Total Score: 5.60
Sound Quality: 7
Singing Quality: 4
Contextual Fit: 3
Release Date: 11/08/2005
Please explain to me how we are now four songs into Super Junior’s five-song debut single/EP/whatever it is, with NO SHINDONG? He’s in all the videos and all the live performances, just only as a dancer. It’s interesting, because Hangeng was masked in early SJ performances for visa reasons, and apparently the mask made people think he was a backup dancer. (Having now seen the mask in question, what the hell.) From what it seems like, Shindong really was a backup dancer! My idea of “well it probably didn’t matter if individual people were missing, as long as everyone got their turn at some point” doesn’t exactly work if someone never gets a turn. Did… did Shindong have anything to do before Kibum left?
This came out in 2005 but with the orchestra hits and keyboards and turntabley swipe noises, it sonically reminds me very strongly of N*Sync’s “It’s Gonna Be Me” and P!nk’s “You Make Me Sick“, both from 2000. But this doesn’t come off nearly as professionally performed as either one of those, and I’m not sure whether that has more to do with talent, training, or production. (It also doesn’t help that the version I’m listening to is low bitrate, but I guess that also adds to the 2000-era effects.)
I graduated high school in 2001, so this sound for me is very, very nostalgic. To be clear, the actual sound of this and songwriting is basically fine – the issue is what I mentioned on the “You Are The One” review: most of Super Junior can’t do anything resembling a run without slurring it at this point, and this is a genre that calls for lots of them. And on the choruses, whoever is singing most prominently is not necessarily finishing phrases in sync with the background harmonizing. Leeteuk and Heechul get consecutive rhythmically awkward lines, in which I think the awkwardness has less to do with the writing and more with their performance of it: Leeteuk pronounces the syncopated “Do-ra-byo-o hajima ” slightly slow on the first three syllables, which results in him having to rush on the “o hajima” part, and immediately after, Heechul’s “Jinan giogul dul-chu-ryo hajima” expels enough breath on “ryo hajima” to make it sound like a wheeze, and it also sounds like he pulls away from the mic a bit at the tail end.
Meanwhile Donghae very earnestly advises us that he is “going looney”, and Kibum opines that he is “busta fly verse.” All this in a post-breakup song that waffles between “I didn’t need you anyway” and “YOU BROKE MY HEART”.
None of these criticisms are unforgivable; Leeteuk and Heechul are the two oldest in SJ but they were 22 when this was released, with Donghae being 19 and Kibum being 18. Despite their years of SM rookie training, they were all new new new, and it’s not fair to critique this as if the people who recorded it were at the time capable of pulling off some of the songs they were doing 10 years later. Even Kim Younghu, who wrote this, was only 24 at the time (and he went on to write “She Wants It,” so). But this is probably the clearest example of what I was expecting when I went into this, knowing that I was starting with “Twins”-era songs, which is that the SJ members would be full of heart and spunk and drive but not actually singing all that well, and probably tense and nervous too.