Thursday, September 29, 2011

Review: Super Junior–“A-CHA”

Super Junior become Western saloon bouncers/assassins (kind of) in their new music video.

Did you like the song?
It’s the standard Super Junior fare: kind of disjointed but still catchy and fun. I think they used autotune less heavily here than on previous new SM songs, and it works well. (To rehash what others have repeatedly said: whyyy with the autotune, producer people? It is so unnecessary.)

What was your favorite part of the song?
I like the part from when Yesung sings at the end of the chorus to that little post-chorus riff. (Yeah, because that wasn’t confusing at all: this is what I’m talking about.)

Super Junior photographers

The 10 boys: Ryeowook, Donghae, Siwon, Eunhyuk, Yesung, Leeteuk, Kyuhyun, Heechul, Sungmin, and Shindong. Thanks so much to my friend C. for finding this picture.

Does the English make you want to rip your eardrums out?
Sungmin mentions tornadoes and Don Quixote, and that’s all cool, but for all that I love their raps, really Shindong and Eunhyuk seem to be the masters of the severely accented English. (Seriously, guys: no one says “Oh my gosh” and expects to have street cred.) Also the title “A-cha” I think is basically an expression of surprise similar to “Aha!”

Did you like the video?
Ehhh, you know, I’m feeling a bit meh about this video. The split screening is odd, and while the members look great, their clothing doesn't match the set. I’m a big fan of Super Junior, but this is just too much like their “Mr. Simple.” “A-CHA” is fine as purely fan eye-candy, but the similar sets are getting a bit too repetitive for me.

Super Junior Mr. Simple set

Scene from “Mr. Simple”

Super Junior A-CHA set

Scene from “A-CHA”

Was there a storyline? If so, did it make sense?
Many, many (almost all) MVs SM Entertainment (i.e. SuJu, f(x), SNSD, SHINee, TVXQ) releases are like this: there is no storyline, not even the semblance of one. The members dance on two or three different sound stages. There are also close-ups. It’s a formula. But, you know what, their members usually look really good, there’s always a great dance, and I find it the easiest to learn SM group members because we can always see them clearly. So these kinds of MVs aren’t necessarily fun to review because there’s nothing to make fun of, but as a fan I like watching them. This is a formula that is working for them, at least for now. But if fans start getting bored, SM should consider tweaking the formula.

THAT SAID, there actually is a semi-coherent concept in the members’ outfits, if not the standard settings, and that concept is: Western saloon bouncers/assassins. You have the boys in these dramatically long coats studded with metal, and they’re spraying alcohol, dropping wine glasses, fanning a deck of cards, and lighting things on fire. All we’re missing are the shotguns, rifles, and spittoons.

Super Junior A-CHA Sungmin bowl hair

And Sungmin seriously looks like a pimp here.

Was the dance cool and distinctive?
It’s not as distinctive as their recently-released Mr. Simple, and there’s no one defining move, but it’s cool and goes with the music. I guess I’d call it the “hands dance,” the “I’m taking a picture of you dance,” or maybe the “mime dance” because it looks like they’re making the invisible box a few times. Reminds me a little of the dance in Super Junior M’s “Perfection,” and there are a few leaps like in “Bonamana.”

Super Junior A-CHA leap

Sungmin, Eunhyuk, and Donghae go a-leaping

Do the members look good?
Ahaha, I can do this now. My only regret is that there are not 13 members.

In age order:
Leeteuk: looking sooo good here.
Heechul: usually in sunglasses these days, always looks fantastic but bored. (I don’t get this schtick, Heechul. Why are you always so unhappy?) I miss his hilarity.
Hankyung: lawsuit dropped, still in China
Yesung: You look like a Texas ranch owner.
Kangin: still in the army
Shindong: the sleek new you is looking pretty hot
Sungmin: Oh my God, what is with that bowl haircut. It is awful. And I feel like you’re not exuding the charisma you usually do.
Eunhyuk: the bleached hair, I can get behind. The Davy Crockett racoon cap, not so much.
Donghae: Why so beautiful?
Siwon: I’m pretty sure I speak for everyone here when I request that you should always be topless.
Ryeowook: I’m loving the reddish tint to your hair.
Kibum: still MIA, still acting
Kyuhyun: what a voice. But, alas, you did not stand out for me in this vid.

Donghae coat A-CHA

Donghae's coat flare of doom!

Which member stood out the most?
This is going to be impossible with SuJu. I promise I won’t just blindly give this to Heechul, and I genuinely like all the SuJu guys. See, I always thought Shindong stood out and looked great, even before he lost a huge amount of weight in a short amount of time. But then there is Donghae and his magnificent cloak…Leeteuk looking very passionate and sexy…and Yesung oddly caught my eye, when usually I kind of ignore him in MVs. Heck, let’s give it Yesung. He doesn’t get enough fan love.

Yesung A-CHA ranch owner

Congratulations on your new ranch in Texas, Yesung!

Do you like it enough to buy the song?
This is what I wrote before I listened to the song a million times: I think I can live without it, at least for now. I may change my mind when I want some new songs, but right now I’m set. Maybe if “Mr. Simple” had come out after “A-CHA,” I would have bought them both, but I already have “Mr. Simple,” and I think that’s better. Still, SuJu songs have a way of growing on me.
And after listening to it a million times: Yeah, who am I kidding. I’m buying this.

Any ending thoughts?
So this is one of Heechul’s last music videos to be released before he returns from the army/public service.

Heechul army


Boyfriend’s one-liner:
“Little boys beware: there are 10 more one-gloved dancers on the loose.” [I also showed this vid to my mom, and she said that they danced like Michael Jackson as well, so I’m going to take it as a compliment to SuJu.]

Here, have a random topless!Siwon.

Siwon topless

No, there was no real point in this. But you liked it anyway.

Thanks for reading! Please subscribe and leave your comments below. Also feel free to request a review. By the way, I made an album for keeping track of group members’ names as I learn them, so check it out if you want to learn with me! We update Monday-Friday. :)


  1. You know, I didn't include it in my article of this month's, just mentioned it in the intro. 'Cos it felt like a rather lackadaisical attempt at a hit after Mr Simple. And choreo, well, it wasn't as distinctive in Mr Simple already as it had been in Sorry Sorry and Bonamana.

    Re autotune: IMO it's this song's only merit 'cos what they did in Mr Simple was a crime, with the voices like KRY in the group :)

  2. @painless-j

    So true, so true. I'm not sure anything could be as distinctive as Sorry Sorry, and unfortunately all their work is going to be judged next to how cool that song/dance combo was.

    I just don't understand autotune. Why do they spend so much time and effort finding and training these awesome singers when they just autotune them? And autotuning KRY is just...blasphemy, really. It's horrific.