Review

Song Review: SuperM – 100

I have a weird sort of respect for SuperM. Sure, the project is about as inorganic as you can imagine, bringing together some of SM Entertainment’s most popular performers for an agency-forged super group. But if you’re going to take this approach, the music had better sound as big and over-the-top as its performers demand.

It would have been so easy for SuperM to churn out some trend-chasing piece of American pop, particularly since they were created with an eye for the western pop market. But, they took the exact opposite approach with last year’s Jopping. Rather than kowtow to a misguided sense of musical “authenticity,” they embraced artifice in all its bombastic glory. That’s one of the qualities that first drew me to idol pop. There’s no “guilty” in this pleasure, and I respect SuperM for sticking to their guns.

Pre-release single 100 feels like a natural extension from their excellent 2019 debut, delivering all the musical firepower they can muster. It’s like an Avengers film – stuffed to the brim with noise and action and knowing humor. This isn’t an exercise in gazing at darkly-lit statues, the color of which calls back to years of naval-gazing lore. This is popcorn pop music, explosions and all. And while the song might not have much of a chorus, it’s got a crackle of energy that compensates.

Composed by a team of familiar names (in a Marvel universe, Yoo Young-Jin would certainly be their Nick Fury), 100 crafts a convincing line through multiple eras of the patented SM Performance style. The electro-funk that underlines its verses is pure SHINee circa 2013. The guitar distortion is a longtime favorite of Young-Jin’s, hearkening all the way back to his H.O.T. days. The ridiculously overblown power notes are the stuff of TVXQ legend. In this way, 100 becomes more than its meager melody might suggest. It has an army of history behind it. An arsenal, of sorts.

Filtered through SuperM’s enviable cast of performers, this hodgepodge victory lap is pure joy. Mark opens verse one with his reliably magnetic rap, volleying the rapid-fire verses to Taeyong, Kai and Lucas. Each brings an undeniable charisma to their segments, however brief they might be. Given that 100 is primarily hip-hop focused, vocalists Baekhyun, Taemin and Ten aren’t given quite as much to do. However, all three manage showstopper moments of their own. It’s so nice to hear Baekhyun really let it rip again. It’s been awhile since we’ve heard him perform in such a dramatic way.

100 will likely be derided in more pretentious circles, and I couldn’t care less. This is unabashed fun — embracing the ridiculous, assured in its own silliness. And when it comes down to it, that’s a quality that’s been missing in too many big-name K-pop releases this year.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 10
 RATING 9

74 thoughts on “Song Review: SuperM – 100

  1. Personally I really hated this song on my first impression, and that was mainly due to the chorus. Yet after a while the chorus really grew on me and so didi the verses as well. It’s a really fun song and I’m glad that SM is using SuperM to globalize the core ‘SM’ sound One thing I’d also like to add is that I heard Tiger Inside and it is great. Its a little more moody but the melodies are so nice and consistent!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi guys i love it frist time i saw videos u was great and amazing ur looks sexy ur moves amazing ur clo9 cool but u all are good very good i like to see more im a dancer i been all my life im very good and i work the pol u all got it yvette im going to show my friend s and im going to look at the vifos again love the way u all sing daceing is my life

      Like

  2. Now this is a slight variation of the “Shinsadong Comeback”, the vocal intro reoccur after the bridge, which I am very in favor of. It was used in “Up and Down” and “Ah Yeah” (at least). A few grudges:

    Speech singing hook is a product of “Rookie”, in here the speech resembles “we (2) go (2) hun (3) dred (6)”

    The breakdown before the reoccur of the intro can be more through?

    And most the importantly:

    THE SAME ELECTRO DUB SOUND EFFECT

    has appeared in SM releases 2020 down below:

    Ridin

    Punch

    Turn Back Time

    Naughty???

