Super Junior-M are a sub group of Super Junior, a 13-member group debuted in 2005 under SM Entertainment. Super Junior-M derived from the group with the additional members of current solo singer Henry and Zhoumi, added when the group was formed in 2008 in order to produce music for their many fans in China as well. At debut, the group originally consisted of members Hangeng – leader, Siwon, Zhoumi, Donghae, Ryeowook, Kyuhyun and Henry, however during the controversy that lay within Hangeng’s contract termination and following departure from the group, it had been announced in 2011, Eunhyuk and Sungmin would join as two new members of Super Junior-M and released Perfection, their second mini album.
With a total of two studio albums and three mini albums, Swing is the group’s third and most recent mini album, with fans excited for the group’s comeback after Breakdown, a year later the group has returned with a completely different style to their previous concept, the album released just the week prior.
As one of the Super Junior-M songs, this album is purely sung in Mandarin with the exception of english lyrics here and there and the inclusion of a Korean version of Swing- however this is only added in the unreleased Korean version of the album. The album has a slight change in it’s theme and style in comparison to their previous albums. The concept varying firstly, the SJ-M members styling a simplistic suit and white t-shirt look, the classy feel to it is clearly explored throughout the album; overall concept and theme pairing rather well here. With that said, from a more dubsteppy outlook in Breakdown, Swing offers a more smooth, easy-to-listen to R&B sound with headbanging dance tracks with the occasional dubstep slipped in sneakily into it, of course. However it is varied in it’s music style and genre which gives listeners a song for almost every mood to listen to!
1. SWING (嘶吼) (Chinese Ver.)
As the album’s leading title song, Swing is a smooth blend of funky electropop beats with an emphasised bass sounding in its chorus, its generally a song that gets you feeling uplifted and toe-tapping as you listen on in the song.
Concerning the music itself, it would be difficult to define an accurate genre to any of Super Junior’s title songs, hence the genre dubbed by them as ‘SJ Funky’, this would be none other than a perfect example of said genre. However there are significant strong elements within Swing that make this song particularly a well created song.
The Music from its very start, begins rather interestingly with a natural build up of the bass, and drums with a record scratching-like repeat of the drums. The verses contain a different sound to the chorus, providing a more R&B feel to it with the mix of a smooth funky bass that fairs to go unnoticed with the occasional wind instrument of a trumpet making its stylish entrance into the verse.
The chorus, however changes almost completely with the feeling of an increased tempo and its focus on the heavy emphasis of the bass as well as the electro-synth pop melody after the vocal half of the chorus is sung. It definitely is one which leaves you moving at least one part of yourself to the beat of the music with its undeniably catchy tune left in your head for hours on end, as most Super Junior songs do, following a repetitive beat.
Although I did find during the bridge the rather surprising clip of dubstep slotted into the song seemingly odd and unfitting at first, after watching the music video it is evident it is there for the ‘dance break’ section of the song, it does tie in with the beat of the music well as well as add for an amazing part of choreography and flow well within the song.
The Lyrics as a whole, foretell the typical meaning of an upbeat song and that is to just let loose, enjoy the moment and have fun! It conveys a funky rhythm parallel to its lyrical story, with its jazzy verses telling the listener to stop daydreaming and go for whatever your dreams to the choruses taking up a fast action paced atmosphere to chant with Super Junior-M in an almost concert-style mood! The english lyrics used here are also something worth complimenting on with it both flowing nicely together with the mandarin as well as making perfect sense with the song’s story! Overall the song’s lyrical connotations include that of a simple message: “Follow the happy rhythms, scream loudly Swing Never Never Give Up!”
The Music Video creates an illusion of an office scene with a wonderfully creative style of fast and fluid movements within the choreography, dancing on chairs and tables, moved and organised by the group themselves to follow the office-style theme, With of course a classy SJ-M sporting a comedic office skit, in their formal suit and tie attire, we can expect nothing less of the group doing what they do best as performers and artists. You can see the music video of Swing (Chinese Version) here!
2. Fly High (飞翔)
Fly High is another song with its lyrics written by Super Junior-M’s Zhoumi. Upon first listening to the song, I found it a rather bubblegum pop song, an ideal format of boy band style music and I immediately had an instant dislike to it. However as I began listening to it more, it eventually grew on me, with the Super Junior-M’s uplifting, smooth voices taking an instant liking to both my ipod and the many songs stuck in my head throughout the day.
