Total Score: 6.28
Sound Quality: 7
Singing Quality: 6
Contextual Fit: 5
Release Date: 06/07/2006
As you may have guessed by the big ol’ gif up there, this is Kyuhyun’s debut with Super Junior! Kyuhyun auditioned/was set to join prior to SM realizing ELF would not stand for Super Junior remaining a rotational group, so they just slapped him in as a 13th member, took the ’05 off the name, and ducked.
“U” is not an album track but functions rather well as a bridge between the “we are nervous and new but HWAITING”ness of Twins and the “we are deep dark angsty rock men” image of their next album, Don’t Don. They’re not even a year older than they were when “Twins” came out, but this is pretty clearly meant to portray them as more masculine and sexual, right on down to the legendary hump dance. It’s got, I don’t want to say “flamenco-esque” guitars per se, but it’s supposed to evoke that, and there’s more instances of falsetto being used as a strained sigh. Also, remember how I said back on “Believe” that one should not put Leeteuk and Yesung next to each other (at least not in 2005/06) because Yesung will blow him out of the water vocally? Here they put Kyuhyun and Yesung next to each other, and while they weren’t ready to let Kyuhyun (who sounds decidedly breathy here) start adlibbing yet, it’s a much closer fit.
My main criticism of this song is that the lines that end each half of the chorus (“gabeorijimaaaa” and “gadugo shipeooo“) always sound laggy and out of rhythm at the end. Donghae gets 3/5 of them; Leeteuk and Siwon get the other 2, and in all cases, the “ma” and “peo” starts right on the 1st beat of the next bar, maybe as a “mmmmAAAA” or “ppppEOOO”, like the consonant starts on time but vowel is late. Really feels like it should start on the closing sixteenth of the previous bar.
As for the video, it features Yoona (later of SNSD) as a very pretty girl who mostly just looks in a pretty manner at images of Super Junior projected on walls in an otherwise empty room. Heechul gets a big-ass ponytail and a tarot card (the ponytail at least is an extension, I’m pretty sure), everybody gets less voluminous but MANLIER bishonen hair, and they appear to have filmed the set parts (ie the Kyuhyun gif) at a different framerate than the greenscreen parts (ie the humpty gif), which is bizarre. Also, the greenscreening looks awful again, and I’m glad that trend died. At the end of the video, Super Junior all kneel and extend their hands to her, and she takes one pretty step toward the projection of them on the wall and then fade to black. (I am not meaning to pick on Yoona here, she really is super-pretty in this video, but they didn’t give her anything to do!)
This song has been a staple of Super Shows up through SS6 – I think at least in part because of the hump dance. Last time, the bad guys came and shot everything up at the end, which was ostensibly because SS6 had some semblance of a plotline, but maybe it was in part a statement about they’re sick of this song? I’m just guessing. (Eunhyuk’s solo from SS6 was definitely a statement, so it’s not completely out of the question!)
If you’re looking for Heechul’s “Family”, released in March 2006 – turns out it’s Go Hyunwook’s song FEATURING Heechul. Wikipedia is misleading about this. I listened to it, and Heechul raps the second verse but is otherwise not present. Thus, as I decided not to review Non-SJ Person Ft. SJ Person since it’d be a huge stretch to call that a “Super Junior song”, I’m not covering it, but it’s here if you’d like to listen to it. It’s a pretty song.