Op-Ed: Three Reasons Why Super Junior Should Chill Out This Year

Super Junior fanatic ‘Cream’ has a few things to say about Super Junior’s 2012 comeback, and they’re not all positive. Actually, most of them aren’t. Read her op-ed about why she thinks Super Junior should take it down a notch this year.

written by: Cream

I wish I could say I am excited for Super Junior’s comeback, but I’m not.

Instead, I am wishing to dear Shisus that they decide to re-think the release of their 6th album this year because I think it’s really just a last half-baked, desperate attempt at wrangling the fans for their money doing anything before they have to get shipped off to the army, one by one. But before someone calls me a hater, I want to explain my love affair with the boys.

Super Junior weren’t the group that pulled me into K-Pop, but they definitely were the ones that made me stay. If you asked me three years ago who the K-Pop kings were, I would ask you if that really was a question. They were my favourite boy band for the longest time. I used to have 5+ GB of their pictures on my hard drive! When I visited Hong Kong for two years, all I bought were magazines with Super Junior’s gorgeous faces on them. I even turned my brother into an SJ fanboy. I made my parents listen to Super Junior-M in the car during our road trips. Even my friends knew not to interrupt me in the middle of my Super Junior spazzes because any attempt would be futile. The thing is, my once insane love affair has now faded. Things aren’t exactly working out in this relationship, and I thought hard about what it was, and narrowed it down to one thing: Super Junior is trying too hard.

I’m saying this because I love them. I want the good ole’ Super Junior I fell in love with back, but I’m not holding my breath right now, and here’s why:

1. Super Junior’s latest work is outdated

As a group, I think Super Junior’s last really good run was during their 3rd album and follow-up promotions. Sorry Sorry and It’s You are two of their best hits ever, and they really helped the group spread the Korean wave (i.e, Hallyu). My being a fan is the perfect example.

Before 2009, I thought Asian pop music (with the exception of C-Pop, because I’m Chinese and have the benefit of understanding everything) was full of guys looking like wannabe super saiyans from Dragon Ball, and made an effort to shy away from it. It was just too weird for me. If I had been exposed to K-Pop when Super Junior was doing their Don’t Don promotions, I don’t think I would be listening to the genre today. Instead, I got hooked on Sorry Sorry. It was catchy, it had new sounds that even my mom could bob her head to, and the dance was (and is) legendary.

Sorry Sorry was 2009.

It’s 2012 now, and the two albums since then have been their attempts at copying that kind of success, but with the same damn formula.

Fans have expressed that they’re sick and tired of seeing SuJu dancing in oddly lit boxes. They’ve been doing so for the past three years. Their musical direction hasn’t changed much, either. Yoo Young Jin has been giving Super Junior and their fans Sorry Sorry knock-offs for two years now, and I bet the upcoming single is going to be something alone those same lines. And that’s the thing – Super Junior hasn’t given us anything new, and it’s hard to believe that that’s all SME wants to do with them. I’m not asking for an amazing, mind-blowing album because SM artists aren’t famous for their coherent and mind-blowing albums. I’m just asking for something that isn’t a different version of something that belongs in 2009.

Of course, there are some things that I have to consider. For example, it’s somewhat common knowledge that Super Junior has little artistic direction compared to, say, almost every other seasoned K-Pop group out there. While that might have been the case a while ago, I don’t think that’s true now. I know that they have more say now because, in their Bonamana repackaged album, a couple of the songs were written and produced by the members. Donghae and Eunhyuk surprised me with their song, A Short Journey. Henry, while part of the M subunit, was involved with the production of at least one of the Super Junior albums of the past couple of years. I know SM governs their musical output, but at the same time, their position in the company isn’t exactly a low one either. It’s frustrating that they aren’t making decisions that fit their position at this point.

2. They’ve been on a decline for a while

There’s something to be said about Super Junior’s resilience. For a group that’s been around for over 6 years, they’ve been through more than their fair share. First, they had to deal with being the token stragglers of SM Entertainment (something that they took and eventually used to become one of the most successful groups that SM has produced to date). And as unfortunate as the car accident was that left Kyuhyun clinging for his life, it brought the group and their fanbase closer together, and I think their solidarity really shone through in their following albums. But as you start stacking one scandal after another, and you have a beaten Super Junior that is tired and broken.

It’s sad that I can almost pinpoint the moment that SuJu started to decline, structurally. It started with their ghost member Kibum missing out on all Super Junior activities and it really got rolling when Han Geng left. A combination of speculations, bad publicity and a drunken brawl here and there has left the group worse for wear. They’ve picked themselves back up, but barely, and it makes me wonder how much more they can endure as such a massive and massively popular group before realizing that maybe they should chill out for a bit.

