Total Score: 5.60
Sound Quality: 5
Singing Quality: 6
Contextual Fit: 3
Release Date: 03/12/2009
It’s funny – there were a series of KRY OST releases in 2006, and when we got to those, on the last one I said something about “are you getting tired of competent ballads? Me too, luckily there won’t be any more KRY songs for a while.” Well, here we are – I started this project 1/1/2017 with a 2005 song, and it’s now March 2017 and we’re up to 2009 songs already. It feels sort of absurd to already be up to the Sorry, Sorry album. At the same time, we haven’t even gotten to all of the SJ subunits yet, and one of them in particular was WAY more prolific in 2014-2015 than I realized at the time. Anyway, popping up here on a main Super Junior album is a KRY song. Is it a ballad again? Do you really need to ask?
“Let’s Not” doesn’t succeed like their 2006 work, and it’s not about vocals (although they were apparently still sticking with the idea that Kyuhyun was a bass, since they give him those B2s at the start of the song, and no one else is required to go that low, and it sounds like it’s at the very bottom of Kyuhyun’s range); it’s about the weird thing I hear in SJ songs sometimes, where someone gets it into their head that every single bar should have a different base chord. Not like, key changes, just changing the chord played every single bar. That makes the song sound busier than it needs to be, particularly in a ballad. (I am thinking of “A-Cha”, several years after this song, which more or less sits on an A minor chord for the entire song. That is the opposite of songs like this.) And because there’s a limited amount of chords you can transition into without wandering into another key, changing the chord so often makes the song sound aimless and distracted.
Lyrically this is about “I am a terrible person and I dumped you and you should go find a better boyfriend and never hang out with me again WOE IS ME I AM DARK AND BROODY.” Yesung can maybe pull that off, but Kyuhyun not really and Ryeowook absolutely 100% definitely not; he doesn’t sound perky per se but his voice is just… too bright for despair. At least in 2009 it was, anyway.
Ryeowook’s the only one who attempts that B4 in the chorus in anything other than falsetto; when Yesung gets it the last time through, the song has modulated up to C major, and being Yesung he decides to make it a C5 AND a D5 and E5. Because for whatever reason (I can’t really speculate on whether this was his choice or producers’ choice), if there has to be one person adlibbing, it has to be Yesung. Regardless of whether he had the best tone of voice or not. I would argue that at least on this song, Ryeowook has the best tone, even though it’s not super appropriate in this context. Kyuhyun, in part because he got stuck with the low notes, comes off as undersupported, and Yesung increasingly has too much extraneous airflow in his voice. Kinda like… this is probably an awful example, but you know how like in throat singing (there are lots of great videos on Youtube, but I picked this one because you can hear what I’m talking about more clearly), the singers are able to produce multiple tones with their individual voice at once? Yesung’s like that too, but with him it’s poor technique, and instead of multiple tones, it’s one tone and a CRAPTON OF AIR ESCAPING AROUND IT. But the air is like, coming from an alternate dimension since I don’t recall him having problems with having enough breath to finish a phrase. Maybe he has superpowered Michael Phelps lungs. Either way, over time that breathiness starts overtaking his main voice until more recently (like 2015-2017), it threatens to overtake it entirely, and he’s had to resort to singing in something closer to a baritone range to avoid it.