Total Score: 5.20
Sound Quality: 6
Singing Quality: 5
Contextual Fit: 2
Release Date: 12/05/2005
Earlier today I was listening to Backstreet Boys’ “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)”. I was an N*Sync girl (for a number of reasons, including that BSB had copy-and-paste drum tracks in the early days and that irritated me), but “Everybody” was always a banger, and “Rock This House” sounds to some extent like it’s meant to be a similar type of song. It doesn’t really succeed at that though, in part due to production and in part due to un-confident vocals.
I’ll add here that unlike most of the songs from the “Twins” single/EP, I’m hearing this one in stereo at what seems to be a decent bitrate (no guarantee I’ll always be able to say that, especially once we get into what I anticipate to be rarer tracks), so I’m getting a clearer picture of vocals and production than usual. And that stuck out particularly at the beginning, with various electronic swoops and sprinkles drifting from ear to ear. But it also makes vocal weirdness a bit more obvious, such as Donghae’s line, “Geugeon
naega anya jinjja nareul chatgesseo,” which is sung more roughly than normal (probably on purpose) and ends awkwardly (probably NOT on purpose) because the next line isn’t his. (Is that him double-tracking himself in the line just before that? The live video says it’s Hangeng. Whoever it is, he’s blending poorly.) And I couldn’t figure out who the hell was singing that line after the rap (“Nareun dulleossan…”) until I looked it up and realized it was Yesung. Dude sounded much smoother at debut; nowadays, the poor guy sounds like his voice is being filtered through a dryer sheet.
But probably the most energy-sapping part of the song is the part that I suspect is meant to be the earworm: the “rock this ha-ha-house” at the end of each chorus. Each “ha” sounds tentative, with some members sliding into it and others not, resulting in it sounding like a stutter more than punctuated for emphasis. In fact, if they’d just shouted/rapped that line (“rock this ha! ha! house!”) it probably would have worked significantly better.
(As a side note, it’s a little weird to have the English parts be “yeahhh come on in and rock this house!” while the lyrics seem to be about finding your own identity and shrugging off those who would hold you back. Maybe just a translation quirk.)
Side note: I wrote this post like two weeks ago but saw a thing on Twitter today – not related to this song but yes related to Super Junior – in which Yesung posted a concert pic of SJ with #2017. Which promptly spawned a million “YASSS COMEBACK SUJU HWAITING” comments, and I mean… There are six active members right now (not counting Kangin, who is technically active but also not). One of them, Kyuhyun, enlists sometime this year. The other five are Leeteuk, Heechul, Yesung, Shindong, and Sungmin. Siwon, Donghae and Eunhyuk all get out of the military this year, but not until late. Ryeowook won’t be back until 2018. Where exactly are you seeing a comeback in any of this? Are they going to form a new subunit or something? I mean, if they time it out perfectly as far as Siwon/Donghae/Eunhyuk coming back and Kyuhyun going out, they could maybe do a single, but I think an album or Super Show 7 are out of the question for 2017. (I am not confident SM wants to do a big full SJ promotion without Kyuhyun OR Ryeowook, the two best singers, but who knows.) Yesung, are you bored, or thirsty (I suspect yes, he has been posting random old Super Junior clips lately), or what?