SUPER JUNIOR - REPLAY

 
SUPERJUNIORREPLAY.png
 

Release Date: April 12th, 2018
Label: SM Entertainment
Genre: Dance/Pop/R&B
Length: 15 Songs/52:36


 

01. Lo Siento (Feat. Leslie Grace) {10/10} ♫ ▲
If you haven't checked out my full thoughts on "Lo Siento" already, you can see my review here. If you want the TL;DR of it, I thought that this was a fantastic track with a perfect melding of genres and cultures.

02. Black Suit {10/10} 
"Black Suit" is one of my favorite tracks from last year, and honestly it's only gotten better for me since then. The infectious horns in combination with the buzzing synth and muted piano are insanely addictive. This is a grand presentation of one song in an arsenal of SUPER JUNIOR's disgustingly catchy discography, but it's also a progression of a sound that's been uniquely attributable to them for over a decade and counting. The high-energy kick that this song delivers is praise-worthy, and the vocals follow up the instrumentals with such a fluid dynamic that you can't help but find yourself grooving along.

03. Scene Stealer {9/10}
"Scene Stealer" pulls a bit of a turn from the previous track, giving listeners a more relaxing yet upbeat song. There's a Bruno Mars-esque feel to this song due to the funky synth-heavy beat, but it also distinctly differentiates itself from a mere imitation in nearly every other facet. The vocals have a lot more parts that would make for fantastic crowd interactions, and I'd imagine they make this song perfect for live performances. The house party vibes are definitely strong in this track and it just overall makes for an easy listen that's more than enjoyable.

04. Me & U {8.5/10} 
"Me & U" is one of the new songs included on this repackage, and it certainly fits in right alongside the more old school feel of the two tracks that precede it. The whole song has a softer touch to it, but I do particularly love how the song starts off sounding like it might be a more ballady-type and switches it up quickly after. The hand claps and acoustic guitar give the song a certain flair as well, and yet the rap portions with more presence from the bass synth still work well alongside everything, even the dreamlike string portions. There's a lot of interesting ideas presented in this single song and they all mesh together extremely well. 

05. 비처럼 가지 마요 (One More Chance) {8/10} 
"One More Chance" is one of the more serious songs on the entire album. The empty space in the verses really brings a heavy tone to the song alongside the more despondent vocals, and even the rap portion of this song feel somber and weighty. The use of string instruments gives it extra gravity and depth while adding a dramatic element as well. While it's not necessarily my style of song overall, I think this is a more appealing type of slow song than I'm accustomed to hearing on albums.

06. Good Day for a Good Day {9.5/10} 
This track pulls right back to that fun, carefree sort of feel that's been more dominant on this album to this point. The funky guitar licks and slapping drums are seriously perfect. The transition to piano and a heavier electric sound for that second verse is such a clean way to keep the song from feeling too repetitive, and I love the sparse use of brass horns as well. The vocal melody has you singing along at least by the second chorus and this song just has purely positive vibes leaking out of it. Honestly, "Good Day for a Good Day" would have been a great alternative to a title track, but I don't mind that it ended up being a b-side, either.

07. Runaway {8.5/10} 
This track maintains a similar set of instrumentals as the last, but uses them in a severely different way. There's a popping and slapping bass line toning out beneath the more upfront horns and there's a good combination of normal acoustic guitar chords alongside the quick bursts of funk chords. The entire last bit of this track having a small guitar solo was great, and it never became the focus of the song to a point that it distracted from the chant-like chorus. "Runaway" overall just feels good to listen to, and I really love the instrumentation in it.

08. Super Duper {9.5/10} 
"Super Duper" is a new track for this repackage, originally being released as an SM Station track earlier this year. When I first heard it back then, I listened to it, thought it was an okay burst of fun, and that was it. However, I found myself going back and listening to it, and then I just couldn't stop hitting replay. This song is just simply addictive and it's amazingly easy to sing along with on subsequent listens. The droning and winding of the bass synths are fantastic, and the percussion switches throughout the song are equally great. Vocally it just makes you want to shout and scream along with SUPER JUNIOR and it just brings a sense of hype that's undeniable. 

