Total Score: 8.57
Sound Quality: 9
Singing Quality: 8
Contextual Fit: 5
Release Date: 09/14/2009
Good morning, everyone, or evening as the case may be, and let’s talk about “SUPER GIRL”, which is possibly my favorite Super Junior-M song (it’s top 3, at least), and also Hangeng’s last single as a Super Junior member! It is a lovely Autotuned piece of Eurotrash, written and produced and everythinged by Yoo Youngjin (who normally just writes), and it has separate videos for both the Korean and the Chinese version, and it is 2009 so most of everyone is at maximum cute, and please click to view the wonderment. (Also, in the header image you will see if you click to view more, I would like to point out that Ryeowook is wearing MASSIVE lifts. He is a tiny elf person and there is no way he’s that tall.)
Note: The next several paragraphs were written when I thought this was the last Hangeng single. It’s not. However, I can’t cut-and-paste this onto the real Hangeng last single, because after hearing the real last single, my frame of mind about the entire thing changed entirely. So, I am leaving this where it is. Putting this note in to head off complaints that I got the chronology wrong.
So, first, let’s talk about Hangeng. Hangeng, as the only original native Chinese speaker in the group, was the leader of Super Junior-M, and unlike Heechul and Kibum who were either on official or more-or-less hiatus from Super Junior during this time, Hangeng still remained heavily involved in everything. Even in that Super Show I posted earlier this week, which was filmed about two months before this song was released, he still looks happy and motivated. In December 2009, he filed suit against SM, basically for cruel and unusual punishment, stating that the 13-year-contract was ridiculous and SM was overworking him so hard that he had developed a sickness in his kidneys. He stopped appearing in Super Junior activities after that, obviously, and eventually settled with SM in 2011. In the meantime, he went back to China and developed a singing and acting career (mainly acting).
This was difficult on everyone in Super Junior, particularly Heechul as he and Hangeng had been rather close, and since Heechul was completely overbooked and having second thoughts about participation in Super Junior anyway. There’s this video, which is actually from around Don’t Don but which works super-well as a pretend post-lawsuit video; anyway, point is, Hangeng was even at that time completely drained, physically and emotionally, from all the work he had been doing in Korea, and that’s from two years earlier.
Since he left SJ, Hangeng has done interviews it seems like every couple of years, where somebody asks about Super Junior and the SM lawsuit, particularly since Kris, Luhan and TAO from EXO eventually did the same, and his comments always seem like “I love the dudes in Super Junior but SM is a bunch of shitheads,” no matter how far after the lawsuit we get. Some of his solo post-SJ songs I’ve seen have also given a sort of “I’M A HARDASS MUTHAFUCKAAAAA” try-hard impression. Basically, Hangeng still seems really angry, and I get that SM was and is shitty to their stable of artists, but um, Hangeng, do you need to see someone? Do you need to take some boxing lessons? Are you okay?
ANYWAY. Back to the song. The vocals here are just as processed as “Sorry, Sorry,” but it not only works with the rave sound, it covers up a multitude of likely errors. For instance, Siwon and Hangeng don’t stick out as having comparatively poor vocal tone. For instance, Donghae gets to do a little bit of melisma-ing and it doesn’t sound like a slurry mess. For instance, Ryeowook doesn’t sound so much like his jaw is rigid. Also, much like “Sorry, Sorry”, this song is packed wall-to-wall with singing. Probably the longest gap with no singing at any point is in the part after the bridge, where we have “Xing fu de quan li bu yao fang qi (fang qi, fang qi, fang qi….)” fading out into some muffled beats, and then it comes right back up. And before that, in the bridge, Kyuhyun gets a very nice bit of vocalized sass on the line: “Kai xin de, nan guo de, da ying ni, dou pei niiiiii, dou pei niiiii.” Also, I really just like the rhythmic sound that starts both verses of “kan wo, kan kan wo.”
The premise of the song is, “you have a boyfriend, but he suuuucks and you should date me instead.” I’m not super sure he actually does suck though; sounds more like boyfriend might be a decent dude and Super Junior is just jealous. The lyric video I linked above is from the Korean version, which is generally the same, but a bit more snarky and a bit more specific and successful in explaining how the guy sucks. The Korean version also features Donghae’s line, in English, “he’s not Superman, he must be mama boy,” which is fantastic.
All the gifs I made of this video are from the Korean version, ostensibly because SM uploaded a higher-res version of it than the Mandarin one (boo, SM) (but don’t these gifs look nice?), but also because if you have read my “Versions” essay then you understand how important smirky Kyuhyun is to me, and Kyuhyun is 2000% smirkier in the Korean version than in the Chinese version. Thus, it is critical that I make gifs of said smirkiness. It is a video with a plot, as not all of them are, in which Hangeng is a nerd who goes to a party, and Jessica Jung from SNSD laughs him out, and he goes out into the hallway all sniveling and then spins himself into a cool dudebro, and then comes back in and parties with everyone. But that is not really the point here. THRILL… as Donghae gestures to his head to indicate what a babo your boyfriend is. SWOON… as Kyuhyun rolls his eyes in complete dismissal of the idea that your boyfriend could ever be as good for you as he is. SIGH… at these really good dance moves seriously are you watching? This is one of my all-around favorite SJ dance routines; it’s just so FUN and partylike with the chest pound, like hell yeah I’m a better boyfriend than that jerkface. It goes by in a flash so I just made a png of it, but near the very end, at about 3:20 or so, Ryeowook and Kyuhyun both appear to be cracking up about something, and I like that.