[Review] [Single] Younique Unit – “Maxstep”

written by: McRoth

This is not exactly a single, but it’s definitely worth giving a listen. If not for its line-up – which consists of Eunhyuk (Super Junior), Hyoyeon (Girls’ Generation), Taemin (SHINee), Henry (Super Junior-M), Kai and Lu Han (EXO) – then at least for the sensory overload it’ll give you. And as you’ll soon find out, that might actually be the understatement of the year.

Maxstep” is a collaborative CF song by SM Entertainment and Hyundai Motor Company, so naturally it’s the most explosive thing ever. Quite literally, as the compression levels are through the roof. What a treat this must have been for the mixing engineer, as it not only delivers an incredibly loaded instrumental, but vocals that range in everything from shrieks to throaty screamo bits. It’s next-level frightening and almost intimidating to listen to. Yet SM has never been one for subtlety and that much is clear today as ever.

“Maxstep” pushes the limits even further in the SM experimentation. Crossing dubstep with what I’m going to call pop-metal, the outcome is definitely overwhelming, especially if you consider that this style isn’t exactly common in K-Pop. Younique, the sub-unit, however did a pretty decent job of executing it. It was general screaming and sing-talk, something any SM idol could have done, but as has been emphasized by all – this was a sub-unit of dancers. You hear everyone throw around notes, Henry hitting the highest in Changmin realness, but the focus was more on the sheer energy and adrenaline rush of the song than a particularly amazing vocal performance. It is a CF song, after all.


There’s something to be said about SM’s effort to experiment and toy with sound and style, because there isn’t another K-Pop company that pushes the listening experience to the extreme quite like they do. “Maxstep” is the latest example, and while it’s more miss than hit on all fronts this time, the avant-garde elements are still appreciated.

>> Bonus lulzy reactions to “Maxstep” from Twitter for your enjoyment:


Score: 2.5/5

Singles of any kind are not rated with the same rating system used for mini and full albums.

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10 thoughts on “[Review] [Single] Younique Unit – “Maxstep”

  1. First thing I thought of when I saw this was what Madeon said about dubstep:
    “… They don’t get what’s exciting about dubstep, they don’t get that it’s not the tempo that’s exciting, it’s the sound design. It’s not about just having womp-womp-womps at 70bpm. They can’t do it because it requires extreme skill. Instead it just sounds like random noises at a slow tempo. Most pop songs with dubstep breakdowns just aren’t getting it.”

    I listened to a Skrillex song after this, and found the sound design indeed better. That doesn’t mean I really enjoy dubstep, just that it’s more tolerable when listening to something that’s produced good.

    And the most damning thing about this video is the choreography. The dance added nothing to the video. They probably gave the choreographer like a day to come up with the dance. And the execution was sloppy. I bet they barely praticed it.

    So the video amounts to just the hype of SM best dancers doing an MV. And the rest is just noise trying to claw out my ears.

    P.S. Haha, I just noticed. They didn’t even bother to compressed the video in a high quality. The video look like random person uploaded a crappy AVI. SM, you’re not even trying.

    • Dubstep is so abundant these days, that it’s hard to weed out what’s actually decent and what’s just there for show. I vote we just move on from this fad and forget it ever happened :o

  2. Pingback: [Lirik] Maxstep by Hyohyeon, Eunhyuk, Taemin, Henry, Kai, Luhan | Zhy's World

  3. only Hyoyeon’s rap didn’t hurt my ears in this noisy & trashy-ever single X_X
    everytime i watch this mv i must mute the sound @@

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