Review

Song Review: Kim Heechul (Super Junior) – Old Movie

For as often as Super Junior’s Kim Heechul is on TV, it’s easy to forget that he first made his name as a singer. His solo work has always been rooted in classic rock to some extent, and he definitely has the voice for it. His sub-unit duo M&D produced some inspired music, drawing on his commanding tone for a sense of grandiose theatricality. If Heechul’s going to perform a ballad, you better believe it will have all the bells and whistles.

Luckily, this is exactly the kind of ballad I prefer. Old Movie (옛날사람) isn’t all that different from many of SM Entertainment’s digital releases. It would likely feel underwhelming as a full-fledged title track, but it brings the drama in its own way. The instrumental is full-to-bursting with a constant swell of strings and over-the-top guitar solos. You can practically envision the anime series this would soundtrack.

Melodically, Old Movie hits all the expected notes, offering a gradual climb towards its go-for-broke climax. The chorus is easy to sing along with and cathartic in its chest-beating grandeur. Its bombast gives Heechul the chance to belt a few standout power notes, though its overall effect doesn’t linger long after the song is over. He’s given us stickier hooks before, even in his slower material. All you need to do is listen to M&D’s 2015 Moon Crystal to hear that. Even so, Old Movie is a welcome return for a voice that hasn’t had nearly enough spotlight the past few years. Give this man his own movie musical, Korea, and make sure you bring the entire symphony orchestra with you.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.5

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4 thoughts on “Song Review: Kim Heechul (Super Junior) – Old Movie

  1. gosh. i’m a pretty long-standing suju fan, and heechul’s one of the main reasons why i still stick around, despite all the controversies and the fact that he probably won’t ever join them for music show promotions again. thanks so much for capturing the appeal of his voice, and i’m rooting for that movie musical too!!!

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  2. Most people only think of SuJu vocal line as K R Y, but actually they all can sing, Someone of them if they were in a different group might have been considered their vocal line. (Leeteuk comes to mind in particular.)

    Its a very nice ballad. Donghae is really getting the hang of writing these straight forward sentimental little things. I love the guitar solos.

    I always think of Heechul as a baritone. I don’t have many examples to support this, other than this song and Ulsanbawi, where it is almost all resonating below middle C. In this song the high note is A4, which isn’t that high for a tenor, and he just barely gets his way through it. (Kyuhyun is usually C, on occasion D for the high belts) I think he does a pretty good job as a performance here. If there is something to work on, it is just more practice on solo songs so the swagger and humor and charisma from his variety can inform his singing performance. Also sustaining notes at the end of lines for longer than one measure.

    my youtube is on auto-play, something called “Spring Days of My Life” from immortal songs popped up. You can hear it there. It is a very competent performance, baritone range, but he is just standing / kneeling there. Then the older guy comes on (idk his name, I must scroll through the comments). Old guy isn’t that much better of a singer, growls through it all, but has the personality oozing everywhere.

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    • I love that I’ve got another regular commenter who can bring more music theory to the site! I’m severely ignorant to the ins and outs of vocal performance (despite taking a class in college), but I love reading about it.

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      • I am a refugee from the mainstream kpop sites. I got very tired of all the Yasssss queeensssss posts, the youtube counts, the who is prettier posts, fan baiting, and also all the pictures and gifs the kids all put in that you have to keep scrolling through. Plus the news that past few months has been too much. When Seungri is 20 of 20 top news posts, its time to find other outlets.

        Honestly, I don’t know how I found you, but here I am. (Zea, guilty pleasure)

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