This mini album marks Super Junior-D&E’s first Korean comeback since their legendary hit Growing Pains in 2015. The members have returned from their military hiatus fresher than ever, and are gearing up to try all the latest Kpop trends, whilst exploring their own personal music styles also. I really loved this album, and whilst the flavour was completely different from their last work – it still shone out as a great piece anyway!
I really loved the title track ‘Bout You – it was lively and upbeat, with a catchy hook and tuneful tropical-style melody. I was probably one of the few people who enjoyed the heavy autotune on this song – I think it adds to Donghae’s already electric-sounding voice! As per classic D&E style, Eunhyuk jumps into the second verse with a rap section, and the one in this song was fresh and exciting. In my opinion, the really killer part of the song was the last section. Here, the song’s composer Donghae threw away traditional pop song structure, and created an extended bridge that was layered with a modified version of the chorus. This was a memorable and unexpected twist, and in my opinion, was what pushed this song up from just catchy to actually incredible. With this track, D&E once again proved that they are the masters of any genre!
Rum Dee Dee is a fun and cheeky song, playing tribute to iconic D&E tracks of the past (like Motorcycle and Oppa Oppa). Whilst this song isn’t quite on the same level as those two songs, it still is a great listen, with a strong beat and memorable melody. I especially like the playful lyrics and onomatopoeia in the chorus. Donghae’s high note in the second verse is unexpected and funny, and Eunhyuk’s rap in the breakdown shows off his great skills.
“Oops! That moment when your balance gives away
The more I drink you, the more I want to get drunk
I can’t hold it anymore, Go rum dee dee”
The next song I Love It is of the genre that I affectionately like to call “Crying in the Club”. This essentially means party songs that have pathos. Whilst Bigbang are the undisputed kings of this genre, this song by our favourite SUJU duo is a pretty good attempt. The soft melancholy melody in the pre chorus and bridge contrasts perfectly with the energetic beat and exciting lyrics such as “We can party/ bounce bounce bounce”. Donghae’s unique and hard-hitting voice fits perfectly with this type of song too. Catch yourself raving to this whilst lamenting over that break up you never even had – THAT is the power of this song.
I really love the next song Livin’ In. The beat is modern and electric, as the song seems to be a continuation of D&E’s newfound journey into the wonderful world of EDM. The funky brass in the chorus is an unexpectedly pleasant surprise, and it is not the tropical style beat drop one might have been expecting to hear at this point. Eunhyuk’s singing voice is soft and sweet, and although we don’t get to hear it that much on this album, it is really nice to hear on this track. Donghae really loves going all out on those emotional bridges, and I really love listening to him do it! I think his voice is perfectly suited to edgy emotive songs like this one. (Thankfully he probably thinks so too!).
The next song is called Evanesce 2. I definitely do see the similarities between this and it’s first part: both are powerful and sort of space-esque. This song is nice, but with the memory of the powerful 10-member strong Super Junior belting out the iconic lyrics from Evanesce make this track slightly pale in comparison.
Never mind, because we then move on to the most exciting part of the album: the solo tracks! First we have Donghae’s solo song Lost. This is my FAVOURITE non-title track on the album, for many reasons. Firstly, that emotive electric guitar melody in the background is just heavenly. I’m not normally a big fan of rock music, but I do love this classic rock ballad style. Donghae’s voice starts out muted, but then comes through clearly a few lines in. I really love this effect, and as a big fan of Donghae’s voice, I am left completely satisfied. It seems Donghae’s best work is done when he’s singing about heartbreak (see Growing Pains & One More Chance…). In this song, he is lamenting over his ex-love, who he can’t get over. The song’s Korean title 지독하게 means severely.
“I loved you severely…
I know I can’t turn things back to the way they were
But why is my heart like this?”
What I really loved about the two solo tracks is how they perfectly reflected the contrasting personalities of the two members. Whilst Donghae’s is romantic, passionate and full of pathos, Eunhyuk’s solo song Obsessed is dark, sexy and masculine, much like the man himself. As Eunhyuk is a primarily a rapper, this song is naturally rap heavy, leaning towards hip-hop style, but still maintaining that Super Junior flare. Eunhyuk’s voice is rough and powerful, and he demonstrates his singing abilities in this track too. I especially love the meaning of this song, as I can totally relate to what he’s feeling…
“Totally immersed, alone my crush
Love is a lonely feeling, can’t possibly be easy baby…
Today as well i’ll follow the sound of our footsteps..
In a blink, you’ll soon feel like you need me
I’ll be your man, i’m not obsessed.”
The last track on this album is a very special one called Victory. It is such a heart-warming way to end such a beautiful album! This song seems to be dedicated to the eternal love story between SUJU and E.L.F, and I can definitely feel the love that Donghae and Eunhyuk are radiating. The lyrics are so sweet, and the melody is so up-lifting. Composed by Donghae, this track has his signature guitar instrumental style and emotional pre-chorus & bridge combo. This is the type of song that makes you want to throw your hands up in the hair and wave them in slow motion.
“Look at the sky, gaze up there
Together we’ll go up
There will be no problems no more
If I walk together with you”
This album was fresh and exciting, and shows off Super Junior’s incredible diversity as artists. This is truly a feel good album, and one that I will be coming back to for years to come!
Kpop Review Café’s Overall Album Ranking: 7.5/10
Written by Jessica