Over the years, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment has gained popularity, and NCT Dream is exploring the world of personality types with its new title track “ISTJ.” As the second single of the K-pop group’s album ISTJ, the song dropped on July 17 alongside the album.
The MBTI personality test uses a questionnaire to assign someone one of 16 different personality types. “ISTJ,” the first track on NCT Dream’s new album, is a code for “introversion, sensing, thinking, judgment.” In “ISTJ,” NCT Dream members MARK, RENJUN, JENO, HAECHAN, JAEMIN, CHENLE, and JISUNG sing to a love interest with an ISTJ personality type.
While the members list off some stereotypical attributes about the ISTJ personality in the song’s lyrics, the key message of the song is that the members of NCT Dream want to get to know their love interest past what they could learn from the MBTI test. This twist elevates “ISTJ,” and the lyrics give the single a deeper meaning.
“You and your routine / Something special / I’ll try solving you as I feel / It’s the way you are / Glamorous / Dangerous / The passion unprecedented in your world / Let’s talk about it / Let’s get down,” the group sings in the chorus of “ISTJ.”
Along with its subversive lyrics, “ISTJ” has an addictive production that combines hip-hop, pop, and dance elements. The song opens with an intense but steady rap verse which leads into the dance-heavy chorus. Even though the members’ vocals take over in the chorus, the production of “ISTJ” stays busy, which keeps up the intensity of the song.
When the song reaches its bridge, this intensity drops thanks to a sudden tempo change. With its slow percussion beat and NCT Dream’s dreamlike vocals, the slowed-down tempo captures the bridge’s lyrics.
“Waiting for / I’m just waiting for ya / You throw your signals at me / More vast than the universe / There’s no time / Tonight I feel in a rush / I lie on my back alone, counting stars / And I’m thinking, yes, I’m yours,” NCT Dream sings in the “ISTJ” bridge.
In the music video for “ISTJ,” ARK, RENJUN, JENO, HAECHAN, JAEMIN, CHENLE, and JISUNG are all seen going to great lengths to learn about the ISTJ personality type and MBTI through different lessons, ranging from sitting in a classroom to looking at brain scans. The music video shows off the members’ screen presence and chemistry with one another, along with the band’s ever-impressive synchronized dance moves.
All in all, “ISTJ” is NCT Dream at its best: subversive, magnetic, and intense.
Eryn Murphy is a writer for EUPHORIA. Magazine with a focus on K-pop and pop music. Her career highlight is covering the 2022 and 2023 GRAMMY Awards, and her work has also appeared in Screen Rant and Showbiz Cheat Sheet. She can be reached via her email or website.