credits… his solo album is long overdue.” Another fan was impressed, “Mark lee, the most credited songwriter in nct with 54 songwriting credits under his name and the more to come at the age of 22.”
Doyoung, the eldest member of the ‘Universe’ sub-unit, was also trending. One fan shared, “Good luck and godspeed to doyoung in what surely will be an interesting time with 5/6 of 00, 2/3 of 99, and jungwoo.” Another posted, “Omg Universe unit??? Doyoung and his babies?????” One NCTzen made a reaction meme, “Doyoung and universe unit members.”