Album review: Super Junior - Sorry, sorry

Album review: Super Junior - Sorry , sorryWhilst boy bands seem to be out of fashion in the West, over in Korea: they're all the rage. And in particular, 13 piece boy group Super Junior. They've attracted alot of flak, criticism and skepticism over the course of their 5 year career. But their third album is surprising turn of affairs, because they've managed to go and do what I thought was unthinkable. Put out an album that doesn't complete suck!

Sorry, sorry is divided between sickly sweet pop numbers and more R&B tinged songs. The sickly sweet pop songs aren't terrible. Some of them are pretty good. But it's the R&B flavoured songs which are the highlights and really do showcase Super Junior the best. It's a direction the boys should definitely continue to go in with their future albums.

"Sorry sorry" is crack. The beat is hot and the chorus is catchy. It's miles from anything the boys have released before, but it's one of their best singles because of it. Every boy band has got to have that one ridiculously catchy pop record, and "Sorry, sorry" is Super Junior's. The sound is nothing new under the sun and as with more than half the songs out there right now, it features the dreaded auto-tune. But there's no getting away from what a hot song this is regardless. Just try and listen to it with out bopping your head or working a shoulder. See! You can't do it. The song is misleading though. Because despite the uptempo, happy go-lucky vibe of the song - the rest of the album is pretty down tempo and sombre. "Why I like you" is a song that I have played constantly. The beat is hotness, with a guitar and a bass line that just sets the song off right. The is reminiscent of Ne-Yo's "Closer", only not as house heavy. Super Junior's vocals are well showcased on this song - especially Kyuhyun and Yesung, who outshine the other guys completely as they often do. Best track on the album without a shadow of a doubt. I was taken aback when I first heard it, because I was not expecting anything on the album to sound this good. A brilliant song that would make a great single. The boys also cover girl group Monrose's song "Just like that" - re-worked into "Monster". Just based on that you'd think the song wouldn't work, but it does. Shitting all over the original in the process. It's a brilliantly dark song, with a very Timbaland-esque vibe to it. Super Junior's version captures the mysteriousness that Olive's "You're not alone" had (the song which "Just like that" originally sampled). Not all of the uptempo welcome praise though. "Club no.1" sounds like a reject from a BoA album. The boys just don't work the sexy that a song like this needs. The beat has a cool bouncy vibe, but the boys vocals just don't do much to lift the song out of sheer mediocrity.

Despite the huge success and departure in sound of the album's title track, Sorry, sorry is a mid-tempo album on the whole, punctuated with the odd ballad; which is fine. But the track order kills the albums' flow. The albums' first ballad "Let's not" comes after 2 club driven numbers, which hits the pace of the album like an over turned truck in the middle of a road. Once the album hits track 7 things begin to get generic. The slower songs also feel like the album is being tethered to Super Junior's former efforts, in a bid to not fully embrace their hot new style which is exhibited on a handful of Sorry, sorry's songs. A bit more impact with some of these songs would've helped.

Putting 13 voices on a track isn't easy. But I feel more of an effort should have been made to exploit all 13 of the Super Junior's. The vocal arrangements and harmonies should have been taken all the way, to give the songs that edge and air about them that they couldn't be sung by a group with any less than 13 members. When I think what Boys II Men managed to pull of with just 4 guys, and what solo artists like Joe and Justin Timberlake are able to do in a studio on their own - I think it's a shame that the producers didn't take more advantage of what they had to work with. Super Junior have never been touted as the best vocal group, or even made a name for themselves on the merit of their vocals. But more of an effort needed to be made in the vocal arrangements department. The whole letting Ryeowook, Yesung and Kyuhyun take on the majority of the solo's is all well and good - but Super Junior are a group of 13 guys who can all at the very least carry a song in a bucket, and I think sometimes the producers forget that.

Sorry, sorry is a pretty solid album. It runs out of steam as it reaches the end, which isn't helped by the album opening with the best songs. But the sound is consistent and solid enough that you can take Super Junior's music seriously. It's a shame that the music will forever play every fiddle except first to the group's image and Heechul kissing anything with a penis - because the music on Sorry, sorry is good enough to carry the group considerably. If this is an indication of what Super Junior are capable of, then they have greater music potential than I thought. If they continue to hone their new sound and really explore it, then they could definitely deliver future albums of solid quality.

Super Junior's 'Sorry, sorry' scores itself a 6 out of 10
Album highlights:
■ Sorry, sorry
■ Why I like you J's fave
■ Let's not
■ Angela
■ Reset
■ Monster
■ Happy together

3 comments:

  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Joannah

    http://2gbmemory.net

    ReplyDelete
  2. Best songs were Sorry, Sorry, Why I like you, Monster, Reset, Club No.1 and Heartquake.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
    Super junior is the best..
    love much SuJu..

    ReplyDelete

HTML tags for bold, italic and hyperlinks are allowed