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Super Junior’s new album is hyper-trendy

  • Published : Jul 20, 2015 - 17:13
  • Updated : Jul 20, 2015 - 17:13

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(SM Entertainment)

Super Junior is all style and sophistication in its new album “Devil,” a special release celebrating 10 years since the group’s debut. Featuring bouncy, stylized beats and collaborating with an eclectic bunch of musicians, the new album sees the band branching out musically and appealing to a wider audience.

In more than a few ways, Super Junior has arguably been a group atypical to SM Entertainment. At a label known for producing ultramodern pop beats and veiling its artists in a pristine public image, the 12-member group -- currently comprising nine active members -- has often taken itself less seriously than its fellow SM groups Shinee or TVXQ, with comical television personas and music that has relied heavily on playful, addictive hooks like those in “Sorry Sorry,” “Rokkugo!!!” and “Bonamana.”

In this new album, however, Super Junior largely sheds the jest of its previous releases for a sexier, more sophisticated sound, following through a transition that began with the swanky 2014 release “This is Love.”

The title track, “Devil,” speaks of an irresistible attraction toward a woman who is at once “cool” and “hot.”

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(SM Entertainment)

It is produced by a hip team comprised of the Stereotypes, a Grammy Award-nominated, multiethnic production trio that has previously worked with Far East Movement, Ne-Yo and Justin Bieber; Kenzie, SM’s favorite in-house composer; and composer Micah Powell. The result makes for a highly stylized groove, underpinned with sleek guitar riffs, funky brass and abundant use of falsetto.

The majority of the album’s tracks showcase a similar kind of clean-cut trendiness, incorporating elements of the most fashionable sounds in the pop scene today. “Simply Beautiful,” composed by Hyuk Shin, DK, Marcos Reyes, Jarah Gibson and Jeffrey Patrick Lewis, is a sexy, mid-tempo serenade to a woman who is “simply beautiful,” while “Good Love,” another track by the Stereotypes-Kenzie-Powell team, features a bouncy rhythm reminiscent of the massive Billboard hit “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke.

Another highlight of the album is its colorful list of collaborators, which includes Epitone Project, a one-man singer-producer known for his MIDI (musical instrument digital interface) music; Kim Yoon-ah, the bewitching female vocalist of alternative rock band Jaurim; and Jangmi Yeogwan, an indie band that shot to popularity for its sultry, old-timey tunes. All celebrated in the Korean music scene for their unique styles, these artists, while their songs may deviate somewhat from the overall theme, add texture to the album.

Super Junior members also contributed, with Donghae’s compositions “Don’t Wake Me Up,” a feel-good pop track about falling in love, and “Alright,” which speaks of the bond of friendship among the teammates in lyrics written by Eun-hyuk.

By Rumy Doo (bigbird@heraldcorp.com)