Total Score: 4.40
Sound Quality: 4
Singing Quality: 3
Contextual Fit: 4
Release Date: 09/20/2007
A rather short-sounding song (it’s 3:35 but only has 2 verses and a bridge-like thing), “Thank You” is ostensibly another ballad to ELF featuring only the ones who can sing, plus Eunhyuk for spoken word intro. It’s a little gospelly — SJ had no business being gospelly at this stage of their career, probably not now either — and modulates up twice, from G to A♭ to A. What it really ends up being is a vehicle for everyone to show off their ability to do runs, and nobody is any good at it in this song. Maybe in other songs. Not this one.
This isn’t the last track on the album (it’s the last non-remix/bonus one on the repackage, but that’s got a later release date), but it sounds like it should be – it’s slow, gentle; even the title sounds like a closing song. Given that nobody has more than one line, let’s just run through the lines in this song (not counting Eunhyuk since he doesn’t sing):
Ryeowook: Ryeowook actually may do the best job in this song, purely because his run is so minimal, just a little flip on the end.
Sungmin: Sungmin’s run is also fairly minimal, but he creaks on a D3 (amu mal eobsi) instead of supporting it properly. And we know he can support a note like that cause we’ve heard it on other songs; this is a result of singing too lightly.
Brief interruption to point out that while I haven’t actively heard much in the way of auto-tune on this album, there’s a rising harmony thing leading up to Kangin’s vocal that sounds very synthesized when the note cuts off.
Kangin: The descending melody on “himdeureosseul tendeeee” sounds muddy, and he doesn’t enunciate enough to put any emotion into his singing.
Leeteuk: Leeteuk doesn’t creak his D3, but his vibrato sounds mechanical again, and his pitch cuts off (I think unintentionally) in the middle of “maeumdeul ppunijyoooo,” which feels like possibly a breath control issue.
Another interruption – I recognize that I’m being super picky about this, and part of that is because I spent an hour or so reading technique stuff on Kpop Vocal Analysis the other day, but also because this song pretty much is just vocals. That first verse with Ryeowook/Sungmin is close to a capella; the backing instrumentation is so sparse.
Kyuhyun: Kyuhyun is very breathy here, which feels like an intentional choice given the sound of the song and the way everyone else sang. He also cuts off “na jugo sipeun geon” a touch early, which means he didn’t have enough air going into it, and the notes in “himdeureotjyoooo” end up turning indistinguishable from his strong vibrato.
Yesung: we will come back to Yesung.
Donghae: Not his fault, but I hear another bad note behind “jabajwoseo” and I can’t tell if it’s the piano or a harmony. But Donghae lands sharp on the last note of his run.
Yesung is allowed to run all over the end of this song, and none of it is at all good. He’s belting a C5 in the background going into that first key change and either because of how he sang it or how they mixed it, or both, he sounds like he’s singing through a tin can. He goes up, and he goes down, and he goes every which way, like he’s Rance Allen or something, and I’m not confident that he’s actually hitting all the notes he’s passing by.
Actually, if we think some of the songs on Don’t Don were recorded back in 2006, I’d pick this as one of them, because this has the issue that some of the songs on Twins had, where the vocalists don’t necessarily all end notes together, and the singing quality is definitely lesser here.