    And THIS. Just sayin.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Aesthetically and musically, SuperM still kind of feel like NCT if NCT’s promoted title tracks went for the unabashed wtfuckery hodge podge of lyrics that their English versions have. I really dig this song though. Taemin’s questionable cowboy aesthetic is a different story.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Really impressed by SM this year. They are heading towards the sound i really love through nct127, nct dream, WayV and now superM. What a delightful review to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I didn’t like it at all on first listen. That might be do to the fact that this is the first song I’ve ever watched premiere, so my expectations were sky-high. The track really embodies the whole “we are the future” concept. It does sound a tad bit NCT to me, and I feel like some of the members don’t suit that very well. The chorus to me felt almost empty, but I suppose it’ll take a few listens, like ” Jopping” did.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. This sounds like an even more NCT-futuristic version of NCT’s Superhuman to me lol. I really wish I liked this as much as you because I love almost everyone included in this project, but I can’t even find fun in this.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I have a feeling this august might be good , sure it didn’t start out good but with Lots of groups coming back , I just hope CRAVITY and MCND might give a comeback as good as TOO’s Count 1 , 2. I have a feeling that both will be good! This august might be the second best month of K-pop with the ending weeks

    Like

  8. Heck yeah I love this one! This is a Fun! song, and no, not that fun “underscore group” kind. I’m very pleased to see SM keep giving SperM bombastically silly songs, and anything that harkens back to 2013 SHINee is 👌🏽👌🏽👌🏽.

    I don’t mind Taemin’s silly cowboy attire. My still looks Hot!, as usual. Actually they all look Hot!

    Also, I just realized that I’m taller than all of SperM hahah. All of them, except for Lucas.

    Like

  9. ” I have a weird sense of respect for Super M”

    I do too…but for different reasons. I never thought that any music could be undeniably and objectively ugly…but 100 proves me wrong.

    You call this fun ? It’s such a horrible song it makes me angry.

    Liked by 5 people

    • What Do You Haters Gain?

      I mean I wanna say “Its Your Opinion And I respect it ”
      but then again calling a song “Undeniably Ugly”?!
      Seriously what is wrong with you?
      Some Of Us actually like this song !

      I LOVE this song !

      The Pre-Chorus , The Chorus and the instrumentals… I love it all !

      How Can You disrespect me and 1.3 Million People Who have already liked the MV on YT and fans and SuperM and SM?!

      You want undeniably ugly? Take a look at your comment !

      Like

    • I think the many different opinions here show that the ugly of this song is not ‘undeniable’ or ‘objective’, haha. It’s interesting to see how some songs are so devisive!

      Like

  10. I’m surprised how divided people are about this song on reddit, the place where everything is a “bop” or a “soty”. I can’t tell NCT and Super M appart, or just any SM boygroup since EXO Obsession tbh. But I like this one better than most of all these songs and if it wasn’t for the lackluster chorus I would probably say that it was a very good song.
    Now I wonder how SuperM’s lineup limit them to chase more melodics songs. Taemin and Baekhyun sure can carry the vocal line but with four guys non vocalist guys it seems like they need to incorporate these easy sing-talk parts to be sure that everyone has something to do in the song.

    Like

  11. I am impressed that y’all stayed up late for this. Or maybe with time zones, it wasn’t that late. But here I am in the early morning, sleepy eyes, cup of coffee, and then THIS COMES AT ME right smack in 5th gear like a movie that begins with the chase scene.

    Once upon a time, once I tried a 6:30am spin cycling class, the kind with the loud rock music and neon strobe lights and instructor screaming at you. This song is like that experience.

    This song knows what it wants to be when it grows up. It takes all the good stuff honed by SM over a few decades and throws it all in. But does it do more than that? …. Does it need to do more that?

    The best part is Taemin, not because it actually is a great part but because after all that noise those softer parts are so important. It would be so easy to get lost in those softer parts and have it be a throwaway part, but there is Taemin, going all charismatic urban cowboy, maintaining the tension while in the quiet. That’s not easy to do.