3. They’re not aging gracefully

Super Junior have been on the scene for over 6 years, and they still show no sign of letting up. Their oldest member (and leader), Leeteuk, is heading into his thirties and he still hasn’t gone to the army yet. Super Junior is holding on to everything they possibly can in order to stay relevant, as if they’re not everywhere already. As I see it, they don’t need a new album to put them on the map. They don’t need all the extra things to do because two different concert tours, a handful of musicals, OST recordings, radio gigs, MC gigs and a whole crapload of other things is plenty enough to deal with as a fan. They aren’t sprite rookies. They’re seasoned veterans that already have a lot going on, not to mention a national obligation placed on the back burner.

It really is time for Leeteuk to serve his military service. What is he trying to hold on to this late in the game? I thought that Bonamana was his last album. Is this album another last hurrah? Is it Kangin’s comeback album? What is it? The whole thing just reeks of desperation. It’s like Super Junior is afraid that if they don’t rope in something, anything, they’re going to end up with nothing. But what are they afraid of? ELF is the second largest fanbase in the world, after Cassies. The fans aren’t going anywhere. On the contrary, I think that if they all lay low, do their own thing, quietly serve their army service time, they might actually get more fans in the long run. Legendary groups span generations. Take Shinhwa, for example. They’ve been around for 14 years now, and I bet the girls that loved them over a decade ago are sharing their love for them with their youngsters now. My old roommate grew up with Shinhwa and she shared some of their old school hits with me after Venus, just for old times sake.

Unless the Super Junior members themselves believe that they don’t have what it takes to be a mainstay in the music industry, I don’t see why they’re releasing an album now, of all times.

So there you have it. My three reasons why Super Junior just needs to stop. I like to think I’m not a batshit insane fan anymore, and am looking at this from a constructive angle. As a fan, I think it’s the best thing I can give them. I’m not trying to bash them, or dump a whole load of unwarranted criticism on their shoulders. The thing is, I know that when they come back, their single is going to be a hit on the charts, not because of how great it sounds, but because of the sheer number of fans that are going to empty their pockets at music stores and spam Soribada and Melon music portals.

Sure, getting all-kills on the charts is pretty impressive, but to get it because of the number of blind supporters you have, and not because of your musical prowess shouldn’t really be considered a true achievement for a group as seasoned as they are. I want them to work out the issues in the group, explore different sounds, and never ask Yoo Young Jin to compose for them ever again (unless it isn’t a Sorry Sorry rehash). I know they’re trained to pull tricks out of their asses like Kai pulls teasers out of his, but by the time an artist is at their sixth album, I would hope that a bit more care and attention was put into it. If they keep going on, it’s going to turn into a train wreck, at least for me.

It really all boils down to this: If it’s real quality you’ve got, I’m willing to wait.


57 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Three Reasons Why Super Junior Should Chill Out This Year

  1. a fan who dare to write her opinion honestly and objectively. im a also been a fan of them since Don’Don but it’s hard to explain what i i want actually think bout their last 2 albums. and this tells a lot, i can’t be more agree than this.

    • Thanks for reading!

      The last two albums… Bonamana was bearable but Mr. Simple was just horrible. I wish more people in the fandom would take the time to think about what they’re doing :s

      • personally, i think mr. simple album is better than bonamana. i hate the overall package, the title tracks (mr. simple/a-cha) and some tracks (opera, omg, like there’s no better tracks in the album) but i like the overall tracks more than bonamana.

  2. As an all-time hardcore ELF, I couldn’t agree more about your commentary.
    This album will be rushed. SME is trying too hard to fit all these groups on stage in just one year.
    Leetuek should be in the army by now. Kangin really needs to put off some weight and practice more. Other members are joining variety shows such as Immortal Song and some are even MCs. This year they should really chill. Or comeback at the end of the year.
    July is too soon.
    I wish SME will give them a better album instead of the crap they given them last year. Their style needs to evolve into something better, I’m not saying that they need to change or anything, but they deserve so much more.
    As a 6 year old group, they really need to pull off something a lot better, since there are so many rookies this year, they really need to set a new bar for them.
    I wish they’ll sing live, I feel like some members have been slacking off during the 5th album promotions.

  3. This album will be rushed. I feel bad, though because I don’t think they want their latest album before members start going off to be a critical flop. I am neutral with Super Junior, but do wish them all the best with promotions. However, the one thing I can’t stand is when people get rewarded for bad work just because they have enough ardent admirers backing them up. Super Junior’s last album was okay, at best. With them just coming back from a tour, I don’t see how they had any time to focus on this next release. It definitely seems like they are testing their popularity. As if they’re asking fans, what would you do if this was going to be our last album for a while? I can already assume the response, but

    • At the end of the day, they’re going to get whatever award at the end of the year for it unless bigger contenders are coming back this year.

