Are You Ready (with TRAX)

Total Score: 2.40


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

Lyrics Only

Release Date: 07/26/2007

I was gonna be all “ooo Yesung gets the first real solo song, since Sungmin’s was with Dana & Lina”, but nope, TRAX does the music for this, so that counts as a feature to me. They don’t sing, but they’re there. (Of course they are – anything with a passing resemblance to hard rock at SM has TRAX on it or at minimum Jungmo.) And I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me until I started listening to this – I figured Yesung solo song = probably a ballad – but this is the hard rock song that he is briefly heard singing early in the movie, just prior to his poopbomb. And this is the worst SJ song I have heard so far on this project, so let’s get into it!

Oh lord. Yesung. Ignore the Youtube comments who insist that you can sing any genre. Current vocal sadness aside (which makes me question whether he can sing any genre at all), you didn’t have the fire to do a song like this. And your attempts to bring the fire mostly resulted in you sounding vaguely out of tune. He’s trying to strike a note here that’s somewhere between grunty growly rocker and savvy balladeer, because he can’t go full-on growl either due to lack of training or due to fear of voice ruining. It gets a little better going into the bridge (the piano-y part), because he quits bothering with the growl and goes more for intense ballading. But that part makes it even more obvious how fucked up the mixing is, because there’s way too much reverb on him, obscuring his vocals, and the bass is mixed too loud, and when the guitars are playing they’re just far off background fuzz. And ooh, he says a naughty word! “Can stop me shit” or “can’t stop me shit”, neither one makes sense, but it’s a BAD WORD! HE IS CLEARLY HARDCORE. (Maybe he’s talking to the impending poopbomb?)

Ohhhhhh god. And after the bridge, he’s…. I don’t know what that is. Hushed yelling. Staccato something or another. You know who does this much better? And are also SM people? Kris, Xiu Min, and Kai from EXO, in “Mama” from 2012. Probably other stuff too; I just don’t know EXO very well. (And I had major comparison thoughts about SJ and EXO when EXO came out, for practical setup/SM sorts of reasons, but it’s even stronger now actually listening to that song in SJ-review mode and looking at the video and the haircuts and costumes and stuff. Anyway it’s a good song, but I’m always a sucker for operatic choir sort of stuff showing up in pop music.)

Eventually Yesung just started yelling “SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP AND GO AWAY!” and this became so much of a parody that I skipped up to the end. Did it sound like it was doing anything different at any point? No. Not bothering with it.

Did he do this song and play this character because he really wanted to do a rock song? Or was it that they wrote a rock-star character and he seemed to be the best fit? Because he’s not (no one in SJ probably is, though I bet Kibum could have done a better job with the yelling) and they could have totally picked something else. For instance, if they didn’t already assign Siwon the asshole-genius role, they could have made Yesung the hot nerd. Just saying.

Let me point out that my issue is not with this genre, or even with the eyeliner and floopy hair, or the howling. Here are two songs that I really like. Also this one, which has similar piano bits. This song just blows. Actually, do you want to hear a Super Junior dude do a decent job with a rock song? Check out Kyuhyun (with Jungmo) covering “Masquerade” (1990) by Kim Wansun in 2011. I won’t be reviewing it here because this was never actually released, but Kyuhyun doesn’t bother with grunting and growling, and yeah it’s awkward in spots but he fucking nails that C5-D5 at the end.


4 thoughts on “Are You Ready (with TRAX)

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