    So is it good? I don’t know when I would listen to this. Maybe I just need another cup of coffee. Or maybe I need to order some neon strobe lights from Prime and Bring It. See my little indoor cycle falls over comically in a heap if I go hundred.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I haven’t listened to jopping since its release but I like this one. It didn’t wow me but I agree with the review, they have my respect for walking their own path.
    Its energetic and I have already listened to it 5 or 6 times so I like the song.
    I was surprised when I realized that 90% of the lyrics were in English. (surprised bcoz I didn’t pay attention)
    But the only thing I would like to mention is the repitition of the lines (5/8 song was over with the repitition)..I know many groups do worse than this with but this is SuperM ,so I’m judging harder.

    Overall this song is a mood right now for me.
    Rating – 8.5

    Aside from this… Can someone provide me link for Sexy zone review… I was planning to read it later but I’m unable to find it.

    Like

  13. This song is okay. When it’s good, it’s amazing, but it’s mostly just okay.

    Obviously the highlight of 100 is the bridge. It first starts out like a more generic K-pop bridge, but then it just sucks you into a dubstep interlude a la 2013 SHINee, much like Nick said. Then Baekhyun hits you with that note and it feels incredible. The subversion of expectations where they delay the inevitable soaring high note really impressed me here.

    Aside from that, the rest of the song doesn’t particularly impress me. I like the instrumentation on the chorus, but the lyrics are kinda silly. “We go hundred” is the best they could come up with? I loved Jopping’s chorus, and so 100’s hook leaves me disappointed. The verses are not particularly memorable to me, and the pre-chorus sounds pretty generic to me.

    I’d probably give this a 7.5/10 just because the production is good and the bridge is fire, but the verses and pre-chorus are forgettable to me, and the chorus is only okay. After a few listens through, I feel like I’m listening to this song just to listen to that amazing bridge, which isn’t something I should say about a song like this. I can see why people would love this song though.

    Like

  14. I am genuinely curious….In which context would someone listen to this song? On the bus, in the car, at a club?? The only time and place I can find for this type of song is when I’m working out or as the soundtrack for a super hero movie.

    This is also my main problem with NCT whose work sounds almost identical to SuperM (why?), what is the point of good production if there’s no melody? Even pots and pans music representatives like SOPHIE, charli xcx etc…there’s melody there not yelling just to yell and car sounds. Since SM already has pushed NCT and all their subunits to this “experimental” direction I don’t understand why they would do the same with SuperM.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I’m glad you bring up context, because this is something I’ve come to realize about the way I listen to music and I’m surprised to find that it’s different from the majority of listeners.

      Personally, the music IS the context for me. It’s never really the background to anything. Even if I’m in a situation where music happens to be on in the background, my attention will immediately gravitate towards it. So for me, I’d listen to this in all those contexts you mentioned because I’d likely be absorbed in the music rather than what’s going on around me. But, I realize this isn’t the case for everyone. And, it explains why I dislike so much of the more subdued mood music that often tops Korean charts. It’s not really designed for active listening. It’s better suited to soundtracking a moment or providing a vibe/atmosphere.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Nick, one of the reasons why I love your blog despite occasional differences of opinion is because I am this way too. This is the reason why I hardly ever listen to “chill” music, nor do I listen to music to fit a mood. I’m not the person who puts on sad music when I’m sad in order to get a feeling of catharsis. I listen to high-octane pop while studying instead of lofi hiphop because it keeps me pumped up and engaged. I like my playlists to have wild shifts in tone and style between songs because I want to actively appreciate a spectrum of musical experience. “The music is the context” is the perfect way to describe the way I listen to music—in fact, I think I’ll steal it when I’m trying to explain why I favor certain genres over others.

        Liked by 3 people

        • It’s a realization I’ve come to recently — not the fact that this is the way I listen to music (I already knew that!), but the fact that it ISN’T necessarily the way everyone else does.

          It’s helped me understand the disconnect I feel when my taste tends to be at odds with what’s currently popular in most music markets.

          Liked by 1 person

        • This thread just made me learn something about myself and why I prefer the music I do and never listen to chill/bg music either..wow.

