Dubbed 'The Avengers of K-Pop', the Korean pop SuperM is a group comprised of SM's current greatest male vocalists, rappers, and dancers. The group has made their official debut with the release of their self-titled album 'SuperM' with the title 'Jopping' which is described as jumping & popping.
I find it cool that SM has decided to create a super group with all the elements of the individual groups together into one. I believe this is for North American success projection, but only time will tell. Jopping has been described as exactly what a North American consumer would be interested in, featuring a lot of English lyrics, as well as focusing on the members' abilities themselves as singers, rappers, and dancers.
I'll be listening to the full album and reviewing each song individually to highlight the strong points that I find in each of the songs.
0:10 - Right off the bat, the epic anthem-like instrumental with the hard-hitting brass with the clapping is an amazing motivator and grasp into the song. Harmonise that with the amazing chant from the members with the rich sub-vocals and it makes for a striking intro.
0:32 - This low-end hip-hop-like flow is nicely detailed and controls the tempo of the song nicely. It's a great head-bopper. The vocals have a distant echo effect which creates a sense of space and room to really volumise and resonate the low-end in the instrumentals.
0:48 - I like that they keep that hip-hop beat when Taehyong enters with his rapping, his rapping is no accompanied by any sort of subvocal which is nice as it lets his vocals speak for themselves. Mark's latter half of the first verse is similar in giving his vocals the spotlight with no extra frills.
1:05 - Here there are nice, echoey subvocals from Kai with the (paraglide) (pair of slides) (paradise) (better life) and it makes his vocals so fluid and roomy, the highs in his husky voice naturally contrast with that consistent instrumental background.
1:21 - Baekyun's naturally feminine tones in his voice contrast nicely with that background instrumental and also share the same no-strings-attached vocal as the earlier part of the first verse did which is great in showcasing his vocal ability.
1:28 - Taemin's entry with his low pillowtalk tone is a great change of flavour from the previous members' lines earlier in the first verse, whilst still sharing the same composition. I absolutely love how great this song is at showcasing their vocals and individual prowess.
2:06 - I love that despite the song's inherent confusion over where the main chorus is, it still flows into a verse after the initial second chorus. Mark Lee's rapping here is exceptionally deep and punchy especially when paired with the returning hip-hop instrumental. The echoey subvocals have the same traits as Kai's earlier verse too. Taemin returns here too with his masculine whispery vocals and it's a fantastic contrast in mood to Mark Lee's dark and mysterious rapping.
2:37 - The chorus is here once again for a third time and I love how it's naturally a connector between the second verse and the bridge to properly transition from the deep and masculine vibe of the verses and the upcoming bridge which I anticipate is going to take the tempo down a notch.
2:54 - There's a faint humming in the background to once again give the atmosphere some body and room, and the vocals of Taemin and Baekyun here are the pinnacle of the vocal ability of SuperM. I love the change in tempo and pace in this section to set up an epic finale.
3:16 - This chorus sounds epic. The subvocals and the high notes of Baekyun are amazingly well detailed and make for the most hyped chorus I've heard in a long time.
0:12 - The heavy and punchy drum is so echoey and deep, especially when combined with the higher tones of the vocalists. This has a similar styling to Jopping so far.
0:48 - This section really reminds me of Exo's earlier work with the heavy bias towards EDM-like instrumentals and the vocals being overly-worked.
0:58 - Wow, the high vocals really pop especially since there is a swift transition from punchy drums to this dreamy instrumental.
1:22 - The drum returns and the vocals also make their return with little echo effect, once again very similar to Jopping's style of composition.
2:27 - This almost half-time section sounds very primal and animalistic with the drums being far deeper than before, and the vocals being forward.
0:12 - This is a nice mellow beginning with the whispery vocals, it makes for a calm and airy atmosphere.
0:59 - I love the echoey vocals of the members here, the calm instrumental background is also a nice touch too as it retains it low noise floor.
1:36 - I particularly love this bit for the echoey vocals that return with the vibrant and roomy tones.
1:56 - This change of pacing in the bridge is a great opportunity to showcase the vocals of the members and emphasise them with the whispery cloudy subvocals.
2:30 - I like that the chorus seems to pick up the tempo a bit and also increase the instrumental volume a bit along with it. The echoey vocals combined with the subvocal adlibs make for a nice finale.
0:06 - There's a very distinct futuristic and EDM-like background instrumental to go along with the amazing vocals here. A very different change from the previous songs in the album.
0:43 - The 'Vroom' drop was simply epic. I noticed that the instrumental was let loose and became punchy and deep, with the vocals also coming alive, almost chant-like.
1:18 - Similarly to the intro and first verse, this has the low notes of the instrumental with the simplistic vocal stylings.
1:51 - I absolutely love the transition from the calm and shy instrumental from the verses to the absolutely dirty and nasty composition of the choruses.
2:20 - If there was any proof that this is an EDM-style song, this is it. A bridge that encorporates an EDM beat and very raw and edgy vocals.
0:20 - This is quite a calm and lowkey song, at least from the beginning. A simple echoey choir-like vocal composition with an even simpler 4-chord piece in the background. The entrance of the bass gives some body to the composition and creates a dark sound.
0:54 - Similar to the first verse, there's an eerily-harmonic vocal composition with that noir-like instrumental composition.
2:00 - This is probably the one point in the song where vocals pick up a notch. The rest of the song so far has been whispery and shy vocals with an even darker and muted instrumental composition.
Going to be honest, I was only really hooked to Jopping. The rest of the songs did not seem very interesting nor prominent as Jopping was. Jopping simply one-upped every other song on the album. The album's songs all have the same hip-hop style about them, but Jopping does these the best, in my opinion.
Jopping is simply put, an amazing dance track as it encorporates plenty of instrumental choices to get the listener hyped up. The brass is an amazing choice as it gives a royal and suspenseful vibe around the song. The bass is extremely evident in the Spotify 320kbps version and it makes the song so punchy and deep. Additionally, since that instrumental persists throughout the whole song, it's super easily to get into the flow and vibe with the song.
To touch on the vocals and not specifically just in Jopping, I know the members very well so I was able to tell which members sang what parts. But to those uninitiated in Korean pop, I absolutely love that each of the members have their own specific flavour of vocal styles so there's an abundance of energy and character around the songs.
As an album, it's not necessarily my thing to listen to, but Jopping as a song I will easily oblige to listen to. It's an amazing song with an amazing composition, and perfected by the unique and charismatic vocals of all the members.