      You’re right – they’re testing their popularity. Why, I have no idea. Maybe to give KangTeuk shippers something to play with (heh) before leeteuk goes?

      Wow that was a random and twisted thought.

  4. This is a well-written article that speaks so much about what’s going on with Super Junior and the latest album they’re about to release. It also goes to show that not all ELFs are ‘bat-shit insane’ and can actually be critical about a group they love and admire. As a fan of Super Junior, I also agree on every point this article makes. As much as I love the boys, the upcoming sixth album isn’t making me feel excited as opposed to making me feel apprehensive. In fact, when it all comes down to it, I’d rather not have them comeback at all if they’re just going to release another knock off.

    • Cringing. Really. That name is just. No words.

      But then again… It’s simple – they gotta be sexy, free and single.

      Okay. That was bad. Bye now.

      • It’s interesting to see the response from people on suju forums. It seems the users on there are also worried. Have you seen Eunhyuk’s teaser? It looks like someone got addicted to instagram and art house films. First Shinee, then F(x), now SuJu…

  5. has the world turned upside down or is an ELF making sense? :o
    i really apreciate the objectivity, most SUJU fans in Youtube give second hand embarassement. i’m not a fan but “don don’t” and “sorry sorry” are in my top 20 of k-pop songs. I think they should take advantage of the amount of fans they have not to try selling them sorry sorry 4.0 but to experiment with their music style with confidence

  6. Thank you for writing this and I couldn’t agree more! SM is just trying to make a quick buck off their idols this year. I mean come on! They’re having just about everyone from their roster come back. BoA and TVXQ are supposed to be coming back too (and SNSD I believe? And SHINee is going to be making a return and EXO too…). All of this just seems rushed. I would rather wait for idols to work on their music and craft than this. I haven’t been impressed by BoA or TVXQ’s recent material. Super Junior, well I haven’t liked their stuff since Sorry Sorry/It’s You. I wish they would ALL chill for a moment or at least if they’re going to make a comeback make sure it’s good music! I want a cohesive album not a rushed and generic sounding album. But I know that’s all hopeful wishing because insane fans will still buy their albums even if they’re bad. Which is sad because it fucks us all over. SM sees this and continues to give us bad albums because fans buy into it. Excuse my rambling, it’s just I’m tired.

    • Your rambling was justified! I’m tired too. It’s sad that I’ve grown to un-preciate most SM artists because they just don’t catch my attention fully anymore. I’m looking to EXO to bring something new to the table, but who knows what the next album will bring? Who knows what SM and their managers will decide?

      I wish that SM would stop taking advantage of insane fans and their money. Sadly, as a group we’re not smart enough to /not/ buy those albums, even if it’s a way to show how unsatisfied we are.

      • I couldn’t agree more with “as a group we’re not smart enough to /not/ buy those albums, even if it’s a way to show how unsatisfied we are” That’s how I felt when I bought the 5th album… oh well, I wish they’ll at least pull off an album that is as awesome as the Lucifer or Sorry Sorry album…
        SME needs to stop wasting their talents of the vocals in the group and give the rappers a more challenging rap… not just a ‘reading-like’ rap… otherwise I swear I’ll bang my head against the wall when I pay for the album **tears**

  7. i’m going to rewrite my comment back then in seoulbeats best album polling, to defend “mr. simple” as an album… because personally, i really like half of the album, i like it more than their fourth album, so i can’t say that i detest it.

    I agree that as an album, “Mr. Simple” tracks line-up is unbalance and some tracks are downright atrocious. However, some tracks are actually good, some are even too good for “Mr. Simple” concept. I kinda imagine what happen if they put up “ten-grownups-chill-out-and-talk-about-their-past” concept (kinda like “Sorry Sorry Answer”, minus the cars and the library lol) instead of this “psychadelic” one (which is in my opinion fit with younger groups). And instead of releasing lazy 10+ tracks album, they can cut it down so it’ll only consist of “Superman” (a tidbit remake to fit this imaginary concept, lol), “Walkin'”, “Good Friends”, “Storm”/”Memories” (choose one because SM ballads are kinda forgettable), “Sunflower”, “My Love, My Kiss, My Heart”, “Y” (let Donghae do something!), “White Christmas”, and put up a group remake of track like “The Night Chicago Died”. I think it’d be pretty decent~ Furthermore, isn’t now the time when some members have to go to military? I think this kind of concept would work…

    well, i really wish suju to ditch yoo young jin for once, and just be playful suju without trying to be so serious and fail. but again, “sexy, free, and single”? *sigh*

    • If only SM artists put a a bit more thought in their albums. Something like what you suggested would’ve made a difference. It’s always all about “showing all the different sides of ourselves” but really, they usually show a helluva lot of sides.

  8. I can think of a 4th reason: there are too many new groups who have debuted this year and have really good material. Not to mention the younger boy groups like infinite and beast… have or are also coming back strong.

