Monday, December 3, 2012

[#46] Super Junior - "Only U"

From: "SPY"
Format: Repackaged Album
Released: August
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Appearances (Super Junior proper only): "S.E.O.U.L. Song" (2009) / "It's You" (2009)

When I first locked the list a few days ago, Super Junior weren't part of the final 50. But if there's something I've realized over the years, it's that I'm not always aware of how much I like, or dislike, a song until I sit down and write a review for it. Which is why when I lock the list it doesn't really mean that I'm barring it from changes completely -- in fact, as of now I haven't ranked my top three songs, which means I don't have a #1 yet (that should change very soon though!). Anything can change until I publish, and this is one of those changes.

I love a good melody when I hear one, but I love it even more when that good melody is accompanied by other elements that allow it to shine. "Only U" is that kind of song. The verses start out very unassuming, but there's a sense of urgency to the piano line that's partially hidden by everything else happening. It's that urgency that sort of makes way for the chorus, which is absolutely breath-taking.

The chorus is stunning, but what I like the most about it is how it takes advantage of the fact that it's being sung by a group and not a solo act or even a duo. The padded unison parts, the harmonies carried by the high notes, the ad-libs on top of lead vocals, and even the overlapping of lines (in the second chorus especially) -- these are things only a group can pull off if this was ever sung live. It's also these parts of the song that really drive the point home and give you goosebumps.

Just when I thought things couldn't get any better, the middle 8 comes in all it's glory. It's very melodic and graceful, but the fact that male voices deliver it (Kyuhyun and Yesung to boot) gives it that forceful body that it needs. But I think what makes it even more effective is the fact that it comes after this very edgy rap part, even though it's still pretty melodic -- it makes the contrast even more striking and surprising.

Wrap very warm, full, production around everything, and you have a song that just makes everyone melt.

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