Total Score: 6.28
Sound Quality: 6
Singing Quality: 6
Contextual Fit: 5
Release Date: 09/20/2007
“Don’t Don” is the lead single from Super Junior’s second album, also called Don’t Don. The album featured alternate cover art of Kangin’s artistically buzzed head and as a whole aimed for a manlier, more aggressive sound. In terms of sound, the song “Don’t Don” has more in common with the rock-rap of “Twins” than with the cheerful pop of “Dancing Out” or any of the songs that have gotten higher scores here, but it’s a bit better than “Twins”, and sure as hell better than Yesung’s sad solo attempt at rock.
Kyuhyun’s here, for one line, and he’s in the video (for his one line – I don’t think he’s in any of the rest of it other than walking ominously toward camera). While it makes me curious how present he is on the rest of the album, given that this was released five months after his accident and two months after he was released from the hospital, it also makes me again wonder about the timing of this and Attack on the Pin-Up Boys. Accident is in April. Kyuhyun is released from hospital in July, which is also when the movie comes out. Leeteuk is released earlier than that, but is still in bad enough shape to not participate in the movie except the very end bit. Kyuhyun is present for recording of at least part of Don’t Don album (how much I don’t know yet). Kyuhyun shows up for his comeback stage when “Don’t Don” is released, but is still not in great shape and does not participate in dancing on-stage or in video (and you can see in that live video, he is visibly nervous when you see him standing behind Siwon). When exactly was this recorded? Is/was SM’s turnaround time on albums that short??? Good god.
Oh well here you go, Wikipedia says they were working on this with expected release in Aug 2006 (and “U” was probably supposed to be on it, I bet), but then everybody got injured and busy and it ended up getting bumped to Sept 2007. I wonder how much of this album was actually recorded in 2006, then.
So what’s notable about this song? Well, Henry’s the violinist – he hadn’t debuted in Super Junior-M yet, and the screaming ELF crowd goes notably silent when he comes out in the live performance above (and the comments on that video have a thoroughly obnoxious amount of only13-ing). The bridge (?), which is Siwon/Kyuhyun the first go around and Kangin/Yesung the second time, has a nifty chord progression but more specifically is so much more chill than the chorus that it’s like embers vs flames. I view that as a positive; the song’s four minutes long and angry stomping doesn’t become Super Junior very well, so breaking it up is good. Donghae and Ryeowook’s vibrato is so quick as to sound tense (Ryeowook throws a growl in for good measure), Sungmin sounds wimpy, Hangeng sounds bland, Heechul screams so hard he spit blood (though “NAE. GA.” is pretty cool), the Eunhyuk-Shindong-Kibum rap trio gets a lot of English to work through (“STOP. BANGIN’ MY HEAD, MY EYES GONE RED”), Kangin gets one of the chill bridge parts which is probably best since his voice is pretty chill in general.
And Kyuhyun. Kyuuuuhyun. I am so, so biased on this, but Kyuhyun’s delivery on “wihaeseoramyeonnnnn!!!” is mmph. He growls on both ends of the phrase, and it’s believable. And this is not long after he’d been laid up in a hospital for months. Yesung has that exact same lyric a minute or two later and it doesn’t compare.
In the video, THERE ARE TOO MANY BLOND PEOPLE AAAAGH. Hangeng and Kyuhyun should never be blond again it is terrible (Kyuhyun ditched it quick, Hangeng kept it for a while but then gave it up). Sungmin has been blond more successfully on many other occasions than this one. Leeteuk and Heechul have terrible rattails, several people have a sort of skunk-hair (dark/light highlights) effect going one, the costumes are a more ripped/spikey version of what they wore in the “U” video, and at one point they’re I don’t know, on the surface of Mercury or something? There’s a big, awful-looking CGI sun or meteor or something blazing in the sky. And of course lots of dystopian parking garages and destroyed cities and shit. This is, as far as I am aware, the last angsty rock-rap single for Super Junior, so hooray for that.
As a side note, this is the last Super Junior single that has Kibum on it. He’s on other parts of this album, but has no solos on the other single from it, “Marry U” (not even on the single reissue that has a few of the solos switched around), and by the time we get to the next album he’s 90% out the door. Between this album and the next, “U”, “Twins” and “Marry U” were re-recorded in Japanese and released as singles there, and I haven’t checked but I suspect Kibum is not on any of those either.