Total Score: 7.60
Sound Quality: 7
Singing Quality: 7
Contextual Fit: 5
Release Date: 11/05/2007
Hey, remember when we listened to “Dancing Out” and I went “hey holy crap, this is the first SJ song that actively sounds like a good song?” Here’s the next one! “A Man In Love” was released as one of the four (?) new tracks from the Don’t Don repackage, which had softer, more friendly cover art. Four with a question mark because it sort of depends on how you count it: it’s the “Marry U” remix that is identical to the album original but with new vocals for Shindong and Hangeng, this song, a remix of this (which I’ll discuss briefly here but which I won’t score), and “The Girl Is Mine” (up next). And also, if it was the Japanese edition, it has the Japanese version of “Marry U” tacked on the end. Check out that cover art with KANGIN PECS up there, why don’t ya.
“A Man In Love” succeeds on both musical and performance levels – it’s highly percussive and bassy, with use of tabla and djemba thumping heavily, and throws in a gayageum on the choruses for additional alienlike sound (at least to these Western ears). And remember how I was talking about some of those Don’t Don songs, especially toward the end of the album, sound suspiciously like they were recorded in 2006 and sat on, due to tics of production and vocals? There is no way “A Man In Love” was recorded before 2007. It has much more in common with production quality and vocal skill of songs that came after it than anything that came before.
And speaking of things that come after, this one ditches the “I’m so happy to be with you, the sun is shining on our love”-ness of earlier love songs for a much more desperate “everything about you is SO FUCKING HOT I can’t resist you” sort of lyric, which falls in line with later songs like “Sorry, Sorry” and (at least in terms of desperation) “It’s You”. I mean, look at the chorus (translation close enough)
|Neoui meoritgyeol (yeah!) geu songarak (ho!)||Your hair (yeah!) those fingers (ho!)|
|Geu misoreul jitneun ipsul kkeutkkaji||That smile forming at the edge of your lips|
|Nuguwado bakkul su eomneun||Couldn’t trade it with anyone|
|Geunyeomanui saekkare nan ppajyeobeoryeosseo||Her own colors that I’m lost in|
|Heeoseutaildo (yeah!) geu nunbichdo (ho!)||Your hairstyle (yeah!) that light in your eyes (ho!)|
|Dokteukhan ne maltukkajido||Even your unique tone of voice|
|Nae insaengeul bakkul suga||It changed my life|
|Isseulmankeum chungbunhaesseo||It was enough for me|
Everybody sounds decidedly more confident in their voices than they had recently (especially KRY), and there’s a lot of energy in those “yeah/ho”s. And Kibum and Shindong even get to participate! Hooray.
The remix is pretty much the same as the original except for some added bits at the beginning, very middle, and very end, with “clap back/kick back” and stomps/claps. I can’t say it hurts. But they maybe could have left out the part with “LET’S GO DOWN… TO THE BASEMENT… ARE YOU READY” with swirling wind which makes things oddly haunted housey.