Total Score: 4.80
Sound Quality: 5
Singing Quality: 4
Contextual Fit: 3
Release Date: 04/23/2008
I’ve kind of been in a writing rut lately, pushing myself forward due to “can’t give up on ANOTHER project” and also because I can see that songs I already have half-written posts in my head about are not that far off if I can just. get. there.!!! But here, as if to break my fall, is a song with PROBLEMS!
This reminds me of an SJ song from maybe 2006; it could be left over, I guess, or maybe it was newer but just sounded older. Given that it’s not in Don’t Don I’m less urged to say THIS IS AN OLD SONG. Something like “Missin’ U” or “Success”. Those opening eight bars, with the violin and bass and thumping drums made my ears perk up: was this going to be the best song on the album? (I say album – I keep wanting to call this an EP because of the fact that I only have six new songs to review off it). Henry and Donghae get put on rap duty (oh hey, like I was talking about last post), and they’re doing “yo, SJ, in the house” kind of stuff towards the end of the 8 bars, which made me think that a proper rap would start up when the 8 bars were up, but erm, no, Henry and Donghae went on not ad-libbing per se but mumbling sort of arrhythmically for another 8 bars. Part of the problem here is that the vocals are overall mixed a hair too low, all the way through.
Hangeng gets the first part of the first verse, and while he’s doing the Dave thing again, he does belt “WO DE SHIJIE” nicely. Henry is next and sounds sort of like Heechul for some reason. Kyuhyun is… shrug? Donghae and Ryeowook lead on the first chorus and Donghae sounds like he’s trying so hard to pronounce his Mandarin properly that emoting and vocal technique fell by the wayside.
Next is the biggest problem, which is Henry doing a rap in English (reminder here that Henry is Canadian and a native English speaker) which sounds like it was written by a NON-English speaker. (The grammar’s correct; it’s the flow and rhythm that’s off.) Nobody with writing credits on this song has a Western/European name; it’s Koreans for the music and a Chinese person for the vocals, so even though he does a lot of writing later, my assumption is that Henry did not write this. This is a problem that plagues Henry for all of his SJ-M career: having to do iffy-English raps with an accentless Western-sounding voice. Here is the rap:
Girl, listen to me, uh!
Everything I see, everything I feel
Makes me think that this could be real.
You don’t even know how much I want your kiss.
Maybe you’ll listen to something like this! *violin noodling*
Oof. Granted, Henry was like 18 when this came out, but that rap could have been written by an 8-year-old. And the violin parts actively being shouted out mostly just feels like it’s going “HEY REMEMBER ME I DID THE VIOLIN IN ‘DON’T DON’ AND MADE EVERYONE PANIC.”
Zhou Mi does a better job with that line in the verse than Hangeng does (though I think Hangeng’s belt might be better just by dint of its suddenness). Siwon goes next and sounds worse here than he has on any SJ song yet; it sounds like a mix of bad/awkward pronunciation (as usual, I don’t speak Mandarin, but I have a pretty good ear and he doesn’t sound like any of the native Mandarin speakers in this song) combined with lack of familiarity with the actual line. Ryeowook finishes out the verse, and he sings “wo de ai” (“my love”) with Kyuhyun echoing him on those words only, which feels like they’re either singing it to each other or Kyuhyun is popping up over Ryeowook’s shoulder like a hype man. (It’s a viney kind of day, what can I say?)
In the next-to-last chorus, Kyuhyun gets “weile zhe yi miao jiasu xintiao” (nice gentle A♭4!) “quanshen zai ranshao” (OUT OF TUNE ON F4 AAAAA).