Total Score: 5.60
Sound Quality: 5
Singing Quality: 4
Contextual Fit: 5
Release Date: 03/09/2007
Dana and Lina are from TSZX, also known as The Grace, also known as CSJH, because one can never have too many names, and they appeared here with Sungmin on I don’t know what this is. I have seen it referred to as “Student’s Cheersong” but I can’t find any information about whether that was a kdrama, a random compilation album, or what. And that is unfortunate because it messes with my scoring, because who knows what the intended context for this is! You’d think it’d be easiest with OST/compilation stuff. Bahhh. I went through this list and saw nothing that sounded like Student’s Cheersong. If you know more about what this is from, let me know and I’ll edit/re-review! Until then, based on the title, the lyrics of the song, and the release date, I am going to guess this was from some sort of album for high school and/or college graduation.
So here’s a question. Sungmin starts off this song hanging out around a C3, and has an A2 that doesn’t sound particularly difficult for him. Given how tight and pinched his voice can sound on G4s and A4s (in other songs, not so much this one) – is he a tenor, like most male pop singers end up aiming for, or is he actually a soft, light-toned baritone who sings at the very edge of his comfort zone most of the time? (Or, is this all moot because this particular song was recorded about ten years ago and his voice has changed since?)
This is a sneaky song that once again has the choruses in a different key from the verses (C for verse, D for chorus), and going into the last chorus, it starts in D as usual and then halfway through modulates itself on up to E. Sungmin is required to sing a G4 in the main choruses, which is then an A4 in the E major chorus – it’s clearly him singing the line with that note in the D versions, but in the E version, Dana and/or Lina seem significantly louder suddenly (and Sungmin is dominant on choruses in the entire rest of the song). Listening to it more intently, someone is clearly playing with the faders on Sungmin and Dana/Lina’s vocal tracks and swapping them in and out, so that it’s still Sungmin on most of it but definitely not on that A4 or the notes around it. Which tells me that he couldn’t hit the A4. He’s also got some tuning issues with the C#4s and D4s in the choruses, like he doesn’t quite get his pitch up to the D4 at the start of the note, more like halfway through. Dana and Lina themselves sound… fine? The female lines here are much easier to sing than the male ones because the range of notes is much smaller. Again, as with TVXQ, I don’t know enough about what they normally sound like to say whether this is particularly good or bad for them.
Lyrically, this is the first SJ song other than “Rokkugo” that is not about love/relationships or the opposite gender in any way – it’s about achieving goals and becoming the person you want to become, which fits nicely with the theoretical graduation/milestone idea. It even has an airplane swoop sound leading into the 2nd verse. The choruses’ slowly rising bassline under the tonic of the vocal melody sounds like stepping out into a new world and beginning a new life, and the use of III (rather than iii) later sounds like a difficult but surmountable problem.