Total Score: 7.43
Sound Quality: 6
Singing Quality: 6
Contextual Fit: 5
Release Date: 02/23/2007
Lee Soo Man apparently created Super Junior-T in an attempt to save the flagging trot music industry. I have read about trot, and listened to what I am told is trot, and I can’t tell what the hell defines trot music because the definition has, I think, gotten stretched too far. Traditional Korean two-step, apparently. This is allegedly trot, and so is “I Love You” by 2NE1, and so is this by Hong Jinyoung, and this by Na Hoona, and for me, once you start making it all electrodance the trot bits get washed out. This is my son’s favorite Super Junior song, though, and one of my favorites too; when I decided to learn more about Super Junior, I looked up videos by their subunits, and this and “Cooking? Cooking!!” are what pushed me down the rabbit hole.
“로꾸거”/”Rokkugo” is a nonsense word that is the reverse of “거꾸로”/”Geokkuro”, which means “backwards.” (Get it?) All the lyrics to this are silly and nonsense. The rap is Shindong and Eunhyuk arguing with numbers and alphabets and opposite words. The entire video is silly. They are singing this with audible grins on their faces and nobody is trying too incredibly hard to sing properly (and Shindong even gets to sing! there’s no chance in hell he can hit that A4 but he gives it a gallant flail anyway). THEY’RE ALL WEARING GLASSES IN THE COVER ART. If you find the dudes in Super Junior to be on the whole charismatic and charming, as I do, this is catnip.
This is Heechul’s music video comeback after his car accident; he’s got a lot of energy in his face and arms, but tends to stand at the back of the group when he’s not singing, and if you look at the making-of, it’s pretty obvious he’s trying to avoid putting too much weight on his left leg (which was newly full of rods). The Japanese remake with Moeyan linked above was released toward the end of 2008, by which time the rods were out of his leg (I think), but by then he had started turning into “cool Heechul” instead of “fun Heechul.” “Cool Heechul” didn’t look like he was trying very hard in music videos or performances, and wore sunglasses a lot, and didn’t smile very often, and sang with his mouth mostly closed. (“Cool Heechul” was also having a sort of quarter-life crisis, but we’ll talk more about that in a later post.)
To be honest I associate this song so strongly with the video, and the song is so not serious and I can’t find much to say about it in terms of music criticism, that this is more of a video review than a song review. Or actually more of a “HERE PLEASE LOOK AT THIS THING I LOVE” than either of those. What is there to say? This is the type of thing you either recoil from because it’s cheesy and tacky and awful, or you, like me, get all heart-eyes about it. The Japanese version sounds like awful Japanese in terms of pronunciation, and the video attempts to merge the silly charm of the Korean version with the deadpan humor of an old salaryman getting a pie in the face, and I don’t think it works nearly as well.