    So if suju does not break out from their rehash of sorry sorry… i will only remember them as the stars that went out with nothing more than a blip.

    • Couldn’t agree more.
      By the looks of the recent teaser photo, SM is going for the same art-house-looking strategy as SHINee’s Sherlock and f(x)’s Electric Shock. However this concept fits them (or I should say at least for EunHyuk) pretty well surprisingly (to me).
      Even though SM would probably do the same thing (which the teaser photos have nothing to do with the actual song), I still have some tiny little hope for their new song to be good (or reasonable).
      I’ve heard that SM actually put a lot of effort into the production of this album (which I wish is true). We need a surprise from SME. They need to stand out, otherwise they will be over shadowed by other groups.

    • Agree with both of you, Jay and Kabuto.

      Competition is getting tough (and my heart has strayed towards EXO /shot) Hopefully they Sexy, Free and Single thing is different – in a good way.

    When I heard of SuJu’s comeback a while ago I was like, “That fast?!”. Also I love these boys but *face-palm* SF&S sounds like it’s going to be yet another half-assed song…
    Seriously wish SM would listen to the sane fans for once….

  10. super junior is coming back with an album to be called sexy, free and single …what?! …..and i can’t stop laughing hahahahahahaHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHhahahahahahahHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahHhHhahahahahahahhkkkkkkkekekekekekkekekekkhehehahahahewhehehehehehehehehe

    this article explains it all …and i agree with every word said …even the comments are so true
    adored them from sorry sorry & its you …but bonamana and mr.simple were terrible ..never rose up to the legend of sorry sorry ….i was really sorry for that …
    maybe sm is spreading them thin so they may last for the 13 year contract they are signed too !!
    im a neutral for suju but …
    u know the Apocalypse is here when elfs start to make sense lol hehe…

    • Apocalypse? Oh dear XD

      But… I don’t see why spreading them thin will make them want to keep their contract. Unless, you know, they’re just trying to milk them while they’re young. :s

      Which, I guess, is another way to think about it.

      • of course sm gonna keep them…. they are super junior for crying out loud…some one said that elfs are the second largest fanbase in the world so sm will not let them go !

        spreading them thin in a way that a year they have a very good song ….2 years terrible …then who knows ..maybe later surprise us with a good song again …a hit song every year for thirteen years may be a challenge for sm producers …kkkkk or they just given up …i dunno
        not to mention all the mcing, radio shows, musical and concerts… suju are in scattered/spread everywhere …

        milking them when they are young…hmmm… i think you are right …

  11. its true Sorry Sorry is the original… it is a timeless kpop song i never get tired of listening to.
    “SM artists aren’t famous for their coherent albums”…very well said.. i thought im the only one in the world who think that SM is not good at making coherent albums,the boys album of snsd for example… I’ll be honest here, my impression of SM town fans are crazy fans who blindly follow ,buy and like everything SM artists release like everything is perfect in their eyes..this is the trait i dont like about them… but its a good thing there are still rational SM fan like you left.. i thank u for this constructive criticisms you’ve written. this will definitely help them grow and improve as an artist and propel kpop to a higher level. (though i hope Suju or SM staff would read this) ..hehe

    • Oh man… If SME does read this… Okay. One way ticket to Korea so I can finally meet my Suho hubby, right? Yes? Deal.

      Yes, the fans can get annoying. And everything their oppars and unnirs do is perfect, but I don’t think it’s completely restricted to SMTOWN fans. I mean, fans are fans are fans. SM fans just seem to be more vocal about it because SME makes all their artists and acts a huge deal.

      Don’t lose hope! There are still rational SM fans out there. That’s how I met my friends (and lost the ones that were insane). Most of us just want to avoid bat-shit crazy fans from tracking us down when we do have real opinions. I mean, I asked one of my SONE friends to read a draft of this before I submitted it, a while ago now, and she kept saying “I don’t want the haters attacking you.” Needless to say, that hasn’t happened. Love McR for that!

    • lol they were hilarious at first (OMG SIWON’S WAS JUST… NO WORDS) but when you look at them together, then maybe… MAYBE they look like art pieces. Like in those modern art impressionist galleries or something.

    • To be honest, I think this album is wayyyy better than 5jib. Of course, not the best album of the year, not by a long shot, but as far as albums go, not as bad as Mr. Shimpurr. Could they have done better? Probably. What exactly? I’m not too sure, but I’m sure a reviewer can tell you that. XD

  12. I was a fan, and even though I’m a fan of another group now, I have to admit that my love for them is still there, even just a little. Expecially after watching From U performance.

    It’s really good reading this, and trust me that I’m one of those that believes there’s still few sensible, rational ELF out there, if not many. It’s just that the irrational ones tends to get out of hands and stands out more, and it really makes me frustrated.

