NCT 127 - Sticker

  • I. Introduction

    Sticker is the third full Korean studio album from the permanent NCT sub-unit, NCT 127. It was released on September 17, 2021 with the title track "Sticker."

    II. Background and Release

    Sticker marks NCT 127's first full Korean release following the all-unit NCT Resonance event in late 2020. The group structure of NCT is unique among K-Pop groups due to the fact that the concept of NCT is an ever expanding group with "unlimited" members and it is comprised of several individual subunits. Currently there are 23 members in NCT, making up four individual subunits. The sub-units combine to create an all-unit project in select years that features all NCT members, debuts new ones, releases albums, appears on TV shows, web and social content.

    The albums tied to the 2020 all-unit Resonance event became best-sellers in 2020 with NCT 2020 Resonance Pt. 1 temporarily becoming SM Entertainment's top-selling album of all time. Each NCT sub-unit's release after Resonance outperformed the group's previous releases, often selling more than double the previous amount.

    It was announced on June 28, 2021 as part of the SM Congress 2021 that NCT 127 would have a new full album and repackage in October. During an online fan meeting, the timing was later amended to September.

    On August 23, NCT 127's the album's title and release date were confirmed. During pre-launch promotions, the repackage was reconfirmed.

    The album contains 11 songs primarily in Korean. There were five versions: 3 phonebooks - Sticky, Sticker, Seoul City - and two jewel case versions, a standard with different member covers, and an exclusive version in the United States for the American retail store, Target.

    It was announced that producer Dem Jointz, who previously worked on NCT 127 title tracks "Cherry Bomb", "Kick It" and "Punch" would work on the album's title track "Sticker" as well as SM's long-time songwriter/producer Yoo Young-Jin and songwriter/producer Ryan Jhun, a frequent NCT collaborator. As with past NCT 127 releases, Taeyong and Mark wrote their own raps, earning co-songwriting credits.

    The album was further supported by a robust promotional campaign, including an extensive campaign debuting a fictional NCIT institute with NCT as college students by day and hackers by night, a new season of NCT Life, NCT Life in Gapyeong, and several new web shows built around NCIT.

    Continuing the trend from Neo Zone, track videos for multiple songs were released during the teaser photo and video content.

    NCT 127 debuted "Sticker" on the American TV show Late Late Show with James Corden on September 17, where they had previously appeared during We Are Superhuman promotions during the Neo City tour in North America. Like WayV and NCT Dream, NCT 127 launched a special showcase on MTV Asia, YouTube and other providers to launch the new album. Additionally, an enhanced version of the album was released on Spotify.

    In addition to the title track "Sticker," the group performed the b-side "Lemonade" on Korean music shows.

    III. Tracklist

    Title Lyrics Music Arrangement Length
    "Sticker" Yoo Young-jin, Taeyong, Mark Ryan S. Jhun, Prince Chapelle, Calixte, Dem Jointz, Yoo Young-jin Ryan S. Jhun, Dem Jointz, Yoo Young-jin 3:47
    "Lemonade" Han Yeorume (153/Joombas), tru(153/Joombas) Benji Bae, Rokman Rokman 3:10
    "Breakfast" Jeong Ha Ri Ninos Hanna, Andreas Öberg, Simon Petrén Simon Petrén 3:32
    "같은 시선 (Focus)" Lee Chang Hyuk Ryan S. Jhun, Otha "Vakseen" Davis III, Darius Michael Bryant, Oluwayeomi Oredein, Jaicko Lawrence Ryan S. Jhun, Droyd 3:24
    "The Rainy Night" Jeong Yoon Hwa, Seo Hyeri (Jam Factory) Ryan S. Jhun, Hwang Yang, SQVARE, SOFTSERVEBOY Ryan S. Jhun, Hwang Yang 3:19
    "Far" Sahara NESE, JeL (Alexander Karlsson and Alexei Viktorvitch) JeL (Alexander Karlsson and Alexei Viktorvitch) 3:36
    "Bring the Noize" Kim Boo-min, Sokodomo John Fulford, Ava King, Kim Bu Min, Hitchhiker, Sokodomo Hitchhiker 3:42
    "Magic Carpet Ride" Jo Yoon-kyung Demain Whitmore, Britt Burton, Patrick "J. Que" Smith, Harvey Mason Jr. Harvey Mason Jr. 3:38
    "Road Trip" Le'mon (153/Joombas), SAN (VENDORS), Ellie Suh Erik Lidbom, MLC Erik Lidbom 3:35
    "Dreamer" Baek Keum Min Asia Whiteacre, Boy Matthews, Peter Wallevik, Daniel Davidsen, Cutfather Cutfather, PhD 3:29
    "다시 만나는 날 (Promise You)" ZNEE, Rick Bridges Ryan Linvill, Tony Ferrari, Rollo Spreckley, Noah Conrad Ryan Linvill, Noah Conrad 3:31

    IV. Spotify Playlist

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    V. Videos


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    Track Videos:

    Behind the Scenes, Dance Practice, Recording Sessions:


    VI. Concept Photos

    Reflecting the concept of the album versions, concepts included Sticky solo portraits and Seoul City, as well as a concept to better marry with the NCIT storyline.

    VII. Reception

    After announcing the album on August 23, SM stated that the album had passed 1.3 million in preorders in the first day. Just prior to the album's release, it was announced the number had grown to over 2.2 million preorders, which would make NCT 127 the second NCT sub-unit to be double million sellers after NCT Dream.

    Sticker launched with the sixth highest first-day sales in Hanteo history, behind only 3 other artists, selling 760,902 copies. Additionally, NCT 127 became the fourth-highest group in first-day sales in Hanteo history, again behind those same artists. The album also reached #1 on the Hanteo and Gaon charts in Korea, QQ Music in China and the iTunes chart in 18 countries, as well as debuting at #2 on the worldwide chart. The album was certified by Hanteo for selling 929,516 copies in the first week of release. It also became the biggest album debut for a SM artist on Spotify.

    It also debuted at #3 on the US Billboard 200 albums chart, joining only 3 other k-pop groups that debuted in the top 10. Members Mark and Taeyong become the first kpop artists to debut in the top in two different groups. The album also became NCT 127's first to debut on the UK charts at #40.

    The song "Sticker" topped Melon, Bugs and VIBE charts, while other singles from the album also charted. It debuted at #23 on the worldwide iTunes song chart. NCT 127 earned their first "all kill" on Melon's chart with all 11 of the songs taking the top 11 spots on the chart. "Sticker" entered the Gaon weekly chart at #17, while the b-side "Lemonade" reached #144.

    On September 23, SM reported that the album had sold over 2.1 million copies. On November 11, the album was certified a Double Million Seller by Gaon, becoming their first album to do so. At the time, the album had sold 2.3 million copies.