Please welcome our dear N.Flying back onto the scene! The rock band’s newest title track “Hot Potato” is an affirmation of the boisterous, humorous identity developed in their energetic August comeback, “The Real,” and just like in their August comeback, N.Flying makes great music feel like professional fun. “Hot Potato,” like “The Real,” offers a wholehearted sense of reckless abandon, but the song itself is a meticulously crafted composite of brilliantly catchy soundbites arranged in a seamless structure. It revamps all the most successful elements of “The Real” with a new lyrical concept, ironically commenting on their status as celebrities by declaring themselves “hot potatoes.”
The song is a roller coaster ride from thrill to thrill. The dynamic’s at a high point pretty much the whole time, but the rapidly changing melodies vary enough to keep that high energy from ever stagnating. N.Flying packs in the hooks all over, shooting out shout-along-able phrases like cannonballs and filling the gaps with memorable musical elements that beg a replay. The guitar riffs stick, the vocals and rap are superior, the percussion is crisp. These are the same elements that appear in the album’s B-sides, albeit without the exuberant comic touch of the title. While “The Hottest: N.Flying” is significantly more toned-down than its title track would suggest, there’s no doubt that it sounds just as N.Flying as always. They’ve never been afraid to stretch the limits of compositional experimentation (in fact, they’ve stretched it past my personal preferences once or twice), and that intrepidness, which shows its face in “Hot Potato,” becomes even more pronounced in the rest of “The Hottest.” A strong example of this compositional creativity is “Don’t Forget This,” a high-energy track whose electric guitar centerpiece follows a colorful melody. Some other highlights include the mid-tempo “Crossroad,” whose vocal melody has a vivid touch of poignance that you don’t always hear from N.Flying, and the delightful “Just One Day,” which takes productional risks with its unrestrained rock instrumental and stands out all the more for it.
All that said, the best thing about this comeback is the group’s commitment to entertaining their listeners in the title track. N.Flying’s happy-go-lucky take on the troubles of being a celebrity is strangely hilarious, even—or especially—in the recurring cry of “Um, are you all paparazzi??” It’s more aimed at comedy than satire, because N.Flying would rather just have a great time than call anyone out. Still, you can’t help but contemplate the implied connotations of the phrase “I am a hot potato,” which insinuates that while everyone wants to get ahold of you now, they’re sure to drop you once they do. “I will not worry and will sing passionately,” croons N.Flying while the music video shows the members zealously executing dorky choreography, indicating that while N.Flying feels the fickleness of fame, they’re just gonna keep doing their thing. When it comes to their music, that’s the best thing they can do: it gives them an individuality that cannot be imitated.
HOT POTATO: KAYBOP OR KAYFLOP? This song invented the word “bop.”
Take a look at N.Flying’s “Hot Potato” MV below: