[Review] Danger – Super Junior D&E

Returning to the stage once again is Super Junior’s Donghae and Eunhyuk with their latest mini-album and the title track. Danger. It hasn’t been that long since we last saw them through their ‘Bout You promotions but that was 8 months ago, which can be considered to be a lengthy absence especially in the highly competitive industry of KPOP right now. But Super Junior doesn’t need to worry about this as they have a very loyal fanbase who will continually support them years to come! And I am sure the support extends to their subunits. So let’s have a closer look at Danger.

Danger is a song that boasts energy and edginess due to the nature of the instrumental. It takes on rock, trap and other forms of EDM in the song, creating an atmosphere that is best described as intense. The presence of the fast trap elements in the chorus gives it almost an ethnic vibe, which I think is rather interesting. But while intense is the right word, the song could have potentially benefited by extending this intensity by going a little more extreme with it. I think we are given a tiny taster to that potential at the end when it is built from suspense. But I would have liked it if it were gradual. Moving to more of the members, the rapping at the start was a pretty nice opener and sets up the song well. Donghae follows through with some vocals, which I think was also quite good. Sure, there isn’t anything mind-blowing in terms of technicalities and techniques. But they were rather captivating for a song like this. Overall, Danger is a pretty nice song to listen to.

I think the video matches extremely well with the vibes of the song. The edginess is taken on board in the video by going with its dark lighting and the possible participation in gang-like activities (though I don’t that is the exact words they would use to describe the video). Apart from that, I think the video has some great cinematography, especially the scenes where we can see them in a circle by looking up from underneath.  I thought it is quite cool.

Performance wise, it is really good. I think the biggest fear with Super Junior (and many senior groups) is that the choreography standards just continually become more intense. To the point where you don’t know if these senior groups will be able to keep up. But for the main dancers of Super Junior, they do a pretty damn good job. The chorus has t be my pick for the highlight of the entire choreography routine.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8.5/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.3/10

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[Double Review] Because I Love You + If You – Yesung (Super Junior)

Yesung finally makes his first return as a solo artist since his 2017 promotions of Hibernation and Paper Umbrella. But if you are expecting a return to the South Korean stage, then you have to come back next month as he will be returning then. In the meantime, Yesung recently releases his first solo album in Japan titled Story. The album features two title tracks (Because I Love You and If You) and both are connected via the music videos (hence why today’s review is a double review). Yesung also recently collaborated with Chungha for Whatcha Doin’ and Bumkey for Carpet.

I am not sure if I have ever reviewed any Japanese ballads before so this may be a foreign land for me. Both songs are of this nature and both are quite similar to the ballads we commonly get in Korea. For Because I Love You, we get a jazzy-like style instrumental which I thought was nice. Though I did think his raspy vocals were a little too soft towards the beginning and they were on the verge of being drowned out. The ending was a lot better as you can hear him pushing himself and this resulted in his voice standing out on top of the instrumental a lot better. If You takes on a typical approach with its ballad. A very nice but pleasant sounding instrumental made up of guitar and an orchestral touch. I really like his vocals here as they seemed clearer.  It also has a nice melody that gets me swaying along. The only flaw is that it feels too ordinary. I think if I were to pick one of the two, If You would be my clear winner.

Because I Love You starts off our story. Yesung is probably holidaying in a European country and passes by this lady who attracts his attention. She is in a rush, so he doesn’t get a chance to talk to her. Later, Yesung stops by a restaurant and the exact same lady from before is his waitress. He becomes nervous and distracted from his work and slowly begins imagining them dating. After his little daydream, he rips a page out of his diary and writes a message. He leaves it on the table and leaves. The waitress comes out, clearly interested in him and finds the note. This leads us onto the If You video. If You shows Yesung waiting around for someone, presumably the waitress. She is seen walking around holding the note that he left for her. Both of them visit different places that appeared in his daydream and both end up meeting each other at the same place where his daydream ended (at night by the river). She hands the note over, revealing to the audience that he wrote ‘Because I Love You’ on it and they both share a smile. I liked how both videos tied in with each other and allowed the story to really progress rather than jamming it one video and making it confusing.

Because I Love You
Song – 7/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 7.8/10

If You
Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.4/10

[Review] Carpet – Yesung (Super Junior) & Bumkey

It is time for another SM Station release. Season 3 started a few weeks back, rounding out with NCT Dream’s Candle Light. There was an SM Station release last week due to (and I assumed this) it being the first week of the new year. But now, SM Station is back with a collaboration between Yesung and Bumkey. The song, Carpet, was released on Thursday of this week, which is the new designated day for all SM Station releases.

Carpet is an R&B ballad combo that endeavours the two genres that the collaborators are widely known for (Yesung commonly sings ballads, while Bumkey is an R&B rapper). Both do a splendid job within the song with nothing to say negatively. The harmonies are also quite beautiful. They also create a wonderful atmosphere that I think is best described as touching. I also noticed that there is a slight jazz infleunce, partly due to the piano, which could also be described as soothing. If you don’t understand the lyrics of the song straight off the bat (like a certain person – a.k.a. me), you can tell that there is an emotive drive to the song, which already sets the scene. But the music video (more on this later) and the title of the song got me rather intrigued, so I looked up the lyrics of the song. It seems the lyrics of the song are in the perspective of the small rug that has been through everything with someone, personifying it to be like a good friend to rely on and cry on – if needed.

And with the meaning of the song in hand, I think the video does an amazing job of visualising this message. The carpet has been with this young lady for many years. From her childhood, she played on it. From her adolescent, she read books on it. She also had breakups on it. But as she grew older, she moved away and the carpet was put into storage and somehow made it to the market. And during one of her shopping expeditions, the young female comes across the rug, which is instantly identified due to the presence of an orange juice stain that she caused back in her younger years, And to further fit the lyrics, we see the carpet wrapping itself around her to comfort her. A well put together music video.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.4/10

[Album Review] Drunk In Love (2nd Mini Album) – Ryeowook (Super Junior)

It is time for some more album reviews. Like last year, I will be reviewing the 2019 albums every Thursday and Sunday, while this year album reviews released on Tuesdays will be for the ‘older albums’. And kicking off the 2019 series is Ryeowook’s Drunk In Love. Intrigued by his opposing singles (see reviews below), I thought I check out the album. One of my many misconceptions regarding the singers who release ballads is that they only release ballads. But as you tell by my review coming up, this isn’t the case – which means I have a lot of albums to check out!

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Drunk In Love Album Cover

1..I’m Not Over You (너에게) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of I’m Not Over You. (10/10)

2. One and Only (우리의 거리) (Pre-Release Track)One and Only is one of the many songs on the album that do not fall into the typical ballad category. Instead, it takes on a mid-tempo pop vibe, which sounds quite good. The song is bright and very soothing. I like the way Ryeowook’s vocals glide over the instrumentation, contributing to that soothing factor. I really liked his harmonies with the backing vocals, which add depth to the song. I also liked that high pitched distortions, which added a quirky factor to the song. Overall, it is a nice track to listen to on a sunny day. (8/10)

3. Drunk In The Morning (취해) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of Drunk In The Morning. (10/10)

4. Without YouWithout You is probably my most favourite track on this list. I liked everything about it. The pop instrumental (which has some orchestral mixes in it) really gives the song a nice burst of energy and it makes the song feel quite like a Western pop song. I also think his vocals in the song were smashing. They were really showcased in this song and go amazingly with the instrumental. I enjoyed the melody of the song, which made the song catchy. (10/10)

5. Something Good – Continuing on with the bright theme of the album is Something Good, which is another exceptional song. Once again, Ryeowook’s vocals are showcased throughout the song. But I think this song stands out for the sudden burst and change to the song through the chorus. And I liked how this is continued yet maintained throughout the rest of the track. It is a little in your face but it does work. It is also another catchy song and it does do ‘something good’ to the listener. (9.5/10)

6. Sugar – Given the title of the song, you can’t really direct a song titled ‘Sugar’ down an emotional route. Sugar goes for a fun sounding track that seems to have a subtle retro influence. The sweetness doesn’t really kick in until the young child begins singing. It gives the song a really cute touch and makes unique as it isn’t something that any KPOP idol has done thus far. I also thought Ryeowook’s ad-libs really ended the song on a very polished note. (9/10)

7. The 2nd Story (파란 별) – Ending the album is a ballad. I am not too sure about the context of this track as I can’t find anything under ‘The 1st Story’ that is associated with Ryeowook (I expected there to be a prequel). The song itself is a typical ballad. Not too emotional but not too boring. Ryeowook’s vocals are huskier in this song than any other song. I also like how peaceful the instrumental was, which was quite nice. (7/10)

Overall Album Rating – 9.1/10

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Drunk In Love Teaser Image

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[Review] Drunk In The Morning – Ryeowook (Super Junior)

Earlier this week, Ryeowook made his solo comeback with I’m Not Over You, which he is promoting as the main title track for this latest album release, Drunk On Love. I am not sure about the nature of Drunk In The Morning (i.e. if it is another title track or just a secondary track /ut a music video for it was released today, resulting in the publication of this review.

Drunk In The Morning gives us one side of the spectrum of ballads. That strong power vocal and moving instrumental that I think is seen as the more traditional style of ballads. However, the instrumental is a little non-traditional, featuring a mixture of modern synths and an orchestra. But it does a wonderful job of showcasing that emotional picture. But it is the Ryeowook’s power vocals that give the song a painful touch, while also giving that level of impact that I seek in songs, which means the song is memorable. I’m Not Over You shows a ballad at the opposite end of the spectrum as it approaches the genre in a different manner. Given the nature of these two contrasting songs, I am genuinely interested in what the rest of his album will be like. Hence, I will write an album review for Drunk In Love to be published next week! You heard it first here!

I liked how this music video connected with Ryeowook’s music video for I’m Not Over You. Some of the sets are similar, particularly the one with the satellite dishes (in the other video) and the payphone (in this video). Even the same love interest is shown here (but with different feelings to match the song, of course). Something must have happened between videos to let it get to this state! I think Ryeowook’s acting in this video is commendable. His vocals already bring pain to the song. But it is his acting that really consolidates all of that emotion and set it into stone for me.

 

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.6/10

[Review] I’m Not Over You – Ryeowook (Super Junior)

The first major comeback of 2019 is Ryeowook’s long-awaited solo comeback, I’m Not Over You. This is his first release since his departure from his military enlistment and The Little Prince comeback back in 2016. He also rejoined Super Junior for the One More Time promotions in October of 2018. His solo comeback was supposed to be back in December of last year (with teasers released) but was delayed last minute until today due to health concerns. Hopefully, Ryeowook has fully recovered and is able to showcase his vocals and music releases this year.

Following  The Little Prince, I’m Not Over You takes the ballad route. It is a nice ballad with soothing piano instrumentation. There was also some orchestra in the instrumental. It was very lightly featured during the start of the song. Almost inaudible because the piano was the main instrument heard. It builds up gradually as the song progresses, going for a climatic and epic peak during the bridge of the song. This drew my attention to the song as it added energy and a very attention-grabbing period of music to the slow ballad. It slows down for a moment afterwards but climaxes once again during the final chorus. Besides the instrumental, we need to discuss Ryeowook’s vocals which were superb. His vocals were perfect for the ballad with the title ‘I’m Not Over You‘ being the one line that just I anticipate every time I listen to the song. That falsetto during the bridge was definitely another highlight to the song and showcases his skills in a jaw-dropping manner.

