It’s interesting that Sungmin’s new music video for Orgel (오르골) bears the “Label SJ” tag. Though he’s still officially a member of Super Junior, you wouldn’t know it. When the group returned last month for their first “full” reunion after a decade of military enlistments, Sungmin was nowhere to be found. And unlike ex-member Kangin, who earned his expulsion through a series of DUI incidents, Sungmin’s only crime was getting married.
Whether he wants to join the group or not, I find it sad that he’s relegated to the occasional solo ballad instead of featured as an important part of Super Junior’s legacy. It can’t feel good – especially when his own work is never supported by the kind of promotional enthusiasm SM Entertainment gives other soloists.
Anyways, Orgel is fine. Ostensibly a holiday release, the delicate ballad takes advantage of Sungmin’s soothing voice. With little more than acoustic guitar as a backdrop, his vocals are wrapped in harmonies and subtle, twinkling keys reminiscent of a music box. Orgel’s melody is all you would expect from a song of this nature – delicate and mellow without ever amounting to much. Sungmin is given the chance to flex his gorgeous falsetto throughout, lending a nuanced touch to Orgel’s already-subdued energy. I especially enjoy the moments where his vocals dip into deeper, more textured territory. This is the kind of song that would play wonderfully in the background of a laid-back holiday gathering. While it’s performed with undeniable polish, there’s only so many places that a track like this can go.
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It’s pleasant. Like all Korean ballads are pleasant. Pleasant to fall asleep to. Pleasant to listen to as you shop in a Korean grocery store (I have one of those near my house). Just… pleasant.
To be honest, I’m waiting for the Mymagoogle comment, seeing as they are much more well-versed in Suju than I ever will be. The most I personally know of Sungmin was that he got married. What a terrible, heinous act.
Oh, hi, here!
Generally speaking, every ELF outside of Korea is baffled about the reasons why. And then if an actual Korean ELF explains the reasons in full detail, which goes on for pages, it leaves the rest of us even more baffled and wondering about who the offended party actually is. All I can think at this point is that maybe Sungmin pissed off someone super senior at SM, perhaps Lee Soo Man himself, that he is in this state. But then, why don’t they just let him leave his contract? Or does Sungmin himself think he still has a viable musical career in Korea?
Back to the music.
This song is super chill. It could be a Heize song. It is also better than Sungmin’s station SM release earlier this year, which to be honest I can’t even remember – it was a typical meh ballad. What stands out for me in this song is
1) the acoustic guitar transforms it from boring ballad to coffee house which is a minor improvement for non-Koreans and
2) his singing voice is much more natural and mellow, with very nice falsetto touches here and there. Back in the SuJu chart topping heyday he affected a whiny nasal timbre to his voice, like he was trying too hard to be cool. Also he sang without support so he would drift off key live from time to time. (There is a video from 2011 of Sungmin singing Kyuhyun’s part in the break in Bonamano (“How to keep loving you …”, and ooof. Not just once, but eight examples of doof.) But here, I suppose growing older and time off, he has mellowed to just sing in his natural singing voice, and it is so much better.
That all said, Nick’s rating is about right.