Album Review: “SuperM — The 1st Mini Album”
By: Leanne Yuen
Photo Courtesy of: SM Entertainment
What if some of K-pop’s biggest stars came together, pooled their talents and created their own group? This is the premise behind SuperM, a powerhouse boy group formed by Korean record label SM Entertainment. The supergroup consists of Taemin from Shinee; Exo’s Kai and Baekhyun; and NCT’s Taeyong, Mark, Ten and Lucas. They released their first self-titled EP on Oct. 4.
“Jopping” opens the EP with an epic start. The electro-pop song has the pulse of a nightclub’s dance floor and features grandiose horns reminiscent of the “Avengers” theme song. SuperM makes it clear that this is the song to lead a party, with lyrics such as “I don’t even care, we will burn on this stage / Left to the right / We gon’ make it, make it bang / Put your hands in the air, let me see you bounce.” Even the track’s title, a combination of the words “jumping” and “popping” is catchy and contemporary.
Next, “I Can’t Stand the Rain” distinguishes itself with its use of traditional Asian instruments, including Korean drums and string instruments. The result is a captivating blend of modern and classic sounds, a perfect backdrop for a passionate, melancholic song about loneliness and lost love. While it starts off with a repetitive chanting of “I can’t stand the rain” against a drumbeat, by the time the chorus hits the song has transitioned seamlessly into a melodic and catchy rhythm. These complexities solidify “I Can’t Stand the Rain” as one of the most memorable songs of the EP.
The EP briefly switches into R&B for “2 Fast.” Coming at the midway point of the record, it’s a refreshing break and allows the members to show off more of their singing ability. Indeed, the vocals are especially airy in “2 Fast,” providing a more soothing and balanced tone to the song’s fast-paced beat.
The last two songs, “Super Car” and “No Manners,” round the EP out with hip-hop. “Super Car” is confident, intense and empowering; it could feasibly be part of “The Fast and the Furious” soundtrack. “No Manners” takes it a bit slower, with sultry vocals and Spanish-influenced instrumentals. The rap verses don’t fit in well with the song, though — they have little variance and feel more forced.
The instrumental backtracks of “Jopping” and “I Can’t Stand the Rain” close out the EP. It’s nice to hear the songs without any vocals, especially for “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” when one can really focus on and appreciate the traditional Asian instruments. SuperM has set high expectations and given us a small glimpse into their future as a group with this mini album.