If you told us last year that EXO’s Kai, SHINee’s Taemin and NCT’s Ten would be together in a group, we would not have believed you.
Yet we stand corrected, as it seems that the brain behind SM Entertainment, Lee Soo Man himself took matters into his own hands to create the K-pop equivalent of The Avengers. By handpicking the most popular members of previously formed groups, a supergroup was born.
Super M consists of Shinee’s Taemin, EXO’s Baekhyun and Kai, and NCT’s Taeyong, Mark, Ten and Lucas (who also make up WAYV). With Baekhyun being the leader, it seems like Super M would be the group to top all groups. Their self-titled mini album dropped on 4th of October 2019, with the world premiere of the highly anticipated single, “Jopping”. With that, let’s cut in deep and see what Super M is made of.
“Jopping”, the title track and first track off the album, had sky-high expectations even before the release date. After all, these are a cast of star-studded idols from the biggest entertainment industry in South Korea. With the gorgeous visuals from the teasers they had dropped, it seemed only appropriate to assume that that the song was going to be the song of the year.
SuperM came in guns ablazin’ with “Jopping”, going big and cashing everything out (literally, judging from the quality of the music video). The song itself is bombastic; complete with electric guitar riffs, deep house beats, claps, and horns to pack it with a similar sense of awe and one would anticipate from a much-awaited superhero movie.
“Jopping” is exactly what the K-pop industry was missing this year and the fact that SuperM delivered with such an over-the-top track that absolutely pummels the point home, is exactly what makes the track a whopping success. Without a doubt, this is a strong contender for one of the best singles for K-pop this year.
The best song on the mini album however, would have to be the second track. “I Can’t Stand The Rain” piqued our interest from the very beginning, as the instrumental was the only trace of SuperM that saw the light of the day before anything else. “I Can’t Stand The Rain” wins because of the number of layers the track has; lacing it with drama, raw vocals, all while incorporating the beauty of traditional instruments. The percussions and strings are what make “Rain” flourish, elevating it to a level of drama like never before.
You can hear how Taemin and Baekhyun complement each other so well, with their vocals bringing out all the emotion and theatrics of the song to its fullest extent. And then we have the switch from Kai to Taeyong on the verses before the bridge, which makes us see how Lee Soo Man wanted us to appreciate the uniqueness that each performer brings to the table. Ten’s clear cut singing style contrasts Lucas’ gruff voice, which is all washed down with a smooth glass of Mark when he raps. Overall, it is in “Rain” that we see all of SuperM being used to their full potential.
The third track, “2 Fast”, is a snazzy, seductive dance track that gets you on your feet. It echos of the sound of SHINee mixed with a touch of EXO. Above all, it feels like the most fashionable song off the album. The prim and proper vibe that is delivered by Ten, Taemin and Baekhyun get cut by Lucas’ rough edges when he raps or adlibs on the song, which is what makes the song feel like a night out that one can’t quite remember.
And then we have “Super Car”, the better-looking cousin of “My Van” by NCT 127. This track probably has the least originality to it, as it sounds like it could easily be on the next NCT 127 release. Despite that, it’s still one of the stronger songs off the release. If “2 Fast” was primarily led by the vocalists of the group, “Super Car” is where rappers Mark and Taeyong go hard. And yet, “Super Car” is still rather melodic. In fact, the most memorable parts of the song are still it’s pre-chorus and chorus, both of which are still sung by Taemin and Baekhyun. Regardless if “2 Fast” was the show and tell, “Super Car” has a stinging bite.
The mini-album bids us a slow, seductive goodbye with “No Manners”. Personally, this felt like the most forgettable song of the entire album. The sexiness doesn’t quite entice us as much as it should, but instead it just lingers; leaving us in limbo.
Taemin’s singing style leaves us in a foggy wonder, but it’s Taeyong’s impeccable verse that brought us back to reality. It would be satisfying to watch this live, as lord knows how much body waves could be potentially packed into this…
The main issue fans have with SuperM is that most of their songs sound like they could potentially just be songs for SM’s other groups, mainly NCT. However after listening to it, we’ve realised that it doesn’t have to be seen as a bad thing. It’s common knowledge that all of these groups share similar and if not, the same, producers and songwriters. So what if it sounds similar? SuperM is a Wattpad dream come true, and we shouldn’t be upset about it. If anything, we should be reveling in it while it lasts.
Overall, SuperM’s self-titled mini album is probably the most solid releases we’ve heard from K-pop in a while. SuperM showed us what you get when you throw in some of the industry’s most seasoned performers and then added newcomers to the stage. They say too many good cooks spoil the soup, but after tasting the concoction that is SuperM; we can’t seem to get enough. These guys didn’t just set expectations sky high—they broke through it entirely.