09. The Lucky Ones {9/10} 
Instrumentally "The Lucky Ones" was really interesting. The first bits sounded almost like something out of an old cheesy romance movie, but then by the time the chorus hits it switches into something that reminded me of something off of Taylor Swift's 1989 album. There are deep synths and pulsating bass progressions, and the processed, softened vocals and simple drumbeat really pulled me into that mood. This song has a more serious tone, though not as dramatic as "One More Chance" from earlier. It's overall very solid, and I love how varied it is throughout to stop itself from becoming too monotonous.

10. 예뻐 보여 (Girlfriend) {8.5/10} 
"Girlfriend" has some dripping synths and a great use of a piano melody to drive the verses. The way that the drums build up in the pre-chorus is fantastic, and I love how wavy everything sounds during the chorus. Admittedly, that does take away some of the punch that I felt needed to be there, but the smoothness of it also has an appeal of its own. From the song title I was honestly expecting a kind of cheesy romantic bit, but instead this song veers into some great, groovy territory instead. It's a good break from both the quick-paced more hyped songs as well as the serious nature of the other tracks that the album's had up to this point.

11. 안아줄게 (Hug) {6/10} ♫ ▼
The soft acoustic guitar and empty space in this song is exactly what I was expecting from the previous track, but it's also what I would expect from a track named "Hug." It's slower, and it's less about the instrumentals than it is the buttery smooth vocal deliveries, of which this song is not short on. However, sadly, this song felt like a typical ballady love song than I was wanting. It's definitely got some production values behind it, but it overall feels just like a throwaway track on what was otherwise such a great mix of an album.

12. Spin Up! {9.5/10} 
"Spin Up!" practically puts the other tracks on this album to shame when it comes to the funk factor. If you thought that anything up to this point had some great disco-type vibes, then this song is bound to slap you in the face and tell you to change your mind. Nearly the entire song revolves around some unbelievably snappy bass grooves, and the fluid vocal layers atop them are like icing on the cake. The entire bridge section to this song is flawless as well. This song has you wanting to get up out of your seat and dance in a very different way than the other tracks do, and presents a great way to signal the beginning of the end of this album.

13. 시간 차 (Too late) {9/10} 
"Too late" brings back a bit of the serious tone from a few earlier tracks, though it doesn't get quite as dark or heavy. Having the piano bits as a driving focus was a great change of pace at this point in the album, and I really liked how they mixed with the thundering drums. The very gradual volume increase of the fluttering, ethereal electronic sounds leading into the chorus was a delightful touch as well. The entire ending to this song is different than one might expect, bringing a vocal pitch change and a sensational shift in the dynamics of the instruments at play. Similarly to "Spin Up!" this track really holds a sense that things are coming to a close, and it works wonderfully.

14. I do (두 번째 고백) {8.5/10} 
"I do" is technically the final track on this album, and it works really well as just that. It closes out the album on a more promising, hopeful note than was present in any of the preceding songs. The percussion sounds a bit like a slight rendition of the famous Amen Break, but it works well beneath the optimistic vocals and temperate piano. The wider scope of the low-toned synth throughout this track really makes everything feel grander and gives it a wonderful depth that might have otherwise been absent. With its upbeat style, more serious tone, and positive atmosphere, this song manages to encompass the entire album's concepts into a single song, and it's a beautiful resolution to use as a closing note.

15. Lo Siento (Feat. KARD) {N/10} ♫ ◙
I'm going to pass on giving this a review, simply because it's just the same song but fully in Korean instead of mixing in Spanish. I'm sure some people will find it more appealing and others less so.


 

 
 

▲ = Favorite song on the album
▼ = Least fav. song on the album
 ♫ = New songs on repackage
 ◙ = Digital album only 

 

Summary
REPLAY is an incredbly solid album full of fantastic tracks, each with a distinct flair and identity that blend together in a cohesive and appealing manner. It presents listeners with an exceptional mix of modern production and retro styles that fuse together and brew an impressive showing of SUPER JUNIOR's mastery over several genres and concepts. Even as a repackage the connection between all of these songs is apparent, and it's such a superb collection of awesome songs that I can't help but recommend everyone to check it out at least once.

Overall Score: 9/10