The Night Chicago Died

Total Score: 6.00

thenightchicagodied

MV: n/a
Sound Quality: 7
Singing Quality: 6
Contextual Fit: 2

Release Date: 11/03/2006

Lyrics Only | Live (from SS1)

Introducing the first Super Junior subunit, consisting of Yesung, Ryeowook and Kyuhyun! Actually, I’m not sure they were officially labeled as Super Junior-KRY yet, but that’s who this is, so close enough. I read that SM is, or was at one time, marketing this group as “a bass, a baritone, and a tenor”, which is egregious bullshit, especially when Kyuhyun, the alleged bass, was weak on a G3 in the last song I reviewed. This is a cover of “The Night Chicago Died” by Paper Lace, and I like to listen to the original first if I’m reviewing a cover, to make it clearer what spin the cover artist might have put on it. And uh, I am wide-eyed and blinking at the idea of KRY covering this, hahaha. (Also, I don’t think I’d heard this before, but I’m familiar with “Brother what a night it really was!” from somewhere, MST3k maybe?) (later edit: High Fidelity) It does explain though why, when I googled this, I saw Super Show still images of cowboy getups and water guns!

But the cowboy getups and water guns have nothing to do with the Super Junior-KRY version, which tosses the original lyrics out altogether and makes the song about, well, none of the translations I have found make a huge amount of sense, but it’s either about breaking up with someone at night and setting out to find a new love in the morning, or that one’s true love is alcohol.

OH MY GOD IT IS A DIRECT COVER. Why am I so amused by this? Super Junior is 2 for 2 now on covers that are made to sound identical to the original, and I don’t know why they do that – was this someone’s favorite song? WHY DOES THIS SONG EXIST, WHAT EVEN.

Kyuhyun does a thing on parts of this song that he was still doing as late as “It’s You” three years later, which is a thing that I generally don’t hear guys doing in K-pop, and that is replacing the notes on certain syllables with whispers. Women in K-pop do it pretty often, I thought it was either a cultural thing or was supposed to signify daintiness and cuteness, but here’s Kyuhyun doing it, presumably not with that in mind. It’s not his opening note, which is a C3 and which he again doesn’t hit properly (though at least his G3s are better) – he does it on “bame sogsagim deullilttae” and almost does it on “kkemeul chaja tteonajil” a few beats later. It’s not an issue of being able or not able to hit the notes; it’s a stylistic choice or tic, and it’s weird to listen to because him doing that makes the entire sound of his voice breathier. Ryeowook does it too in this song, but I think he may still do it to this day. Come to think of it, it’s possible that he was doing it (and that everyone is doing it) unintentionally, because they’re trying to sing more softly but don’t have the diaphragm for it. I should read more on the K-Pop vocal analysis site and see if they comment on that particular habit.

Yesung is audibly having fun on that first chorus with “i bameul noooraehae,” but I think Paper Lace’s original harmonies are more impactful in the chorus than KRY’s are; aside from the possibility of Paper Lace having more people singing, they’re also singing louder and with stronger falsettos. Or at minimum are mixed higher, but that seems to be par for the course here. By the time Ryeowook comes in for the second verse he sounds almost fearful; the problem with using a backing track that sounds like the original is that it makes differences in the vocal more obvious. Nobody in KRY at this time has enough “put hair on your chest” in their voice for this, even if they’re doing their damnedest (Kyuhyun’s chorus has virtually no breathiness in it and it’s comparatively great).

As far as I can tell, they never performed this in a Super Show after the first one (linked above), which is probably good, because this was very silly and KRY ended up being known for love ballads later.

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2 thoughts on “The Night Chicago Died

  1. Pingback: 한사람만을 (The One I Love) | An SJ A Day

  2. Pingback: Super Show 1: Part 2 of 5 | An SJ A Day

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