    They are trying too hard. I can’t agree more on this. That’s what makes me sad when I see this group that I once loved. I missed it when Heechul was there, messing with Siwon, and Kibum. I missed it when Hangeng went with Sungmin, showing off their martial arts skills. I missed it when Kangin always there with Lee Teuk, watching Eunhyuk with his silly antics dancing with Shindong. I missed the moment when Donghae was reading his sincere letter for Heechul’s birthday. And I missed it when Yesung being awkwardly funny with Ryeowook and Kyuhyun laughing at him with the rest. I missed the old Super Junior. But the thing I missed the most is, I missed the old leader.

    I’m sorry if this comment is too long. it’s just that my love for them is still there, and I don’t want to witness their downfall any sooner.

    • I get what you mean. The way I see it, we always hope that our favourite groups improve over time, but everyone – every person, every artist – has their ups and downs. I just hope that they take a hint, finally take a break, and come back better. As I said, if it’s quality they have, I’m willing to wait.

  13. u just voiced out (typed out) what i also feel about this thingy floating around the kpop corner..nice one! :D

  14. thank you for saying what needs to be said. the other day I was just ranting abt 6jib in general. if I were to be completely honest, I don’t like Sexy, Free & Single that much. when I first heard it, I figured it might be one of those songs that will grow on you as you listen to it more. I have listened to it, again and again, and I feel like it’s still lacking something.. it’s quite catchy and sounds a little different from what they’ve done before, but it lacks the impact that a comeback song needs. it doesn’t have that ‘umph’. it’s like, we’ve heard this all before! can’t SM get another songwriter for SuJu? does it always have to be the same one? I feel like we’re regressing again from 5jib, just how like we regressed from 3jib to 4jib. 3jib was great, arguably their best album, and for good reason. 4jib paled in comparison to its predecessor. I was disappointed in 4jib. then came 5jib, and we were back to the SJ that I personally like. it felt like Sorry Sorry 2.0, and I don’t mean that in a bad way – I loved Mr. Simple on the first listen. and now 6jib.. damn. totally disappointed when I first heard the song. also, why is everything so fast? it hasn’t even been a full year since 5jib, people are still broke over SS4, and now, they release 6jib? it all feels half-assed and rushed. MV looks like an upgraded Bonamana set (omg I really hate that era lol). everything’s just lackluster to me. I feel like a bad fan, but I still bought the album and I still catch their live performances. just not with the same enthusiasm as before :| don;t get me wrong, I love these boys to death, but it’s also because of that that I want to hear something else from them.

    • You’re right – Sexy, Free and Single does lack that “umph” to get it going. I don’t hate it, exactly. That title goes to Mr. Simple. I actually didn’t like 5jib one bit, save for a few sounds that I can’t even remember now.

      I don’t think 4jib was that bad – there were more like I liked in there than in 5jib, tbqh.

  15. A very rare and objective post from a fan! It’s refreshing to read from someone that they say all these things and take responsibility about it.

    Honestly, I have just joined the SJ fandom last year. I think coming in late into it and into what seemed like the losing steam that they have, I feel bittersweet about missing the years before Mr. Simple. However, I do try to catch up on all those lost years on me.

    One thing I’d like to raise is that, right now, the long time fans of SJ think that it’s time to slow down and all that but then the outpouring of international fans seem ironic to make them stop. SM sees them as the money making machine that makes the company run (I mean, let’s be honest, there are fans who can pay for just about anything) which is one of the reasons I think they might not see the need to slow down.

    But you’re right, I think for a fan who’s been with them through all the years, it’s not always about being Number 1 or making the most money, it’s about quality. To also let them get out and enjoy life a bit more I guess.

    Great post, very enlightening!

    • Thanks for reading!

      I haven’t been into kpop for very long – not quite 3 years yet, which makes me a kpop baby. I get into SJ in earnest right around the time Han Geng’s lawsuit started, so I know what you mean about coming into the fandom right when things were starting to slow down. That’s what I mean about SJ being resilient against adversity – they have been through a lot of crap, and they’re still here. What other group can you say can do that?

      You’re right. From a money-making perspective – and this goes for everyone, not just SME – the hallyu wave is moving really quickly now. It doesn’t make any sense for anyone with a business sense to stop now. However, if there’s anything I noticed, international fans, especially in Western countries, tend to put a lot of stock on quality of music. Excluding the Beliebers, One Directioners etc (since they won’t be stanning kpop anyway) and people who get shitfaced in clubs and would dance to anything anyway, international fans might be quicker to pick up on musical quality than others. That’s just a thought, and is probably just a gross generalization. .

      I’m not sure if I’m coming across clearly. I mean, obviously kpop fans really care about quality of performance and live singing and everything.

      Eh. Point is, quality is never faux pas.

