It takes a lot of confidence to declare yourself a supergroup before debut, but that’s what SuperM did.
They definitely had the potential to be the Avengers of K-Pop with the all-star members who have already made names for themselves. Taemin from SHINee, Baekhyun and Kai from EXO, Taeyong and Mark from NCT 127 along with Ten and Lucas from WayV make up the boy group. Ever since the announcement of this group, there has been a massive amount of hype for their debut. Their self titled first mini-album does show the power the group has, but it is hidden by the title track.
In the trend of SM artists the title track doesn’t hold any meaning outside of the song. “Jopping” seems to be a mashup of jumping and popping and unlike songs like “Zimzalabim” or “Ko Ko Bop” the made up word distracts from all the good going on in the song.
In the first verse of the song the audience can see how well everyone’s parts lead to each other. Taeyong’s rap officially starts the verse with an in-your-face confident attitude that leads to Mark’s more laid back confident rap. From there it’s Kai’s more dreamy and husky lines and Ten’s more hyped up verses. Baekhyun and Taemin’s smooth vocals give a nice break from all the rapping and lead well into the Lucas’ deep voice building the song back up in the pre chorus.
The harmony on the main chorus even with the voice modify near the end sounds interesting and different from the rest of the song. The higher tone of it matches the deep powerful beat undertone but as the music intensifies it’s just leads to confusion when the hook is “When we’re jumping and popping, we’re jopping.” The nonsense word doesn’t fit the kind of cool and powerful vibe of the song, it sounds weird in the context of everything else.
The b-sides of the album better display the kind of talent that makes of the super group. “I Can’t Stand the Rain” sounds like a slow song by the title but deep resonating beat that starts off the song surprises the listener. Somehow the very electrical distortion of the guys’ voices pairs well with the more natural sound of the drums. This song shows the kind of range the groups vocals have. Taemin and Baekhyun set the tone with softer more emotional vocals over the intense beat. Kai’s voice matches the deep almost rumbling increase in the undertone of the music. Baekhyun slows the song down at the chorus before the music builds underneath his high tone and it bridges into Mark’s rap. This song let’s everyone’s voice have a moment to shine. The thundering drum beat gives a different take on a sad song.
The group continues with the surprises on songs like “2 Fast” and “No Manners.” The synthetic keyboard opening that quickly turns into a clapping beat with a modified voice added over it on “2 Fast” sets the tone for a cool, chill vibe. Even as the tempo increases a bit in the middle of Taemin’s first verse, his voice stays steady holding onto a relaxed tone. This song also gives Mark a chance to show off his vocals in the first pre chorus. The higher tone of his voice well plays off Baekhyun verses just before his.
SuperM has the people and the talent to be a super group. Most of the album displays the power and range the group has but they need a title track that demonstrates that.