SUPERM – 'SUPERM: THE 1ST MINI ALBUM'
1. Jopping *Title
2. I Can’t Stand the Rain
3. 2 Fast
4. Super Car
5. No Manners
6. Jopping (Instrumental)
7. I Can’t Stand the Rain (Instrumental)
In early October, the supergroup SuperM debuted with their first-ever mini-album. For those not in the know, SuperM is composed of 7 boys from 4 different groups: Taemin from SHINee, Baekhyun and Kai from EXO, Taeyong, and Mark from NCT 127, and Ten and Lucas from Chinese boy group WayV. Apparently the multiple fandoms they draw from didn't hurt any -- they debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, the first K-pop group to do so.
They front the album with their lead single, "Jopping." The word is a portmanteau of jumping and hopping, according to the lyrics. If you want an *ahem!* interesting definition of jopping, do a search on Urban Dictionary -- if you dare. But besides that, this has the loud synths and bold chorus that I heart. It's a catchy tune, multi-layered, with time changes and just all the pop goodness you can handle. Starting with a pounding beat and grunts from the members, "I Can't Stand the Rain" is an R&B banger hybrid. It's danceable and catchy and manages to keep up that key tension the whole time -- that there's a payoff. And you get that with the time changes and the chorus.
"2Fast" is less a hybrid than a full-on R&B tune. I love the sense of urgency in the vocals, and the way one line slinks serpent-like to another. There's a space-age feel to this one, and it's definitely a fun one. It's definitely earned its place here while being smoother and more of a slow burn than the two preceding tunes. Quick quiz: "Super Car" is (A) a car built to take the members of SuperM around or (B) a muscle car. Well, as amusing as option A might be, it's actually both. It's got that smoothness we've heard in other tracks and those catchy lyrics. It almost makes me want to take a joyride in a supercar. The last proper song on here is "No Manners." It's a slower one than the other ones, more soft R&B than anything else, but it works quite well. It's a bit of a comedown from the other songs, but it's just as good.
And what they've done here is reward the fans. They may be a buffet-style band -- two members from here, one member from there -- but all together they make a satisfying meal. This is a meaty album, with no filler and nary a sappy ballad to be found; airtight and diamond-hard. 4 or 5 tracks, IMHO, is ideal, and they make the most of it here.
I initially thought that a joyride in the supercar might make a pretty sweet MV. I like their idea better.
And even though I like it better, I'd be hard-pressed to tell you what's going on. From views of cars speeding down the highway to a hovering helicopter... with one of the members stretching (and having their body turn to a glowing high-tech wireframe version of them), this MV offers some stellar visuals. And that's just the first 20 seconds!
From there we streak into hyperspace, and then the music starts. The boys walk and even dance while structures build themselves up around them. When they hit the highway, it's an idealized version of it. You know those videos where they show tracers behind the cars at night? This is an environment like that, only the tracers are still there and they're dancing and driving through them.
The environments are varied, and at least half of them have to do with vehicles and/or movement. From the highway at night, to the desert and the sky by day, you're not likely to get bored. Not only that, there are performance stages where unknown objects rotate overhead, stages in packed stadiums, and some holograms to boot.
And if you're not lost yet, good. Because there's also the boys themselves. Clad in a wardrobe that makes them look badass, they get to see them jopping in various venues. And it's just as satisfying as all the rest of the special effects.
I wasn't sure what to expect from "Jopping." But now I know what I should have expected was a heaping pile of awesome.
MV SCORE: 8.6
ALBUM SCORE: 8.6