NCT 2021 are releasing their highly anticipated album next month, and fans are already digging for potential hints and forming theories surrounding it! Here’s what we know so far about the group’s third album, according to the official announcement and members’ spoilers, as well as some rumors that fans are keeping an eye on.
1. Album details
NCT tweeted at 12:00am KST on November 13, 2021, with a concept photo teasing their upcoming album. In true “neo” style, the photo is a graphic showing the details of an elaborate technological… thing.
— NCT (@NCTsmtown) November 12, 2021
While fans have their theories about what it could mean about sub-units and new members, one thing it tells us for sure is that the album will be released on December 14! It will include the members of NCT 127, NCT DREAM, and WayV, though fans are curious about whether all the members of WayV will participate as Lucas is on hiatus and Ten and Winwin are filming in China.
Ever the king of spoilers, Haechan revealed during a recent fansign that the album would come out in December even before the official announcement was made!
Op ask Haechan about NCT 2021 and Haechan said probably next month?!!!
— 파미 (@hyckfullsun) November 7, 2021
When another fan asked him for a spoiler, Haechan cleverly included the album’s title in his answer: “We did everything in the universe.”
op asked haechan to give spoiler about nct 2021 and haechan said "(we) did everything in the universe & it's cool". op teased him that it's already cool tho but then he said "just remember this"
— niseu (˙Ⱉ˙ ) (@haechanvirus) November 12, 2021
Mark also spoiled NCT 2021 in an earlier fansign when a fan brought it up! Even Mark had doubts that NCT 2021 would happen this year, much like fans who weren’t sure how the members would manage to release a group project among all their other schedules. But ultimately, he confirmed it!
Mark Lee Yizhiyu Fansign
— Em 💗 (@1uvtaehyun) November 7, 2021
And Mark teased the “universe” concept as well when giving another fan a spoiler.
op asked mark if he could share a spoiler for nct 2021 and he said that it'll go beyond Earth and into outer space✨
cr. markpolkku pic.twitter.com/881P3oYraw
— 제노리 (@jenoxious) November 8, 2021
3. “Lot of stages”
Johnny didn’t even hesitate before talking about NCT 2021, knowing that the fans knew all about it even with no official updates ever since Lee Soo Man confirmed it. Johnny said, “There will be a lot of stages to be performed,” which isn’t a surprise considering all the possibilities that come with a group of 20+ members!
— ☀️ (@FULLSUNGO) November 4, 2021
Taeyong tried his best to keep the spoilers back when one fan asked him about whether there’d be a song like “Misfit” or “Make A Wish” in NCT 2021’s album. He said that NCT 127’s “album” would have a similar song to “Misfit.” When the fan asked if he meant NCT 127’s song in the NCT 2021 album, Taeyong paused and said that no one confirmed NCT 2021 yet. Except Lee Soo Man did previously! So either NCT 127 have yet another album on the way, or this was his clever way of hinting towards a “Misfit”-style song.
Taeyong said 127's next? Album will be like misfit , and then op asked if its nct127's song for nct2021 and then taeyong said no said Nct2021 is coming 👀 then op said it is then Taeyong asked who? ++pic.twitter.com/mGD6K7gIum
— Z e n.◡̈ (@jaeedimples) November 4, 2021
5. “Vocal harmonized song”
Back in October, Jaehyun gave a spoiler about the full group song for NCT 2021! He said, “2021…The song that we did all together, it’s kinda like… it’s a good vocal harmonized song.”
Jaehyun giving a spoiler for nct 2021, "The song that we did all together it's kinda like a good vocal harmonized song." IN JAEHYUN WE TRUSTpic.twitter.com/zU3UE7BkPZ
— anne (@97JJHOLIC) October 20, 2021
Some fans found that on certain websites, there are two versions of an upcoming NCT album! With two versions, kihno kits, and over 20 members, NCTzens are mentally preparing to drop bank on this album to collect their bias.
2 album versions for nct 2021?? 👁👄👁 pic.twitter.com/m7K3ESoYH0
— jaehyunzmilkGOs (@jaehyunzmilkGOs) November 12, 2021
7. NCT 2018
One rumored insider account states that the upcoming album will be similar to NCT’s 2018 project, Empathy! This saw NCT 127 release a music video for their unit song “Touch,” and NCT DREAM release one for their song “GO.” Fans predict that an “NCT 2018 format” will mean NCT 127, NCT DREAM, and WayV each get music videos this time!
– empathy2018 format
– new unit debut w/ sungchan&shotaro
– 3to4 members getting solo songs
– surprise participation (?) / mix and match members from 3 units
— 🍒 (@insidercherry) November 12, 2021
8. Solo songs
Fans are hopeful that a few members will get solo songs on the upcoming album! For Empathy, Ten released a solo song titled “Dream in a Dream.” Many fans of Mark and Haechan are hoping those two release a solo song following their extremely busy year, with multiple comebacks as members of NCT DREAM and NCT 127.
the rumors about the members having solos should be mark and haechan, they literally worked and worked the whole year nonstop and deserve a 3 whole minute song for themselves
— lei ᵕ̈ (@hyckeis) November 12, 2021
9. New fixed unit
NCT has established a tradition of introducing new members annually and especially in each full-group project. For NCT 2018, Kun, Jungwoo, and Lucas joined the group. In 2019, Xiaojun, Hendery, and YangYang joined. And in 2020, Sungchan and Shotaro became members of NCT! Following the pattern, and based on the fact that Sungchan and Shotaro still don’t have a fixed unit, many believe that new members will be introduced this year.
it's nct 2021 soon but shotaro and sungchan still doesn't have a fixed unit. we all have the rights to be mad at sm, it's been a fucking year, hello?!?
— ًwiki (@M4RKFILE) November 7, 2021
Furthermore, some fans theorize that the 28 rivets in the official teaser graphic hints at 28 members. This would mean an addition of 5 new members which, assuming they form a new unit together, could put Sungchan and Shotaro in a 7-piece group.
THERE ARE 28 RIVETS WHICH MEANS 28 MEMBERS ?.?.?.!?.?.?.!? pic.twitter.com/gacFvw6x2T
— yana (@MARKTY0NG) November 12, 2021
Fans are super excited to see what NCT have in store for this year’s full-group release! With the enormous success of last year’s Resonance, “Universe” is set up to be their biggest release to date.