Now that three of its most popular members have completed their mandatory military service, Super Junior is wasting no time re-establishing themselves in multiple markets. This includes new material from sub-unit D&E, consisting of members Donghae and Eunhyuk. This duo has been a reliable source of upbeat, party-starting music in the past — most notably with their prolific Japanese work.
Judging from the (atrocious) styling of the music video, Here We Are was recorded almost immediately after Donghae and Eunhyuk were discharged. This explains the somewhat slapdash effect of the song itself, which dips its feet into current trends without leaving as strong of an impact as the duo’s past work. When the guys are allowed to take a more active role in the composition of their singles, it can result in something as transformative as 2015’s gorgeous Growing Pains. Judged by this high standard, Here We Are is a big pile of nothing.
However, the song’s modest ambition gives it a laid-back appeal, and once you realize that this isn’t designed to be some major blockbuster comeback, its charms come into focus. Here We Are‘s first few seconds are pretty dreadful, backed by a washed out synth that doesn’t play well with the guys’ vocals. But once the track launches into its beat-heavy chorus, the energy bounces back to better support Donghae and Eunhyuk’s strengths. The D&E unit is primarily performance-based, and the repetitive nature of the hook slices up the melody in ways that feel expertly choreographed. It may not be one of their more exciting singles, but it lays the groundwork for the return-to-form we’re all waiting for.