          Like

      • It is exactly because I too really focus on the music during the contexts I mentioned that I can’t imagine wanting to listen to something like this. On the contrary I would only listen to it if it was in the backround and I was able to ignore it. I think we listen to music in the same way after all but it always of course is a matter of different taste!

        Like

  15. No. No, no, no. It’s the same formula we’ve been seen from SM bgs since Jopping. The vocal moments are great, but the chorus is uninspiring and the rap parts very inferior to NCT’s other works. I really can’t understand how you hated other 2020 tracks which were so much better than this.

    Liked by 6 people

    • The difference is that so many of those 2020 tracks positioned this formula as overly serious and moody (while also filling it with waaaaay too many trap influences and tempo changes).

      SuperM feels big and goofy and not-at-all-serious. There’s something very refreshing about that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t understand the “goofy” & “not at all serious part” … This song is intending to be serious and meaningful in its own way, and the lyrics are very similar to some of the songs we have been getting this year.
        Eg. They all want, they all want what we got
        Never fall, never quit, never stop
        And we come, come in ready or not

        Or

        There ain’t no turning us down,
        you know we taking the crown

        I am not asking this question in a bad way, but I am genuinely confused and agree with the person that compared to some songs u have rated in 7 or 8’s and sometimes even in the 6 line while criticizing the lyrics or some songs with very similar structure, how is this song so high in the rating.
        (Although I have given it a high rating too).

        And I would like to say that I respect your opinion and its your choice and preference… I just thought you would give it a 8 going with your previous ratings for these type of songs.

        Liked by 3 people

        • It’s not about the lyrics so much, though they do come across differently within a soundscape like this.

          It’s all about the energy. Those other, lower-rated songs feel more self-serious to me because they’re aiming at trendier elements. By nature of their approach (trap music, lurching arrangements, etc), they feel like they’re trying to impress an audience that might not otherwise take K-pop seriously.

          With a song like 100, I don’t get the sense that the producers are catering to anyone beyond their own imaginations. The song very well might be what they consider “cool,” but it’s certainly not in line with what other artists are trying to copy in order to appeal to mainstream tastes. In this way, it just feels like silly fun, and in that context those cringy lyrics come off equally as fun. The same lyrics, thrown over some trap beat, would hit me very differently.

          Hope that makes sense!

          Liked by 2 people

          • It makes 100% sense:-D

            I misunderstood the meaning & the context in which you meant those words.

            I thoroughly agree that although some songs maybe of the same type but we listeners know when a song is trying to be mainstream and when a song is just being itself even if it ends up similar to the mainstream.

            I also relate to what you mean by moulding a song so it’s taken seriously. This song given its target audience could have gone the wrong way (or should we say the right way going by the current market).. but it doesn’t and for that alone it deserves an extra point.

            Good bless.

            Like

  16. “ 100 will likely be derided in more pretentious circles” definitely. In the last two years, there’s been this trend amongst kpop fans of shaming groups that don’t produce their own songs or dare to go as ambitious or bombastic as SuperM and other SM groups do. SM music is rarely produced or composed by idols, especially title tracks, but the company’s groups have given the industry one of the best and most iconic tracks. You may not like SM’s music style or the fact that their artists rarely produce their own music (mostly bc they don’t have the freedom to do so) but you cannot bash the people who do.

    8/10 for me. When this song takes flight, it is truly amazing. The chorus is a bit repetitive for me but it doesn’t throw me off. Bonus points for Mark’s verses, he really starts the song with a bang and Baekhyun’s high notes.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Surprised people are mad at the line distribution when Mark took part in making this song. Also the people who can actually sing in the group got lines for a reason.
    All that said…woof this is ugh…interesting? Bridge is the best part

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Yeah I’m losing my mind because in my opinion if you take out the bridge this song becomes mediocre electro-sludge with way too much bad rapping… None of the SuperM boys can rap except Mark on occasion.

    I kind of also disagree with the “not taking themselves too seriously” characteristic, since the rap verses are full of “swag” posturing that is inherently self-serious that I really despise about all NCT projects (except for NCT Dream).

