I remember hearing the album preview SM let out on their YouTube channel and I was extremely impressed and curious to how it would sound. I did express in my “‘Bout You” MV first look that I’m not a Super Junior fan musically but that I enjoy the members themselves – Eunhyuk and Donghae both being biases at some point. Even though I do have these feelings towards the group collectively, I am walking into this first listen with an open mind, hoping that it’ll turn me into more of a fan.
ARTIST: SUPER JUNIOR D&E
ALBUM: ‘Bout You
SUPER JUNIOR D&Es second mini album ‘Bout You was released 16 August 2018 with title track of the same name. By the time you read this, you’ll know how I feel about SUJU in general so without further ado, let’s check out the album.
I have already heard and watched title track “‘Bout You” so you can see my review (here). What I always look forward to is how the rest of the album relates to the title track. For Korean title tracks, they have to be poppy and catchy which for me can be a little so so. My favourite songs of an artist or group is their b-sides. These other songs tend to have a little more substance past the catchy hooks and dance routines which I really enjoy stumbling across.
Second track “Rum Dee Dee” was a surprise from the get go as it gave me big Chris Brown vibes. Aside from the fact my heart burns over that reference, it actually isn’t that bad. The song is super catchy while not being overly repetitive considering the song title. It’s a heavily western sounding song that I could hear in an R&B club anywhere. This song is so much better than what I was expecting and a direction I didn’t know I needed from the duo.
Third track “I Love It” was confusing for the first 15 seconds – my ears were having a hard time with the erratic piano and weird snappy percussive sounds being used together. It wasn’t until the pre-chorus where I started to really get into the song. To me, this song is more similar to “‘Bout You” than “Rum Dee Dee” was while still holding it’s own in comparison. It’s light and happy while still keeping a foothold in the R&B genre.
“Livin’ In” is probably my least favourite off the album. It’s a hair slower than any of the previous songs but does still keep the same atmosphere – light, almost summery, and electronic. It does use some electronic distorted horns which hasn’t really been featured in the previous songs which was a nice addition. I just didn’t have any opinions about this song – it wasn’t great but it also wasn’t bad.
Fifth track “Evanesce II” is pure sex – and I love it! It’s slow R&B verses with a more upbeat chorus ticked every and all boxes for me. The break down at the bridge was also really nice as it loses almost all percussion and music. What’s interesting about this song is the random noises in the background which strangely sound like dripping water and a heartbeat. I don’t know if this is to add to the sexy concept, but it works. This song is on par with “Rum Dee Dee” for me, maybe even better. I love it, I love it.
“Lost” gives me such strong Beatles vibes. I haven’t heard a Korean song with so much reference to the Beatles since WINNERs “Baby Baby” a few years ago. I like the slower direction, the break down at the bridge with an electric guitar and how there’s zero relation to any of the earlier songs music wise. I know I tend to be all over the place when it comes to this issue – I like albums that sound cohesive yet like songs that come from left field. I can’t explain why I do this because there’s no real reason behind it. It’s almost entirely dependant on where it falls in the album and how well it’s executed. This song is great and definitely top three from the album for me.
“Illusion (Obsessed)” is creeping me out a little. It’s very heavily inclusive of a carnival/circus theme which is petrifying to me – I don’t like clowns. The fact this music is continued throughout the song is annoying but purely from my irrational childhood fear and not song quality. When the beat comes in, I fall in love a little. It’s based heavily in hiphop and I do like the creepy almost muffled effects that are put on their voices as it goes hand in hand with that circus sound I mentioned earlier. The whole thing is just creepy but in a really, really good way.
Last track “Victory” is an uplifting anthem which is a direction I didn’t think we were going to go in. Typically I enjoy these choir/choral moments to kick in at the end of a song but this song starts of and maintains it through out – which I don’t actually mind too much. It’s more reliant on acoustic guitar, drums and the odd electric guitar embellishment which is nice. It’s definitely one of the most different sounding songs on the album but doesn’t hinder the vibe of the overall album.
I enjoyed this album and it was a lot better than I thought it would be. I said in my ‘Bout You MV review that I’ve been on the fence with Super Junior and was hoping this album made me more interested in their back catalogue more. I don’t think that’s really happened here but I think it’s made me love Donghae and Eunhyuk more. I think this duo are really well suited to each other – their skills aren’t too close that they overlap but they’re also not too different that the songs are made hard to listen to. I genuinely quite liked this album!
My rating: 8/10
What did you all think of the album? Were there any stand out tracks for you? Let me know down in the comments below or on Twitter.