I think the video was pretty good. The scenes we saw throughout the video simply showed the main story. That was, Ryeowook is searching for his lover using the many satellite dishes and tracking computers that he has in his room. But while that seems to be a tad too technological for a ballad, that isn’t the case whatsoever. Ryeowook was shown singing in these sets, reminding us that the song is the main attraction and that the video was a simple aid in helping us understand the music video.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.6/10

[Review] Whatcha Doin’ – Yesung (Super Junior) & Kim Chungha

Kim Chungha is nominated for Best Female Solo Artist and Best Collaboration in this year’s KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Click here to support Kim Chungha and your other favourite artists.

We have a new duet release, which brings together Yesung from Super Junior and Kim Chungha. Their new single is titled Whatcha Doin’. Interesting fact, if you guys don’t know, is that this isn’t the first time Chungha has collaborated with an SM artist. Earlier this year, the solo artist joined forces with Seulgi (Red Velvet), SinB (GFriend) and Kim Soyeon (GI-DLE) for Wow Thing!, which was released as part of the Station X 0 project. Yesung has also been busy with the Super Junior comebacks that fans were treated to this year.

Whatcha Doin’ is a pop track that brings out the vocals of Yesung and Chungha. Yesung has established himself as one of the main vocals of Super Junior, while Chungha has been showing off her singing capabilities this year through her solo releases and collaborations. Together, they compliment each other extremely well. Both their vocals aren’t heavy, which goes perfectly well with the light pop instrumental of this song. All of this results in a pleasant track to listen to. Throw in a simple yet catchy hook to open up the chorus, I thought this was a very nice collaboration. I did like the soft ‘awoo awoo‘ in the background during the chorus, which added an extra depth to the song. They could have gone for something a little more unique but nonetheless, it was a good song.

I thought the concept for this video was rather cute. At the start, they were both nervous to make that first move. The way they interacted with each other was really well thought out, pushing the phone to each other despite each of them in their own halves. The Boomerang feature was also a cool addition to the video. Overall, I liked the video’s appeal and its fitting nature to the song.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8/10

[Review] One More Time (Otra Vez) – Super Junior & REIK

Super Junior has returned with their special mini-album and the title track, both titled One More Time (or Otra Vez in Spanish). This is the group’s first comeback since Lo Siento promotions earlier this year (which featured both the Leslie Grace and the girls from KARD) and it is also the first comeback for Ryeowook, who recently finished his mandatory military enlistment. For this comeback, Super Junior collaborated with REIK, who is a well-known band in Mexico.

Once again, Super Junior has jumped on board with the Latin trend. Personally, I thought Super Junior would have moved on from this style already, so I am genuinely surprised that they are having another go at the genre. It isn’t a bad song in any way. I just thought there would have been something more to really make it stronger. Instead, I got a lacklustre feel from the song. The main infusion of energy comes during the chorus but I felt that was quite plain. It just didn’t have a memorable feel to it, which is a little disappointing. I was expecting a rap sequence to be thrown in there, as that may lift the song a bit. But there was no rap sequence. The vocals were good but I felt they could have been built more. I did like the ad-libs for the song, towards the end of the song from both Ryewook and Yesung. The song doesn’t really appeal to me, overall.

I thought the sets (or are they real rooms?) for the video were stunning backgrounds for the Latin-based song. The colours and patterns really feel suitable for the style. While it was a standard music video, there is a section which I cannot help but cringe at. Unfortunately, the scenes with REIK and Super Junior together (where REIK is just playing instruments and Super Junior is hyping behind them)  looked really awkward and boring. Not sure what they were trying to accomplish there but this song doesn’t really beg for that type of scene. Maybe if the members danced around REIK, that would have been more suitable. Just what we got wasn’t.

And it seems like there is an imbalance of energy between the song and the choreography. I fear that is the case but as we have not seen a full performance and the choreography scenes didn’t last too long to really ‘feel anything’ from them, I will be returning in the near future to re-write this section.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – TBC
Overall Rating – 6.4/10

[Review] Sunrise – SUPER JUNIOR-D&E

I promised you all that I will get around to review Donghae and Eunhyuk’s most recent Japanese release, Sunrise, this weekend and that is where we find ourselves today. Donghae and Eunhyuk have had a few Japanese comebacks since their return from the military but I forgot about most of them. But I put this one on my agenda in hopes of making it up to you all. Sunrise was released approximately one month ago and is part of their 3rd full-length album in Japan.

Like ‘Bout You (their Korean comeback), Sunrise attempts to bring the duo back with sounds that are more relevant to the industry right now. And they do a pretty good job at it. The song does have the same flaws as I had written about yesterday, including repetition and standard chorus with nothing to offer. I am not sure why they put autotune over their own voices, which felt very unnecessary. I understand that it is electronic music but it just doesn’t feel natural and unique anymore (as everyone does it). What I did like about the song, however, was how clean it felt. It didn’t feature any awkward corners or background vocals that felt unwanted. Instead, the song just flowed nicely, which I thought made the song decent to listen to.

The music video, for this song, was really high quality and it felt like I was watching something out a sci-fi movie. Removing the choreography scenes and their closeup in the forest, the duo finds themselves running towards a light structure in the middle of the forest, which I think is the start of every alien based movie. When the chorus kicks in, we are thrown to the choreography shots, purely done in a studio but it looked spectacular, especially with the LCD background. It is a cool video, irrespective of the song, in my opinion.

It was a cool video but it would have been nice to see something a little different. The same comments from yesterday still apply here. They are trying extra hard to fit in with the young crowd, which is a little disappointing. I am quite sure (not referring to the hammer hand dance) that some of the moves were seen in their Korean comeback as well.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 8/10 
Performance – 6/10
Overall Rating – 7.1/10

[Review] ‘Bout You – SUPER JUNIOR-D&E

With an impending comeback expected from the legendary Super Junior (with the return of Ryeowook, who recently came back from his military enlistment) very soon, Super Junior’s Donghae and Eunhyuk have returned as a subunit with ‘Bout You. The new song features of the unit’s second mini-album, which also shares the same name. This is the unit’s first comeback since their release of Growing Pains, back in 2015. They have been active in Japan since their return from the military in 2017, with their latest Japan comeback to be reviewed tomorrow.

‘Bout You is duo’s attempt of reinventing themselves to fit into the different music industry that they were last in. Even Super Junior jumped on board with the recent Latin-inspired sound with Lo Siento. ‘Bout You features a tropical inspired instrumental that fits perfectly into both the recent (and ongoing) tropical EDM influx and the Summer season that is supposedly wrapping up soon. And for the most part, the song is quite good. The vocals throughout the song were quite good and the rapping was quite decent. I liked the layering of the piano within the bridge, which was my favourite part overall. The chorus was pretty standard and doesn’t offer much of a hook to really get into. But that isn’t the thing that irks me. It is the fact that they used their autotuned vocal to provide some background effect to the instrumental. It just felt so dated and quite out of fashion, particularly the way they presented it. But overall, it was a good song.

Like most KPOP videos nowadays, they take the camera to the US for their music video. And while it is a Donghae and Eunhyuk music video, the way it was shot reminded me of the way Winner’s music videos are given to us. I am not too sure what the plotline of the video because it doesn’t really establish match except for she is a singer and Donghae warns another guy to not make any moves. Eunhyuk is a third wheel and part way through the video, the girl and Donghae kisses. I also thought the singing scene (where she gets on stage and lip sync to their song) really awkward.

The choreography also fits in with what seems to be on trend in the industry at the moment. The hammer hand dance makes an appearance, alongside the dab and other moves. Not that makes a bad video (their choreography isn’t too bad) but it does make them look like they are trying to fit in extra hard.