  16. The album has dropped and they’ve officially made their comeback. And the predictions written here are mostly accurate, yet another “rehash” of the Sorry Sorry sound even though Yoo Young Jin didn’t pen Sexy, Free and Single. It seems like it was SM A&R’s deliberate decision to box SJ in this style. The rest of the album is also in line with people’s predictions here and consistent with their last two album as well – a mixture of generic ballads and semi-fillers.

    I really like how everyone here is so sane and logical about this whole thing. This article highlights the microcosm of SM’s and KPop’s issues in general. SJ’s problems are common ones faced by all of SM’s uber popular groups, and SM as a company right now has zero incentive to think outside the box or put in any creative effort into their work. So much of Kpop is driven by people’s fanatic mentality instead of true appreciation for music and art. I’ve given up hope on Kpop fans because I just can’t seem to find any that has the ability to somewhat withdraw themselves from being a crazed fan and think logically about what they’re buying and supporting. To so many Kpop fans (not exclusive to ELFs), the “bond” they share with their idols far outweigh their idol’s music and artistic value. It’s sad and it’s bound to come back and bite Kpop in the rear end. And if Korea wants to make this a sustainable industry, it will have to change.

    I’m glad I came across this article and found some like minded people here. Excellently written and should be read not only by fans of Super Junior but all Kpop fans.

    • I’m glad you liked this article! It took me a full year (and a lot of new exposure to different artists, along with a growing annoyance of my stanning friends) to remove myself enough to write this.

      I don’t think fans are going anywhere. Quite frankly, fans exist everywhere, in every point in time in pop music history. Even in North America. Right now, we have Beliebers and Directioners. Back when I was in elementary, there were N*Sync and Backstreet Boys fans everywhere. My aunt, even, tells me stories of the days she fangirled over New Kids On The Block in the 80s.

      That being said, you’re right in saying that because of huge fanbases, quality of music gets the short end of the stick. And yes, as an industry, they will have to up their quality. Besides, fans do mature *points to self* and the older they get, the more they appreciate quality. But the more I think about it, the more I believe that the definition of quality in kpop does not solely refer to musical quality. Production is just as important – the dance, the outfits, the stage. All that put together with music makes kpop artists impeccably presentable. Until the hallyu wave came about, I don’t think we’ve seen so much attention but into that since… ever? At least for as long as I’ve been alive haha.

      Maybe I’m going around in circles now. Thanks for giving me food for thought!

  17. Hey, I’m just curious as to your opinion on 6jib now that you’ve (probably) heard it. Personally, I really like it, and unlike 5jib I enjoy listening to every song. I do agree with you that SJ is stuck artistically that songs like Superman and Gulliver could (hopefully) be the beginnings of SJ getting unstuck. Anyway, like I mentioned before, what’s your opinion on the new album?

    • I’m the worst music reviewer and since this site is a music review site, how about we wait till a review of the album gets published? :D The McR team will do a much better job critiquing it.

      Personally, I think 6jib is better than 5jib. That’s because I tend to like the style of songs that are in there. Things with minor keys, ballads, and little rifts that have slightly dissonant harmonies. I also like “From U”, but that’s because I have the demo track in my music library and have been listening to it on and off for the past year or so.

      Is this the best album of the year? Hell no. None of the tracks in his album even come close to my favourite SJ song.

  18. For me sorry sorry was good song based on rhythm but it didn’t make any sense. unlike their past title songs mr.simple and sexy, free and single they actually have good meaning. Personally i didn’t buy their album just so they can win. i actually liked it. Songs doesn’t just have to be catchy it’s supposed to have an impact on you. Songs that would make you feel energized. I think that you’re thinking that way because you, yourself is waiting for a song much like Sorry Sorry, but not every song will be like. bouncy and just opt for dancing. I admit SM need to give them a rest, they really need to take a rest but it’s their time to think. To call fans as just blindingly following and just buying is harsh but opinions are opinions and should be respected. I agree to some point but not all. enjoyed reading this…Nice meeting you:D

    • I’m glad you enjoyed reading this :) Nice meeting you too!

      Just to clarify, I’m not looking for a song that is like “Sorry Sorry”. My favourite track from them isn’t “Sorry Sorry” – its “It’s You.” That is not a bouncy or dancing song by far. If there’s any song that has meaning, it’s that one.

      I guess it might be harsh to say that fans are following blindly, but I’ve met countless ELFs that do. My tlist is spammed by these people. Sure, it’s not everyone, and I apologize if I come off as making a gross generalization, but with a fanbase as big and as… vocal, as ours, it’s almost by default that they will buy albums without thinking. I mean, imagine all the pre-orders that were made before any tracks got released.

