Super Junior have spent the better part of a year exploring Latin rhythms, which has helped bolster a growing South American fan base. But, the title of their new album Time Slip — the first in eight years as a complete group — promised something more retro. And while pre-release I Think I offered a nod to their 2018 work, title track SUPER Clap goes full-on disco funk. This approach does not disappoint.
I love songs that waste no time establishing their groove. SUPER Clap’s brass-infused electro beat pulses strong from the very first moment — no needless tempo shifts or musical diversions. And yes, there are claps. Plenty of them! But, what could have been a tiresome gimmick fuses effortlessly to the instrumental to provide an added dose of percussion. The entire song bops along briskly, only pausing for a brief breakdown during the bridge. The arrangement is buttressed by fizzy synths that amp up during the chorus to give an extra oomph.
Like its streamlined instrumental, SUPER Clap’s melody feels refreshingly straightforward. As with every idol track, there’s a mix of vocals and rap, but the various pieces never feel separated — as if they’ve been thrown in out of necessity. Every element works together to create a seamless whole, bolstered by the instantly catchy refrain at the song’s center. This feels appropriate, since this nine-member comeback is all about how strong Super Junior are when they’re united together. If anything, Clap only suffers because of its lighthearted nature. Compared to classics from the group’s discography, the song doesn’t feel as significant or impactful. But, that won’t stop me from jamming to its affable charms for months to come.
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