It’s only been two years since NCT burst onto the K-pop scene, but this supergroup has already made huge waves in the musical world. NCT’s various subunits have not only seen immense success for their catchy music and lit choreographies, but also continuously impressed us with their experimental sounds and artistic creativity. In 2018, NCT further proved their ability to traverse an enormous range of musical styles and concepts with even bigger projects, breathtaking performances, and new and unique sounds. NCT was unquestionably one of the most groundbreaking K-pop acts in 2018, so let’s review eight ways the group pushed the boundaries of K-pop this past year!

1. Unprecedented versatility

NCT’s multiple subunits have always allowed the group to encompass a huge scope of concepts and sounds, but they further showed their versatility with the release of the “NCT 2018 Empathy” album in March 2018. The group’s first full-length album is incredibly dynamic, offering a variety of tracks that all hold their own as singles. The album showcases NCT’s impressive range of musical styles: from the ballad “Timeless” to the powerful “Black on Black” to the sexy “Boss,” NCT proved that they can pull off any type of music or concept imaginable.

“NCT 2018 Empathy” also allowed the group to show its breadth not only across subunits but also within each subunit: the traditionally cute NCT Dream wowed fans when they traded their innocent image for a sexier side with “Go,” and NCT 127 amazed us by switching up their previously badass concept with the fluffy, pastel “Touch.” There’s nothing these guys can’t do!


2. Next-level performances

NCT’s versatility is nowhere more obvious than in their captivating choreographies. When every member of the group is an incredibly talented dancer, it’s no surprise that they slay every performance — but you’ll still be blown away as the members transition from one mesmerizing choreo to the next in this 100-second run-through of NCT’s best hits of 2018: