소원이 있나요 (Sapphire Blue)

Total Score: 3.60 (because I’m mad at it)

sapphireblue

MV: n/a
Sound Quality: 3
Singing Quality: 4
Contextual Fit: 2

Lyrics Only | Live (From SS2, actually live and featuring silly hats)

Release Date: 09/20/2007

The second track off Don’t Don is, drumroll please, the first ELF tribute song they ever did, I think. It’s a love song, that has nothing to do with blue or explicitly with ELF anywhere in it, but that’s clearly what the title was meant to imply. Yes, this cheerful, smiley pop song immediately follows “Don’t Don” on the track listing, which is befuddling, but I am not reviewing Don’t Don as an album, so that’s just an aside. But hey – another day, another SJ song that actually audibly has everyone on it! Wooo!

Hey – so listening to this, specifically when you get up to the chorus, don’t you hear something strange? Something awfully familiar? Maybe something that sounds a shit of a lot like this? In the same key, even?

“Miracle” “Sapphire Blue”
Life couldn’t get better (heyyy) Sowoni innayo yeah
Nan nol pume ango nara Malhaebwayo
Purun darul hyanghe nara (hooo) Honja haneun sarang yeah
Jamdun noui ib machul koya Geugeon orchi anchyo

I AM DISPLEASED. It’s not even the same writer – “Miracle” was Yoon Hyosang and “Sapphire Blue” was Yoo Youngjin. Do I even have an ethical argument here, though? It’s the same label, same artist, and Yoo Youngjin is SM’s favorite composer/vocal coach/etc (he actively shows up on an SJ song later and pretty much blows everyone out of the water vocally, it’s embarrassing). Is this one of those “don’t be mad at SJ or even the composer, be mad at SM” sorts of things? I NEED BACKSTORY HERE – has anyone even noticed this other than me? Quick Google says no, not in English, anyway.

Ergh. Well, other than that mess, this isn’t even an exceptionally well-performed song. Sungmin and Donghae have occasional pitch issues, as usual, Eunhyuk and Shindong do all the rapping so Kibum has to sing and NONE of that is good: he sings along with Heechul at one point and they’re way out of sync rhythmically and their vocal tones are so different and it’s just so cluttered-sounding. Actually the rap is another awkward/endearing depending sort of thing, as it starts off with Shindong going “hey what’s uuuup” and Eunhyuk immediately answering “my SWEET! girrrrl.” Most of everyone else here is… fine? There is nothing great here, and transposing it up into E major at the end so that everybody has to strain to hit a B4 in the chorus didn’t help; the only one I can clearly hear is Ryeowook, other than Yesung belting over it, and that’s probably because everybody else fell off coughing and hacking.

Speaking of Ryeowook and Yesung, their main contribution, other than succeeding in that B4, is the bridge, with Kyuhyun (and also Sungmin/Donghae because it may just be coincidence here but I suspect SM viewed them as #s 4 and 5 in terms of SJ vocalists. BUT HEECHUL IS BETTER THAN BOTH ON THIS SONG, dude gets no respect. Anyway). They all sound fine, but the bridge, specifically Kyuhyun’s and Yesung’s lines, is weirdly ominous-sounding. It’s not the lyrics, which are K: “Taeyangi haneuleseo toejanghagoseo” (The sun) (from the sky) (after exiting) Y: “Unmyeongui gileun deo seonmyeonghage deuleonajyo” (Destiny) (path) (more) (sharp) (shows up). It’s the haunting Bm-G chord pattern that sits under both lines.

Yesung’s adlibbing toward the very end I think is supposed to be bluesy but ends up swinging more toward out of tune. The very end cuts all the instrumentals out and lets the Ryeowook-heavy vocals finish up a capella, and since there’s no bass in the vocal parts, it sounds like the air got sucked out of the room.

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