SM Entertainment partnered with Capital Records this year to create a global group named Super M. It consists of seven boy group members from SM: Shinee‘s TaeminEXO‘s Baekhyun and KaiNCT 127‘s Taeyong and Mark, and WayV’Lucas and Ten. They released their debut album ‘Super M‘ on October 4th, which includes title track ‘Jopping,’ four b-side tracks, and instrumental versions of ‘Jopping‘ and b-side ‘I Can’t Stand the Rain.’

Jopping‘ is an electric pop song, and its meaning comes from the words ‘Jumping’ and ‘Popping’ (as in the cork popping from a champagne bottle). Both words combined create a message to the audience: to enjoy life and party hard. From the beginning, the song starts off strong with loud horn sounds. Mark‘s rap parts are smooth during the pre-chorus – however, they’re mostly in English, so it doesn’t feel like a kpop song. The chorus seems to lack impact when all members sing in unison, therefore it would have been better if the chorus was divided among the members instead of everyone singing together. There’s also too much shouting throughout the song, so I wouldn’t want to replay it again. Fortunately, after the chorus at the 2.54 to 3.11 mark, Taemin and Baekhyun save the song with their vocals – their background vocals during the chorus at 3:17-3:36 are outstanding. It has to be said that when compared to the teasers, the end product seems to be lower than what I expected. This seems more like a song that is suitable for promoting a brand or a huge event, rather than a long anticipated title track. However, even though this concept did not blow me away, I do like how the song has a powerful and fierce concept.

The B-sides that I found very enjoyable to listen to are ‘I Can’t Stand the Rain‘ and ‘2 Fast.’ The track ‘I Can’t Stand the Rain‘ starts off with strong beats from the drums, and the chorus is enhanced by the use of traditional Korean wooden instruments. It is an emotional song expressing how they’ll return to the ones they used to love. The best parts of the song are the falsettos during the choruses, where Baekhyun sings the first one and Taemin sings the second.

2 Fast‘ is my favorite track in the album. Four of the members (Taemin, Baekhyun, Mark, and Lucas) take part in it, and it describes how it’s easy to lose track of time when you’re in love. It’s a song that i have played on repeat and it also seems to be the most public-friendly one in the album. The chorus is catchy and very memorable and the fast background beats during the chorus make this song exhilarating to listen to. This song, in my opinion, would have been a better choice for the title track.

The B-sides that I didn’t enjoy as much are ‘Super Car‘ and ‘No Manners.’ ‘Super Car‘ is a hip hop based track sung by members Taemin, Baekhyun, Taeyong, Ten, and Mark. They sing with confidence about how they’ll ride through their lives in a breeze like a super car. Although Ten’s vocal parts in 0:22 and 0:28 are very distinctive, the song itself is not memorable. The chorus is underwhelming, and the whole track is a bit different from what was expected because Mark’s rap parts from the teaser was removed. As a whole, it does not have replay value.

No Manners’ is a song produced and written by one of the members, Taeyong, and sung by TaeminKaiTaeyong, and Ten. This is a R&B track that has a sad vibe as it expresses the sorrow of a person departing from love. It sends the message that it’s better to turn your back on love than to keep on hoping and having after thoughts. The vocals aren’t very strong here, as in there are no hard-hitting vocal parts. This is a mellow song, perfect for the Fall.

The last two tracks in the album are instrumental versions of ‘Jopping‘ and ‘I Can’t Stand the Rain.’ The instrumental version of ‘Jopping‘ nicely highlights the background beats without the words, which makes it easier to tell that there are a lot of bass sounds used in the song. However, it doesn’t have much replay value. The instrumental version of ‘I Can’t Stand the Rain‘ is much more beautiful, as the chorus highlights the use of traditional Korean wooden instruments. It sounds like a crossover between Kpop music and traditional Korean music and is pleasing to the ears.

Overall, I recommend listening to the whole album for the novelty of SM male groups collaborating together at a level that is unprecedented. However, it is better to not approach this album with high expectations. Compared to the teasers that were released, the title track was not up to par, and I enjoyed the B-sides a lot more. In general, the album doesn’t make good use of all 7 members. Ten is the lead vocalist of Wayv but neither he nor Lucas have many lines in this song – Baekhyun and Taemin have the most lines, which is understandable because they are seniors in the industry. However, if SM desires to push NCT members, then they need to be given more opportunities to shine. All in all, I still think this collaboration is successful. I can see the harmony in vocals, and there seems to be a good chemistry between members. I did sense the latter in the teasers, and it’s good to see it shining through in the album as well, especially for a group that was just formed.

Artistic Creativity: 7.5/10
Music: 6/10 for title track ‘Jopping‘ and 7.5/10 for B-sides
Vocal Quality: 7.5/10