When Super Junior made their long-awaited comeback late last year, member Sungmin did not participate. You may assume this was due to some terrible crime or clash of personalities, but this self-imposed exile really came down to one factor — and it’s one of the stupidest “controversies” in recent k-pop memory. The guy got married in 2014. That’s it.
Some fans will claim that his choice negatively affected the group as a whole, and that he wasn’t transparent enough about his intentions. I don’t often write about the toxic “netizen” side of the k-pop fandom (because I mostly try to ignore it), but this poor guy was basically brought down by his own fans, and that seems pretty ridiculous.
Moving on, Sungmin has been freed from the dungeon long enough to release the latest SM Station single, Day Dream (낮 꿈). True to form, the song is a ballad. And as with many of these Station ballads, there’s not a whole lot to dissect. The song rarely rises above a hush, employing subtle orchestration as a backing track but relying most heavily on Sungmin’s vocals. It’s a pleasure to hear his voice again, even if the song doesn’t give him all that much to do. The chorus offers a nice burst of power, lending Day Dream the air of a musical. It might not be the kind of track I’d search out, but its emotive surge is about as inoffensive as you could imagine. Hopefully playing it safe will help to re-establish some of the good will that’s been stolen from his reputation.