SUPER JUNIOR K.R.Y. – 'WHEN WE WERE US'
1. When We Were Us
2. Way to Busan
3. The Way Back to You
4. I Can’t
6. Midnight Story
Super Junior K.R.Y. has just released a special album to celebrate 15 years together. Yes, Kyuhyun, Ryeowook, and Yesung are back to bless us with their beautiful voices on 'When We Were Us.' It's their first-ever EP, as well as their first Korean release since debut. The mini-album has 6 tracks, plus the title track, "When We Were Us." It's already sweeping iTunes charts worldwide, hitting number 1 in 29 regions.
The first track just happens to be the title track. As you might expect, it's a slow one, driven by piano. The song is tender and gentle at first. And it should come as no surprise that an orchestra joins the ensemble, rising to a crescendo. And the emotion in the vocals does the same. It's a breakup song, full of regret and pain. "Way to Busan" has many of the same characteristics as the first one. It too is a breakup song, full of regret and pain, yadda yadda yadda. The difference is the orchestra starts up early, allowing the song to be an even more emotional affair than the first. That and they directly reference Busan several times.
An uncharacteristically cheerful tune, "The Way Back to You" has kind of an old-style 1920s-1930s vibe to it. Horns and an upbeat tempo characterize this one. Unlike the other songs, the boys are happy. They're going to see their lover again. "I Can't" brings us back to the now-familiar song structure and subject matter. It's another tune about breaking up. And we also return to the sad vocal stylings, as they reinforce that the two lovers can't be together.
"Home" is a Monotree tune, as that production team handled the lyrics, the composition, and the arrangements. It's a ballad, but it's not entirely unhappy. True, it is slow, and the boys' emotional vocals grace the song. But this time there's a glimmer of hope, as they tell the girl to "look forward to" them. "Midnight Story" is different from the others. It's mostly guitar-based, shedding the piano for a more folksy instrument. It's a slightly faster tempo than the others, as well. They talk about the stars and the wind and the sky, assigning them anthropomorphic characteristics. And in case you haven't guessed, it's another breakup tune.
While a collection of ballads is just not my thing, I can't deny that they do it well. I'm a fan of Kyuhyun's solo work, so it's nice to hear his vocals again. These boys together are as emotional as ever. The songs tug at the heartstrings. Besides, we haven't heard anything out of these boys in quite a while. So show them some love.
Each of the boys have their own environment in this MV.
Ryeowook hangs out with flowers, Kyuhyun is chilling with a bunch of monitors, and Yesung is with more screens closer to the floor. About the only sense I can make of that is they take the lyrics literally. Ryeowook sings about flowers, therefore he gets flowers.
This whole video seems as if it's taking the lyrics literally, and translating them for the screen. They sing about a blue summer, and we have screens with blue scenes playing with even blue clothing mixed in.
The monitors and TV screens I don't get. I don't remember anything in the song about that but there's also something else afoot.
Each of the three boys is extremely emotional here. It's in keeping with the song. You get to see their tortured expressions as they recount the times gone by and memories of love.
And that's the thing. It's extraordinarily effective when you add the group to the mix. Then you concentrate on who's doing the singing, rather than where they're at.
And, in that, it works.
MV SCORE: 8.0
ALBUM SCORE: 8.0