Song – 6.5/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 6/10
Overall Rating – 6.6/10

[Review] Lo Siento – Super Junior (ft. Leslie Grace)

Super Junior has made their return with their Play repackaged album, which has been appropriately retitled as Replay. Lo Siento is their title track for this new repackaged album, which features Leslie Grace in the official song and KARD’s Jiwoo and Somin in the live performances. For this round of promotions, Heechul has stated beforehand that he is sitting out (despite appearing in the music video), with Siwon rejoining the lineup.

Lo Siento is a nice song. The Latin pop sound provides the song with its backbone and the Korean is layered on top through the lyrics. That being said, all of Leslie Grace’s parts throughout the song was in Spanish, so it was fairly interesting to hear the switch between Korean and Spanish. Do I think it is a good idea? Probably not. since it does get a little confusing at certain points. But what they manage to do a great job is harmonising their parts together, which give the song that extra punch of energy. The song had a groovy chorus, which was quite nice. The repetition of Lo Siento just kept on replaying in my mind, even after the song ended. It could have used some energy to keep it more interesting, particularly towards the end of the song (to change up and keep the song from being too repetitive when it comes to the instrumental). I particularly liked the dance break instrumental, which gave the song some hype and energy to keep us on edge. Vocally, the song was okay. Though I expected some Latin flair on that front. I am personally not a fan of the raps, mainly because they didn’t really ‘move’ me or felt needed.

The music video was okay. I apologise to the audience here for offending them, but I feel like Shindong’s parts in the video looked quite awkward and creepy. Moving on, I thought the video felt relatively standard. There just wasn’t anything captivating or amazing in it. However, I liked the editing of the video, which allowed members to appear multiple times in one scene. I really like the colours palette that they used, fitting into the song perfectly. 

The live performance (which features KARD) was the one thing that I wanted to talk about in this review. I freaking enjoyed it. Instead of the Spanish lyrics, they got the girls to sing in Korean, which was a good move made by their company. The choreography itself was quite nice, with the chemistry between the two teams giving me a reason to continuously rewatch the performance.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 7.1/10

[Review] Charm Of Life – Heechul, Shindong, Eunhyuk (Super Junior) & Solar (Mamamoo)

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The next SM Station release is officially here. While SM Station focuses primarily on ballads and softer sounds, there have been instances of more energy packed songs. And such songs tend to be quite good. This time around, SM Station shares a collaboration between Super Junior members Heechul, Shindong and Eunhyuk who rap alongside Solar from Mamamoo.

The song is quite funky, a little unexpected. But then again, it should have been expected as the song features 3 people, of whom I regard as the funniest members of Super Junior. The song opens up as like any type of song with a solid vocal intro from Solar herself and everytime she pops up in the song, she blows me away. Solar’s addition to the song keeps it from going over the top if I assume the raps lyrics from the 3 male artists are comedic in nature. what does catch me off guard is the raps and instrumental. Shindong, Heechul and Eunhyuk’s rap-talking is nice but they do feel cheesy (and I don’t know what they are talking about). The funky drop sounds foreign but it makes me laugh with its brightness and energy. It is quirky but it suits the 3 members quite well.

I like the flashy style of the music video. The gold colouring is nice and I thought the retro vibes brought together by the cam-recorder and old fashion televisions looked quite cool. From the lyrics, Killagramz makes an appearance in the video, alongside Shindong, who seems to be parodying him. Nucksal also makes an appearance and is also parodied by Heechul (I think it is them. Not confident). It made for a fun atmosphere.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8/10

[Album Review] Play (9th Studio Album) – Super Junior

Super Junior made their long-awaited comeback with Play on the 6th of November this year, making it their first comeback in two years. I know I am a little late with my album review, especially since they are nearing the end of their promotional period. However, as they say, ‘better late than never’. Play is their 9th studio album, which marks 12 years in the business as well.

