Song Review: Sungmin – Goodnight, Summer

Sungmin - Goodnight, SummerI don’t know that I’ll ever understand the deal with Sungmin and Super Junior. He’s yet to return to the group since his military service, yet releases solo music under their sub-label. I know that the “controversy” surrounding his marriage effectively removed him from group activities, but I’m surprised his career continues to exist in this nebulous, “one foot in, one foot out” territory. Regardless, he’s a brilliant vocalist who excels at ballads and R&B slow burns like new single Goodnight, Summer. I’m glad he’s still releasing music.

After listening to Summer the first time, I immediately checked if SM Entertainment producer extraordinaire Yoo Young-Jin had a co-writing credit. It turns out he had no involvement whatsoever, but the song is dripping with his trademark sound. Sungmin sings in a similarly histrionic manner, bending and embellishing the notes as if he’s chewing on the melody. This approach is often the preferred style of SM vocalists, and I imagine some listeners would find it too over the top. For me, it adds oomph to every bit of Summer, elevating what could have become dull coffeeshop fare in different hands.

Opening with a nostalgic flourish, Goodnight, Summer quickly dives into its rootsy melody. Sungmin sounds great here, and I love the subtle effects added to his voice. The track settles into a satisfying groove, injecting a generous dose of soul. However, Sungmin’s performance is always front and center. He croons the chorus with addictive panache, extending his notes in a showy performance that compliments the swinging instrumental. Backing vocals add extra heft to the climax, though he hardly needs them. His confidence is addicting, and helps Summer stand out from the pack.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8

7 thoughts on “Song Review: Sungmin – Goodnight, Summer

  1. Yeah, I mean, I suppose.
    I mean, his voice has improved so much since his SuJu days. The song production itself is like trying to be old school R&B without the rhythm or blues. And it sounds soulful and jazzy, but is it really soulful and jazzy? It just plods along at the same intensity.

    The performance also isn’t very rangey, where other better singers would have thrown in adlibs and better runs and low growls. There is space in the composition for it, but the opportunities are just not taken, for example at what should be the climax of the song at 2:40 where it teases something, they could have added in 10 seconds an instrumental drop out and high falsetto adlibs twirl like feeling all so overcome with emotion.

    I’ll stop now. … A song like this makes me want to go back again to my old school playlist, get some Lou Rawls on.

    The whole Sungmin thing is still a complete mystery for non-K-Elf. And while the rest of us have moved on with a befuddled shrug quite some time ago, certain K-Elf just can’t let go, as if they are still the wronged one. Still multipage missives with fine bullet points about what a horrible person he is for getting married during a comeback. I mean, SuJu is always in the middle of a comeback.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, you don’t understand! He also had the audacity to get married……WITHOUT telling his fans all about it beforehand!! Who does that?? Any normal, morally righteous celebrity would know that their fanbase is entitled to every single aspect of their personal and romantic lives, and would kowtow to them accordingly. Sungmin, though? Total sicko!


    • Yeah, that last point is pretty baffling to me, too. I *kind of* see the criticism towards Bobby given the shaky position iKON has been in for the last couple of years, but even that doesn’t really make sense as it is clearly YGs fault that they’re in that position at all. And for real, how long are idols expected not to go on with their lives, anyhow? Do they never get to do anything other than work until their group disbands?


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