    Liked by 5 people

    • I agree, and Nick has said he feels the lack of seriousness has less to do with the lyrics and more with the production/instrumentation being more “out there” and silly, I guess.

      However, the lyrics are really really hard for me to ignore because they’re in English. Overall when I listen to this song I kind of get the feeling that I’m in a dive bar and a college frat boy is yelling in my ear over the thumping bass about how he goes hard as hell every day with this squad and he’s spilling his beer on my shirt? This is all a very silly scenario and it will be a funny story for me to tell to my friends later but unfortunately, this dude is taking himself absolutely seriously…. 100% seriously, you could say.

      Like

  19. What most impresses me about this is the fact that SuperM already has a recognizable sound after one mini album and one single. And while it may utilize elements that other groups are famous for (Taemin at 2:23 sounds SO SHINee, & I love it), it still sounds distinctly SuperM. I disagree that it sounds like NCT. For me, SuperM sounds like “take over the world” music while NCT sounds like “different dimension” music. My biggest complaint is the combination of chant / singing on the “Can’t slow down” section in the chorus. I wish they would have just picked one or the other.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. When it comes to SuperM it’s go big or go home and as long as they continue to choose the former, I’ll probably enjoy it. This one certainly feels full of energy and I do love the electro funk synths. Also, it’s so much fun to hear Baekhyun go off in SuperM songs, his solo work does not do nearly a good enough job of letting those epic vocals shine through.
    Yet, as always, my only qualm with SuperM in general is that SM sucks at scheduling things. Here I am waiting for Taemin’s album while SM throws SuperM in our face. I really like SuperM and this mix of performers is undeniably fantastic, but I will always prefer each of them with their own groups and as soloists (mostly). Obviously, that’s a lot harder for Shinee and Exo at the moment but I’ll still stand by that statement. Yet as before SM will undoubtedly push everything else aside for SuperM. I get that they’re on an enlistment clock at this point, especially when it comes to their main vocals (which even if they are a bit underused are still vital to the group) but I still don’t like it. Also, I am saying it right now if they hold up Shinee’s return for SuperM I Will NOT be Pleased.
    I love the group itself and I’ve enjoyed the music far more than I ever expected to, yet SM will surely continue to bumble the logistics of everything. As a superfan of both Shinee and NCT SM’s preference for SuperM over everything else will never cease to irritate me. The same way SM’s clear preference for 127 over every other NCT unit has bothered me for years.

    Like

    • Yeah, what’s happening with Taemin’s album anyway? When it was first released, I assumed it would be doled out across August like SHINee’s last album was, but all we got was that unpromoted prologue single without any more information to follow…

      Like

  21. surprised that so many people are hating on this when compared to jopping. imo its a much better track than jopping, though that might be because ive slowly gotten into and gotten used to nct’s music in these past few months. to me it sounds very much like an nct song, with perhaps some 2011-2013 shinee esque parts, and a bit of exo styled theatrics on the more big vocal moments. at any rate its pretty fun and kinda dumb which is all i expect and ask out of a super m release

    Like

  22. I came here from the Brave Girls We Ride review and let’s just say that I got some serious whiplash. Honestly, this song, though I probably will never listen to it ever again, is a solid 9.5 in my books. I just love in your face, all over the place but somehow precise and well-controlled songs like this. Sometimes being slapped over and over with a ton of bricks is actually fun. This captures the idea behind Neo Culture Technology better than most NCT songs.
    My only criticism is the overuse of English. I get SuperM is supposed to be for the western market but one of the reasons why I listen to kpop is for the Korean language itself. I just like the flow that Korean rapping and it’s just a nice language to listen to has but mostly I like to not be able to understand what I’m listening, to as weird as that sounds. Understanding the lyrics really distracts me from the music itself and when the lyrics are sort of cringy(as these lyrics most definitely are) I just can’t focus on all the fun stuff. All I can think about are the lyrics. This is also why I struggle with American pop because it’s all so blah in terms of lyrics and when lyrics amount to basically saying you want to have sex with someone it just ruins the song(unless it’s a Hozier song cause damn that man can sing about sex but it sounds like he’s talking about religion and I can get behind that). I don’t want to hear you talk about grinding or your stupid one-dimensional romance. I love weird, over the top, in your face, can’t take them seriously songs but as soon as the lyrics reach a certain level of cheesiness I nope out of there. I know that most kpop songs are just as bad when it comes to lyrical content but if I can’t understand the lyrics I’m a happy camper.
    I also find it a bit unfair to the guys that they can’t sing in their own language(this is directed at the Korean members not including Mark who honestly can make any rap oozing with self-congratulatory bravado sound good). They probably tried really hard with the pronunciation but why force them to sing in another language and sound slightly off when Korean sounds perfectly fine. Like the rest of the world listens to English music being pumped out of the US and Britain for decades why can’t Americans learn to listen to music in another language.