      Just some food for thought :)

  19. Actually I dont know what I feel when I’m reading, I feel sad (because what you said it’s true) but also couldn’t agree more.
    I’m an ELF, even you can call me a hardcore ELF that will always love whatever their oppars give to fans. I was excited and confused at the same time when I heard they’ll realese 6jib. Excited because I’ll hear their new songs and see them (espcially Kangin) in music shows but confused why that fast when they even just finished SS4. I actually worried about the quality of 6jib, because as I know some of great western bands need years for preparing their album, but Suju only prepared 6jib for around 3 months if I’m not wrong.
    When first listened to SF&F, I’ve to admit this song caught my heart faster than Bonamana and Mr Simple. After listening all the songs, well not bad though this album still cant beat my fav album, Sorry Sorry. And I’m bit glad they wanted to make different with Gulliver and Rockstar, though my fav songs in this album is A ‘Good’ Bye and From U, I love the melody and their voices here. It’s not their best album but in my opinion it’s a bit better than 4jib and 5jib.

    What I like the most in this article is your honest opinion. I’m sure all the insane ELF in my timeline will bash you if they read this. But dont worry I’ll support you because what an idol needs is not only love but also good critics from their fans so they can be better. And to be honest is I’m so tired with all insane ELF. Okay I really really love Super Junior. I still get (and will always) goosebumps everytime I see their performances, but yeah some of ELF who bash other idols and do everything to help Suju wins many awards is just funny for me. I kinda sad Suju only won awards because their highest selling albums and highest voting not because of their album quality. It doesnt mean I’m not happy if they win (I even teary everytime they cry because I know they’ve worked so hard for their fans) but I want the music industry praise Suju because of their music quality.
    I hope in the future, I want to see Suju has album with full songs composed by them. I’ll highly appreciated it. I love all songs composed by them such as Believe, Love U More, A Short Journey, All My Heart, Y, Andante, and Gulliver. Donghae has talent to make ballad song and Eunhyuk with hip hop song. Well thats just my opinion.
    I hope you’ll write kinda this article again in the future. And it will be better if all insane ELF read this and realize how insane they are
    But overall I’m still a hardcore (or maybe I’m an insane) ELF who will always love and support my oppars in my own way hehehe

  20. I agree with what u said, honestly talking out about your opinion without bashing is what i looking for from a sj fans/ex. Well i am not an ELF, i like them for their good-looking face(not all of them),their voice and of course some of their songs but still i can’t label myself as an ELF because I’M NOT LOVE ALL OF THEM, being called as a fandom name is not just a name, it’s has it’s own rule and meaning in but i don’t know what is yours(elf) so i just judge from what my fandom teach me for not calling yourself as an ELF since i only like one of them well maybe that is not for all of the people but at least my fandom tell me so and that’s what i have faith in.
    Actually the one who drag me into this whole new world is Donghae, i fell in love with him at the very 1st sight i just can’t get enough of him, i started to know them but yet again they don’t attract me at all, actually time by time i started to dislike them a little bit and here now i can say i totally dislike them but i not mean to bashing i admit that they are one of the top boygroup this is a fact, their popularity can’t be unseen, their fansclub is one of the biggest, they are one of the idol that leading hallyu wave, all i list out it’s fact that really no one can deny it even me myself as another loyal fandom follower(ELF ETERNITY ENEMY) i must admit it althought i hate it.
    Their previous album BONAMANA i kinda bearable like what you said and really i was JAW DROP-DROP when they release Mr.Simple, it was totally a mess FOR ME the song and the choreography really irritated me so much,actually i can’t believe it because i know they are not just somebody, i know that they can be much more better than that. i think that it’s not their problem but just the song that they choose just a little bit that i can’t accept. They are no longer the boys six years ago, they need to be grown up and yet we also, keep replaying the same thing for years i feel sooner or later people will get sick of it the best example is me even i am not an ELF but i know that u guys(ELF) will support whatever they are doing even they just keep doing the same thing right?!.
    For this album i just can’t more than agree with you, it’s really too rush for them i mean they should really stand by and do a really big hit for their comeback but they didn’t. This year really so much new boy group debut, all of them were so great not just good looking but also their music gave addiction and it’s really refreshing, i bet all of you must be figured out what i mean, maybe it’s really TOO RUSH!!! Sometimes all kills in charts, the summary of album sales, 1st place on music bank etc can’t prove that their music is GOOD but just because they are who they are. Without knowing a song in it there is a bunch of people pre-order the album isn’t it prove that not bother what is inside they just jump in because what they care about is who is this belong to not what the things that inside it. As a listener, as a netizen not a fans i required QUALITY MORE THAN QUANTITY.
    That is what i want to say, I apologize if u guys feel offend by my word,sorry.