The lyrics of the song express a similar message to that of Swing however with its story involving one of a motivational outlook on life. The lyrics entail that while younger, chasing your dreams may seem an unrealistic thing to aim for, regardless, it should never stop you from going for what you want; after all the only person typically standing in your way, is you. Its catchy tune definitely is one to bring a smile to anyone’s face as it expresses the mood to move forward with the things that happen, to never allow setbacks to bring you down and in the end as the lyrics say “Fly high, follow the direction your heart points at”.
3. My Love For You (无所谓)
This song has to be my ultimate favourite in the album. It is a wonderfully composed ballad song, ultimately simplistic in its music, the only instruments dominantly present would be merely two guitars softly playing while the members in turn sing. As the song progresses we meet the absolutely thrilling harmonies of Kyuhyun and Ryeowook capable of sending goosebumps on one’s skin, it is a beautifully written ballad, its relaxing, soft-tempo melodies potential of sending one to sleep. It is definitely one I would recommend to listen to first on the album.
It wonderfully showcases each SJ-M member’s singing capability, particularly with its many high notes nearer the end, it is an overall romantic song as expressed within its lyrics. The meaning of the song, is as mentioned, a romantic one, the lyrical message being that of a boyfriend wanting to convey to his partner that he is uncaring of other people’s thoughts or opinions. All the singer wants is to spend that moment with the person he loves, to be a prince charming figure, and to ultimately, love her with all his heart. Cheesy, of course, but the lyrics are best expressed in the song’s story, it is one that whether in a relationship or not, will definitely make you fall for the soft, melodic voices that are Super Junior-M and sing “It doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter, who can I love other than you…”
Now, when it comes to dance numbers, this would be one that no matter what is placed high on the list. Strong is electropop dance song that’ll send you with urges incapable of sitting still in your seat! As one of my favourite songs on the album alongside My Love For You, it automatically gets you hooked into its fast-tempo upbeat pace of a song and is quite simply the epitome of an idealistic dance/party song. The music is nothing short than idealistic for dance as well as the touch of the synth blended in with the booming sound of an electric guitar playing in the music break after the chorus.
With the song’s repetitive party atmosphere lyrical style its bound to get you moving with its constant cheers. This song gets you going with the alternate switching of the SJ-M members singing adding a different feel to each line of the song. The lyrics follow the same context as the music, a party style dance song all about trying to gain the attention of a girl the singer is attracted to all the while dancing to the beat! The english of the song is again, apart from the odd rap lyric sung by Eunhyuk of “Fever, tears, chest pain headache” , is used well with a melodic use of anaphoric repetition in the chorus singing the line ‘Bad boy!’ and “Make some noise~!”.
5. Addiction (入迷)
This song, when I first heard it I was immediately sent back to my early childhood listening to the biggest boy or girl bands of the 90s and 00s with its familiarity of the music style and sound. Although what I like about Addiction, is that it takes although it gives off a nostalgic tone, it still blooms with its originality. The music maintains a clear regular beat, therefore allowing it to be easy to listen to and this along with its singing style almost allows it to feel an atmospheric tone belonging to a theatrical action scene for a possible drama or movie.
The lyrics are easy to get into, the repetition of the rather high notes of “oh woah” sung here by Kyuhyun allows the dramatic tone of the music to settle within the overall mood of the music as well as the members of Super Junior-M singing in unison in parts of the chorus as well as the soulful harmonies at the ends of the verses. What strikes me about this song that I particularly favour most, are the rhythmic ad libs of Sungmin singing “Ai ni, oh ai ni” translated here as “Love you, oh love you”.
6. After a Minute (一分后 )
Another ballad-style song, its soft beats and melodic tomes not only from the music but Super Junior-M make this song another favourite for ballad lovers. Since this song is created by Henry’s Noizebank team its sound is one of an immediate addictive feel, and one you will yet again, find yourself thinking of at odd moments in your day. The again, dramatic essence and atmosphere gives a wonderful thematic mood.
The lyrics are sung completely in mandarin and as the only one of two songs sung entirely in the mentioned native language, it gives the song a traditional harmony to it. The story of the song conveys that of a familiar message, it entails a beautifully worded song, the lyrics are rather bittersweet, following its title After A Minute it foretells the singer’s struggle of running out of time to spend with their lover as the lyrics say “When the sun’s up I’m not able to keep you”. May it be even a second more, there is nothing they would rather so than share merely one more moment with the one they love, but as the lovers are forced to part, it only grows while trying to bear with the grief of of it being that much more painful to be apart as the lyrics illustrate “Despite the tears that keep flowing, Detaching the feelings I only need one minute”.
Overall I recommend this album as 8/10 for people who generally enjoy a well put together album with style varying in all genres and its unique quality of music within each song’s original sounding melodies and lyrical messages!