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Play Album Cover

1..Black Suit (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Black Suit. (9/10)

2. Scene Stealer – I think we all felt major Bruno Mars vibes from this song. To me, it is the weakest song out of the entire album. It fits into Super Junior’s usual spectrum of songs but the use of some of the synths, especially at the start of the song, felt quite foreign and odd. I just wasn’t drawn to much in the song, especially since it was between an amazing title track and a great pre-release. (5/10)

3. One More Chance (비처럼 가지 마요) (Pre-Release Track)Click here to read the full review for One More Chance. (10/10)

4. Good Day For A Good Day – I love the upbeat nature of the song. It has that happy virus type of feel that automatically makes your day even better. The entire time I thought the song was quite pleasant and this reflected well through the vocals and raps of the song. The second part of the choruses where they all sing together was exceptionally catchy and probably my highlight of the track. (9/10)

5. Runaway – Following the happy vibes is Runaway which is my pick for best song on the entire album. The song is super addictive and full of energy. I love the instrumental of the song, which drew my attention from the very start. It feels like a song that their old subunit. Super Junior Happy, would have put out. But Super Junior themselves does a spectacular job with the song nonetheless. (10/10)

6. The Lucky Ones – The Lucky Ones stands out for its nice harmonies during the chorus. Besides that, there wasn’t much else to the song, which is a disappointment. The verses felt plain and bland in comparison to the chorus. But overall, it was still decent to listen to. (6/10)

7. Girlfriend (예뻐 보여) – Girlfriend is one of two tracks that also feature Kyuhyun who is currently serving in the Korean military. It is another track that is easily forgettable. There was a sleek feel to the song but it just didn’t build-up to any peak. The rap section and bridge provided some relief by allowing the song to change up a bit but I don’t think it was enough to make the song brilliant. (6/10)

8. Spin Up! – The track returns the album to more of that grooviness that I enjoyed so far. And while the song was decent, I wanted to go that extra length and become the next funky hit. If there was a little more energy and more boldness, I am sure this track would have been hard to miss. (7/10)

9. Too Late (시간 차) – Too Late is the other song to feature Kyuhyun. I like the subtle build-up to the chorus and the drop into the chorus. The consistent thumping in the instrumental gives me an excuse to tap my feet throughout the song. Not a major fan of the bridge but everything else was quite nice. (7/10)

10. I Do (두 번째 고백) – I Do has a very nice melody and feels like a nice love confession song to listen to. It is that Summer ballad that can be either good or bad. This one lands on the good side. It is not the ending you expect the album to have, mainly because it feels like there should have been another song leading right off this one. But it was a still a nice ending. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.5/10

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Play Teaser Image

[Review] Black Suit – Super Junior

Making their first highly anticipated return after 2 years is the none other than Super Junior. In 2015, they made their comeback with Devil and Magic. Since then, military enlistments were carried out leaving only a few members available for promotions. But with the return of some members, Super Junior can promote once more as one of the most well-known KPOP groups to date. Black Suit is the title track from their 8th album, Play, which also features the pre-release One More Chance.

Black Suit is a definitely an upgrade from Devil and Magic, which I thought was boring. Given the member’s ages, I didn’t think they would return with an upbeat track like this. But they clearly nailed with the Latin flair that gave the song that explosion of energy. Vocally, the song is quite nice. Everything was clear and not muffled with synths and autotune. The track, too, is quite addictive to listen to, earning replay after replay. The most underwhelming part of the song for me, though, was the drop into the last chorus. The bridge had a nice buildup with its intensity. The drop just didn’t do it justice. The chorus was definitely the most outstanding part of the entire song and it just makes you want to dance.

