Super Junior M released “Swing” in China a week or so ago. Considering I do actually have a life and was presenting a paper at an academic conference, not to mention I am also a full-time student, I haven’t had the time to report on the comeback until now.
So initially I saw the teaser and my first reaction was: Why are you making Kyuhyun the idiot who can’t use a copier?
I’ve been following Super Junior since 2011 and know for a fact he is the most intelligent member, and is likely one of the best with technology since the kid seems to spend 99% of his free time with his laptop. Granted I initially had trouble with a copier when I worked in an office a couple of years ago, but it’s really not that hard. Donghae is easily the most confused member and should have been put in that role instead of Genius Kyu.
Now that my rant about that is over we will discuss the disgusting: What is on Siwon’s face? I never found him to be attractive, really (Kyuhyun is obviously the most attractive member of any boyband ever) – I still have no idea how Siwon is the visual, but the Dick Dastardly mustache takes it to a new level.
As for the song: I didn’t care for it when I heard it in Mandarin. It sounded awkward. I listened to the audio before I saw the video since I’ve had shoddy Internet until today. The song has too much going on for my taste. But today SM finally released the Korean version of the video, which I was actually able to get into. Korean language seems to fit the song a bit more than Mandarin.
The funny thing is, I always switch off on SJM songs as to which version I prefer. With “Super Girl” and “Break Down” I always choose the Mandarin version. But with “Taiwanmei” and now “Swing,” I easily prefer the Korean versions.
As for the video – which is basically the same in each language – I like the concept. The office is slightly unique in terms of SM Ent concepts, and you can never go wrong putting SuJu in suits. I also think the videography of the video is compelling, and the choreography does live up to some of the great SuJu choreography – but harder to learn and dance along to.
So I get on YouTube to watch the Mandarin version earlier, and one of the first comments I see is by a whiney ELF (Everlasting Friend = Super Junior Fan) complaining how 4Minute won on Inkigayo today.
Firstly, lets take a moment to congratulate 4Minute on their win. Their song is perfect, and it beat SNSD and 2NE1 – the two biggest girl groups in the industry.
Secondly – this shows how ignorant some fans really are. Even during the height of my Super Junior fan stage, I never wanted to be called an ELF. For one, I think the fan name sounds stupid; it makes me think of Christmas. Secondly, the reputation of the fandom speaks for itself, and I have come across some pretty craycray fans in the last 2.5 years. I admit, I’ve had moments of acting craycray – we all do (though mine are mostly over girl groups) – but some fans take it to the next level. Most K-Pop groups with large fandoms have these crazy fans, but sometimes I really wonder if Super Junior fans really are the worst. You have the batch that completely ditched the group when other groups (namely EXO) debuted. Others that still waste their breath whining over Zhou Mi and Henry participating in Super Junior concerts and activities. Others that feel as though the group, which reached their peak of Korean popularity in 2009-2011, should be winning everything and handed awards. And lets not forget the fans who still think that the members shouldn’t date despite being 25+ years old.
Korean music shows can only be won a week after the song is released, I believe. I’m not Korean and I barely watch the shows unless B1A4 are participating in them, so I’m a bit fuzzy on the process. For someone to be whining about Super Junior not winning a show the week they first performed the Korean version of the song on a music program is ridiculous. Not to mention, those aforementioned fans who whine about Zhou Mi and Henry prevent Super Junior M from doing well in Korea. Super Junior M does extremely well in China and in most international markets, but their Korean promotions, which just started with “Break Down” last year, do not go very well – they only promoted for a week last year.
I’m going to take a moment here to complain about Eunhyuk and Sungmin too. This can count as a Super Junior fan whining, if you want it to. I still have no idea why SM wanted them in the subgroup, unless they were planning on capitalizing on the fact that a majority of fans seem to think Eunhyuk/Donghae and Sungmin/Kyuhyun (or Sungmin/Ryeowook) are completely gay for each other. I’ll say here that if any members are, that’s their own business, but the way some fans shove the ideas down the throats of everyone else is sickening at times.
After Hangeng left the group in 2010 so he could begin his road to Universal Domination, SM added Eunhyuk and Sungmin to the group for the Taiwanmei release in 2011. Here’s the thing: from what I understand, neither of them are great at Mandarin. Henry and Zhou Mi are fluent. Siwon and Kyuhyun are pretty excellent at it, and I hear Ryeowook practices a lot. Not too sure about Donghae’s skill in the language, honestly. Sungmin and Eunhyuk are lacking in Mandarin, which is what the “M” in Super Junior M happens to stand for. Not only that, but the two have been in two previous subunits. Both were in T (Trot) and H (Happy) subunits, and now Eunhyuk has a duo unit with Donghae; basically meaning Eunhyuk is in every SuJu element except KRY. Why put these two members in another subgroup? Granted both get easily overshadowed in the main group, but the same thing is starting to happen with the member increase in M. M could have easily remained a 6 member subgroup with just Zhou Mi, Siwon, Donghae, Ryeowook, Kyuhyun and Henry. I don’t think either member particularly adds anything to the group, but instead take more lines away from the other members. I also have a friend who feels very strongly that the presence of these two new members is affecting group dynamics. I don’t follow SJM promotions, so I wouldn’t know – but if it’s true, it makes me feel even more strongly about not wanting them in the subgroup.
Now that my own whining is done, I’ll say I can’t comment on the mini album since I haven’t listened to it. I haven’t even listened to the full Break Down album yet. I don’t know why, but I really feel like the addition of Eunhyuk and Sungmin has changed SJM’s musical style in a way. The releases are much more dubstep influenced now, and the charm hasn’t been the same since “Taiwanmei.”
Maybe I’m also upset that the full group hasn’t released anything since 2012, and likely won’t until Leeteuk returns from the military later this year. Here’s hoping the the full group release is as strong as the other SM group releases of this year, and isn’t another dubstep mess.