Total Score: 5.60
Sound Quality: 5
Singing Quality: 6
Contextual Fit: 3
Release Date: 09/20/2007
I don’t know if it’s that I have higher-quality versions of Don’t Don to listen to vs Twins, but it feels like I haven’t had much to complain about lately in terms of production/mixing. But that changes now!
The color-coded site I was following along with for this lists Donghae, Yesung, and Leeteuk/Heechul as having lines in the… I don’t know what you’d call that. Second half of the verse? Prechorus? And if I listen real hard I can hear their voices sticking out. The problem is that those particular lines, in comparison to any other vocals in the song, are mixed so low. In fact, for whatever reason this is the song off Don’t Don that I’ve heard the most of, and I didn’t even know anyone was supposed to be featured on those lines until just now. There is not really any difference between those vocals and what this song would sound like with the lead vocals removed. And rhythmically they sound sloppy and muddled. Even Yesung’s part, and we know what Yesung solos sound like, sounds like he’s half mumbling it, like it was a demo track or something. Later, Donghae’s rap is oddly double-tracked at two entirely different vocal pitches, so it almost sounds like he’s rapping with someone else, and Eunhyuk’s is not like that, so I’m not sure what the purpose of that effect on Donghae’s was?
This is also one of those songs where the intro is so bad that you forget the rest of the song is actually good. I tend to skip over it when it comes up on shuffle because I hear that sultry guitar note and go “ughhh,” completely forgetting that this actually has a fairly bouncy step-touch sort of chorus and guitar has very little to do with it. Kyuhyun gets a rather sweet-sounding G5 at the end of the first two choruses, and Yesung has a A5 at the end of the 3rd that sounds notably more strained. Yesung’s run going into the first verse is a bit overkill too and I’m not sure that part needed vocals at all; his runs in the E6-A6 range in that last chorus also feel a bit wonky.
And probably the worst part is that, not speaking Korean, I assumed this was a love song like most of SJ’s songs of this tempo and major-key-ness are. Turns out no, it’s SJ staring in the mirror brokenheartedly and apologizing to their hearts for the pain of a breakup! That soaring line at the end of each chorus has nothing to do with promises of forever; it’s (like an echo) (a few) (away) (behind) (standing).