  21. Omg, thank you for clearing this up for me. I’m a recent ELF – and I’m exactly at the point where you said you once was: batshit insane. And honestly I can’t comment on this fairly without sounding awfully biased, since I was a fan of them during their Mr. Simple album. The last albums where you said SuJu started to decline… It pains me that when I read this I agreed eagerly to what you wrote. Super Junior needs a break. The boys are simply exhausting themselves, they need a long vacation to search for fresh new material. Sexy, Free & Single made me facepalm on the title alone, and yet I enjoyed it because I’m a batshit insane ELF, plus Eunhyuk’s break dance was awesome. :P But now this article made me realize is that they are putting out weak effort at ever improving more than that. Which is saddening for me, or for any other ELFs that realize this. In the end, I am certainly wishing that as veterans in the KPOP industry for 6 years and counting, that Super Junior shines again in all the glory they once were.

    SuJu Fighting! ~

  22. Yeah,, you definitely right..
    It just hurt me to see that they’re trying too hard and feel afraid of loosing popularity.. they have to take some time to have a break and comeback with a good music..
    I Really love them,, but i want a good music to listen too….
    Suju Fighting, Saranghae

  23. There are things i agree with and thing i disagree with, but I hope you as a fan is not losing hope on our boys. I honestly think they haven’t really shown us what they can to the best of their abilities yet maybe it’s because SM always calls the shots… Our boys need our support and faith in them. I think SS5 is a turning point for them because they were the ones who thought of the whole thing and its’s so different now. I hope you’re not saying that it’s because our boys don’t have talent and that they are crap and are insignificant….

    But i appreciate what you wrote :-) fighting!!

  24. I liked SF&S, but it didn’t blow me away or anything. Maybe I liked it so much because SungMin actually had a chance to shine (line-wise anyways; I was disappointed with “Opera” as a JP single because Ming had like 1 1/2 lines in it…..). Sometimes I think I like SJ just because of SungMin. Of course, he’s one of the more underrated members it seems (except in Japan). I mean, he’s stared in “Jack the Ripper” for 3 years as Daniel. He obviously has SOME talent. I wish SME would let him shine. (Uh oh, I’m climbing onto my SungMin soapbox again. XD)

    I just want an album that will completely blow my fucking mind. SJ is the band that pulled me into Kpop with “Sorry, Sorry” and “Super Girl.” And even “BONAMANA” (yes, I liked “Mr. Simple” too; I’m a sucker for things I can dance to, and plus, Mr. Simple is what made me and my now-super-best-friend become super best friends, so perhaps I love it so much for that reason rather than for its artistic quality). I don’t want to give up hope on them. I do think SJ-M’s “Break Down” album was great. Of course, now with all the military enlistments coming up, I can’t expect anything too stellar from SJ (maybe from SJ-M, just as long as SME doesn’t fuck them over).

    I do think SME has more control over the albums and album compilations more so than SJ does, so I don’t really blame SJ themselves for flops. I blame the company, because in the music industry, the company usually has the final say in just about everything.

  25. i want them to leave SM ! it’s the only way they would be able to make decisions and regain the public’s respect.
    their contract is ending soon and Heechul is already giving hints of them leaving SM.
    if they renew their contracts i will kinda lose my respect for them.
    it’s time for them to grow up a little bit. Several members already expressed their frustration towards SM’s methods but it’s easy to go on tv-shows and say it but follow the orders anyway. They are not kids anymore and sometimes i find them a bit disrespectful towards their fans by letting SM screwing them up and just releasing half-assed albums.
    we are waiting for more and as much as we love them how long will we be able to support them if they keep giving us that kind of music ? at some point you have to stop taking people for idiots ! Now they want to wait for Leeteuk to release their next album ? why ??? i love Leeteuk but it’s not like he is a master piece of the group !
    i think the reason why they maybe won’t leave SM is because they are afraid to be blocked on TV (since some of them are regular MCs it’s not good for them) and they are not confident enough to handle themselves. But it’s unfair for the fans and unfair for the ones who really want to be considered as artists in the industry like Kyuhyun, Ryeowook and Yesung. Those 3 are just pitiful because no matter what they do they are dragged down by the others who half-ass their lives or are just mostly focused on being funny or doing fanservice. KRY need to wake-up and think about their careers more seriously.
    Right now Super Junior are considered as a joke in the music industry and as a fan it became more and more difficult to find the words to protect their name.
    what can i say to the others when they compare them to Big Bang for example ? when they say that members can’t sing live or lip-sync during the concerts ? when they say that the only reason Super Junior are still relevant is because of their fans who would support anything just because they love their funny personalities ?
    i can’t say nothing because, sadly, we all know it’s true and it’s what makes me so angry when i see people bashing them, the fact that i can’t protect them from the truth :(
    it’s sad, your post is from last year but nothing has changed except the fact that they are on a break.
    just leave SM for god sake ! fans will stay with you anyway so at least try to do something with your careers ! Give us what we want : a reason to be proud.

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