The music video is set in an auction, with the main item on display being a black suit. Hence the title, duh? But the story behind the auction is a little intriguing. The video opens up with chaos but in reverse. We then find out the cause of the chaos is due to the missing black suit, which disappeared during a blackout as it was being sold. We also find out that the members were trying to get the suit themselves through careful planning and teamwork. Just once it disappeared, they turned against each other and raged. It turns out, another person (a young female) somehow stole the black suit in a split second during the blackout. While it does seem far-fetched, it definitely has its moments and it was, overall, enjoyable to watch.

The choreography was actually quite good, keeping up with the sharp beats and maintaining its appeal throughout the entire routine. Totally enjoyed the chorus.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9/10

 

[Review] One More Chance – Super Junior

Kicking off Super Junior’s first comeback in 2 years is the release of One More Chance. They last promoted Devil and Magic in 2015. I believe they were absent for the past two years due to a large bulk of the group entering the military. One More Chance isn’t their official comeback as it is only the pre-release song for the comeback. Their full 8th album is expected to drop next week on the 6th of November.

It has been a while since a Super Junior song has graced our playlists and such a high-quality song (produced by Donghae) is 100% fitting for their return. The emotional rock ballad is extremely fitting for the current lineup, with all the members showing off some flare that has been missed over the two-year absence. There is not one person that sounds out of place. The instrumental is exceptional as well, building up ever so slightly and knowing when to make the right impact alongside the vocals. That level of emotion that I mentioned before can be felt strongly throughout the song. While I may not have much else to say about the song, Donghae’s production is on point and One More Chance is (hopefully) a great teaser on what is to come next week.

Following that emotional side of the song comes this emotion field music video which I have to admit is beautifully shot. You don’t expect walking down hallways and alleys to be that dramatic but pairing it with this song is definitely a strong example of how it can be. But that walking/running isn’t for nothing, as they are following their lover, for one more chance at their relationship. It is a simple video when you think about it but it goes a long way once you consider the song’s lyrics (which I gather is the exact same thing as mentioned above) and the song’s auditory elements.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 10/10
Overall Rating – 10/10

 

[Double Review] Paper Umbrella + Hibernation – Yesung (Super Junior)

Yesung from Super Junior has made his return to the stage with a brand new mini-album, Spring Falling. Hibernation was the pre-release single from the mini-album, while Paper Umbrella served as the main title track. It has been a while since we heard from him. He last promoted Here I Am back in April of last year. He also participated in the drama, Voice, earlier this year.

Yesung’s two songs delve back into the ballad genre in music. Hibernation has a nice melody but it fails to reel me. The percussion in the song felt dominate and did take the attention away from his vocals, which should have been the highlight of the track. His vocals are good but they don’t sound as emotional as his other songs. It just wasn’t as memorable. There were actually other tracks on his mini-album which could have easily served as a pre-release single instead and left a stronger impression on me than what Hibernation did.
Paper Umbrella is a much better ballad in comparison. The orchestra based instrumental makes the song sound grand and elegant. His vocals are much better here. You could feel the emotions in his voice. There was also a nice buildup in both the instrumental and Yesung’s vocals in this song. However, similar to the Hibernation, Paper Umbrella fails to capture my attention. It sounds good in the moment, however, it just doesn’t have me coming back for more.

Hibernation’s accompanying video was boring to watch. There wasn’t much to it. Yesung was singing, while the lead actress in the music video went about on her day. There was no interaction between the two in any form. However, the video does seem to suit the song.
Paper Umbrella’s video was far more interesting. The video shows a Yesung and his former lover on a rainy day.  The two seem to remember when they were younger and how they spent their rainy days together. There seemed to be other couples in the video (not too sure about this though). The use of colour in this video is excellent. The present day where they have separated, the clouds are grey and there is barely any light when they meet up on the bridge. Meanwhile, their memories are of days where there was a nice golden glow from the sky and the colours are much brighter overall.

Hibernation
Song – 5/10
Music Video – 5/10
Overall Rating – 5/10

Paper Umbrella 
Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.5/10