너라고 (It’s You)

Total Score: 9.14

itsyou

kyuhyun does not do this in the video and i hate that he EVER did it

MV: 8
Sound Quality: 9
Singing Quality: 8
Contextual Fit: 5

MV | Dance ver. | Live (really live, and not good. but features ryeowook in cute glasses and eunhyuk inexplicably doing sexy hump dance???)

Release Date: 05/11/2009

itsyou-sadfaces

we are sad pandas today

“It’s You” is the first Super Junior song that makes literally everyone in it sound good, without processing the hell out of their voices. It lets Eunhyuk and Shindong sing. Heechul, who is still in “I hate everything” mode and is only in the last third of the dance video (again), gets possibly the most heartrending note of the entire song. Super Junior does a better job of trying to blend their voices than in probably any other song prior to this. There is so much heart and effort here; it is mindblowing when you compare this to the bullshit that was on the Sorry, Sorry album only two months earlier. This is the single from the Sorry, Sorry reissue, along with three other new songs, one of which I know is at least decent.

There’s a sort of hand clapping/slapping sound that ticka-ticks its way through the verses, which combines with the arpeggiating acoustic guitar to make this sound very vaguely Spanish. Once the drums come in, there’s a resonant thumping boom which both evokes a heartbeat and also the earthshatteringness of a bad breakup.

itsyou-kibum

kibum realizing he doesn’t have to be in any SJ videos after this one

As mentioned above, everybody (except Kibum, who doesn’t count, and doesn’t even appear in videos anymore after this one), was given at least one line to sing on this song. There is no rapping in this song, and rapping would have ruined it, so thank god for that. The first verse is split between Donghae, Kyuhyun, Yesung, and Leeteuk; the second is shared by Kangin, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Shindong, and Ryeowook. Looking at those splits, and thinking about everything that has led up to this song, you would expect this to be a bad mix; after all, Kyuhyun and Yesung will blow Donghae and Leeteuk out of the water with technique and control, and Ryeowook and possibly Sungmin will, uh, “shrill” Shindong away, who can’t even sing. But all nine of them aim for the exact same breathy, gentle tone; it’s not “weak” so much as it is devastated. Like the way you’d speak in the instant after learning something horrifying had happened, still in shock before the pain set in fully. Doing so not only lends intensity to the vocals, but it makes them all sound equally skilled (even though we know they’re not).

itsyou-siwonhangeng

siwon and hangeng having a dance-off over the phone

If the verses are the initial shock of grief, the choruses are denial. In the verses, there is a “neorago…” at the end of each line (I think performed by Kyuhyun), like the distant echo of a thought. That thought springs to life in the chorus; each chorus is bookended with someone crying “Oh, nan!” (“Oh, I!”), and the melodies are structured as if Super Junior is patiently, insistently laying out how they cannot possibly live without the girl (bolding below indicates rhythmic emphasis)

Korean English
Oh nan! Geu nuga nuga mworaedo naneun sangwanoebdago Oh I! Whatever anyone says, it doesn’t matter
Geu nuga nuga yokhaedo neoman barabondago Whatever anyone curses at me, I’ll only look at you
Na dashi tae-eonandaedo ojik neoppunirago Even when I’m born again, it’s still only you
(Jaeggakjaeggak) Shigani heulleodo, oh nan! (Tick tock) Even as time goes by, oh I!
Neol saranghanda malhaedo cheon beon man beon malhaedo When you tell me you love me a thousand, a million times
Nae gaseum sok da bultago mareun ibsul dalhdorok Even as my heart burns, my dry lips wear out
Na dashi tae-eonandaedo ojik neoppunirago Even when I’m born again, it’s still only you
(Jaeggakjaeggak) Shigani heulleodo, oh nan! (Tick tock) Even as time goes by, oh I!

(I’ve tried to figure out if “born again” refers to a Christian being born again, or reincarnation, or generic reinvention and as best as I can tell it is Christian born again, but seeing as I don’t actually speak Korean I am not super sure.)

Kyuhyun specifically gets that second “na dashi tae-eonandaedo…” segment in every chorus; Ryeowook and Yesung split the other one. If I had to guess why this is, it’s because they thought Kyuhyun was a better singer than Ryeowook (accurate), and they needed to give Yesung room to melisma all over the last chorus (of the three he’s the only one who could, and he’s more tasteful here than in some other songs, so).

itsyou-heechul

heechul’s heart breaking

The bridge is entirely Heechul, with Donghae on backing vocals. Heechul starts it out in his “I am too cool for school” mouth-mostly-closed style of the era, which is probably the worst singing in the entire song:

HEECHUL: Nan neorago, neorago naneun… (For me it’s you, it’s you)

DONGHAE: Wae moreuni, wae moreuni? (Why don’t you know, why don’t you know?)

HEECHUL: Nan neorago, neorago naneun… (For me it’s you, it’s you)

HEECHUL: NAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!!!!

And with that fully open-throated, stabbed-in-the-heart yell, we’re into the final chorus. That note gives me actual goosebumps.

itsyou-heartdance

this really works for me

The video is the entire reason this didn’t quite score as high as “Sorry, Sorry” – they’re all dressed in drab beiges and grays, walking around a town square at night and sitting in a tableau clutching their hearts and doing their best to have pained expressions on their faces. Some of them are better at this than others. (They brought something like this concept back much later for the “Evanesce” video, when they were older and wiser, and it worked a lot better. “Evanesce” itself is actually the older, wiser version of this song, come to think of it. ANYWAY THAT’S LATER) The dance I think works better in the main video, rather than when you can see the entire thing in the dance version – some parts of the full choreography look a bit random and unfocused, and I can’t tell if that’s the choreography’s fault or SJ’s.

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2 thoughts on “너라고 (It’s You)

  1. Pingback: Super Show 2: Part 1 of 5 | An SJ A Day

  2. Pingback: 到了明天 (Blue Tomorrow) | An SJ A Day

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