    Liked by 5 people

  23. The chorus isn’t great but I’m happy with this! I like how when they’re volleying lines from person to person to person the members maintain a consistent level of energy. It’s like they’re tossing lines to each other, nobody drops the ball. I’m excited to see their teamwork in a live performance of this.

    Like

  24. This is absolutely dreadful to me… it sounds dated in a bad way, like, idk, early 2000s American boy band stuff. Dirty Pop by NSYNC is what it reminds me of I think, and I don’t think this kind of song has aged well.

    But I actually hate it less than I hated “Jopping,” which was an excellent debut according to Nick. So I suppose this is just a matter of taste and SuperM’s music is simply not for me, which is fine. I think Nick has an appreciation for music that isn’t just a rehashing of whatever trends are popping off at the moment, and so do I, but I don’t like whatever this is either… I love pop music too, I love music that is unabashedly silly and fun, but for me there’s a line where I feel it crosses over and becomes slightly juvenile… maybe it’s the English lyrics that make it grate on me more, idk.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, it’s just a difference in taste. On more than one occasion, I’ve been (accurately) accused of loving music that sounds like the soundtrack to an action movie, and I realize that’s not for everyone.

      Where you hear “drunken frat boy,” I hear a bunch of kids dressing up and playing superhero (which, unsurprisingly, was a sizable part of my childhood).

      Liked by 1 person

  25. This is just so dreadfully awful, at least for my taste. Thank all that is holy for Taemin and Baekhyun using their vocal experience to elevate the parts they get, but all I can think is just how much better they, and really the full group, would do with better material. How you combine such extremely talented individuals and get this is just… mind boggling. Even outside of the dreaded “we go hundred” chorus chants, the instrumental is so beyond bland and uninspired except for perhaps the brief piano interlude. There’s just something about this that feels like it’s the big group equivalent to 2019 and 2020’s girl group hyper chants and repetitive talk singing. And if it was put out by a girl group, I can only imagine people giving it an eye roll and calling it an ITZY knockoff with only a fraction of the innovation in the instrumental.

    Liked by 3 people

      • I don’t know that I buy this argument. They’re two completely different things.

        100’s chorus ain’t great, as I mentioned in my review, but the energy of its stadium-rock-meets-electro-funk instrumental totally compensates. Has there ever been a girl group song in this style? I can’t think of one off the top of my head, chant or no chant.

        Like

        • To be honest, even if there was (and for all I know there might be), I think the standout point to most listeners would still be the chanted chorus, especially if it was twinged with aegyo, and the instrumental would be completely disregarded. Your taste frequently aligns with mine and I always respect and look forward to your reviews, but if this was a girl group song, I doubt I’d be reading “the overly saccharine chants are elevated by a galvanizing instrumental,” and even if that was taken note of, I doubt the instrumental being good would give the same payoff in the rating. As an aside, I’d also say part of it probably comes down to personal taste. SuperM’a chanty chorus is vocally no different from what any other boy group would put out, while most of the cheerleader chants of girl groups are very much the same, just sounding exactly like their peers. It just seems like there tends to be a better response when it’s done by a group whose gender is favored by the listener.

          Like

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