Review

Song Review: Super Junior-D&E – Zero

Super Junior D&E - Zero
A decade after their debut as a sub-unit, Super Junior-D&E have finally released their first full Korean album. That’s a long wait, softened by the fact the guys have been active in Japan as well. Countdown was preceded by solo efforts from both Donghae and Eunhyuk, though neither of those tracks are included in the album. Since debut, the duo transitioned through several iterations in sound, kicking off with the quirky dance pop of their early-2010’s J-pop work (my favorite!) and moving into hip-hop and balladry as Donghae took a more prominent role in song composition. In between, they released 2015’s stunning Growing Pains.

Growing Pains feels like the kind of song a composer creates once in a lifetime, and its sentimental surge holds up to this day. For that alone, the guys will always have my adoration. And to say that new single Zero approaches that track’s appeal – even briefly – is high praise indeed.

Before we get carried away, Zero is nowhere near as strong as Growing Pains. Though its melodic chorus shares similar DNA, it doesn’t have the same heft. And for a fun dance track like this, that’s absolutely fine. Zero coasts on a laidback, synth-kissed groove that fits well within current trends without totally succumbing to them. I appreciate the song’s consistent pulse. It flits between various segments without coming across as piecemeal, and this focus makes for a satisfying listen. The chorus tugs in a few unexpected directions, rewarding a deeper dive. The verses are more scattershot, and it feels like there’s some wasted potential there. But overall, this is as strong as D&E have sounded for some time.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

18 thoughts on “Song Review: Super Junior-D&E – Zero

  1. This is pretty ok. Nice little groove to it. Feels like something I’d play while driving. Literally the first track I’ve heard from D&E (despite all the praise I’ve heard for Growing Pains) but this was a good introduction.

    SIDENOTE: My kpop world is in shambles WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING RN. First Lovelyz disbands then literally hours later Starship announces their new GG now ONF are all enlisting together??? Can’t do this.

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  2. Finally the album is here!! Always excited for new SuJu/ D&E content. As for Zero, I like it. I might love it with a few more listens but after 2 times through, I think I prefer some of the album tracks (namely Feel That Feelin’) a bit more.

    Overall, it is no Growing Pains but I am so biased towards them (and have a shameless weird crush on Eunhyuk lol) so I will just take whatever I can get!

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  3. There are three physical versions of the album. The Donghae version has Donghae’s pre-release; the Eunhyuk version has the Eunhyuk pre-release; the together version has this one. The itunes album is the “together” version, and of course one can buy the pre-releases separately a la carte.

    I like it! I like it more than I thought I would given the teaser samples. Rating is about right.

    The structure harkens back to SuJu style 2010-2015 how a spitfire rap slots into the interstitials and not as a separate verse entity, which I think works better than the current style. There is a sung chorus, it is melodic, you can sing along to it. I don’t have many complaints here, just good fun.

    May I also recommend D&E’s classic “Oppa Oppa” to those new to just how kitschy SuJu can get. Here, here is the Ketchup and Mustard version. I put this somewhere on my top 10 SuJu of all time.

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  4. I was going to say that this was my first D&E, but that’s not true – “Oppa Oppa” ended up in my very very early kpop playlist back in the wilds of 2019 and it is a blast. Apple Music has it under their full names and the new one under their initials so I didn’t make that connection until Myma mentioned it. In any case, having not made that link and loving one prerelease while feeling meh about the other, I had no idea what to expect, but I actually playlisted everything except the English version of the title. Solid four stars all the way through. Clearly I need to listen to this legendary Growing Pains.

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      • Well dang, that IS a great song – it’s always satisfying when something lives up to the hype! The vocals made me think of A.C.E’s “Stand any You” in that it actually sounds like they’re singing together rather than taking turns, and I find that super satisfying.

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      • I haven’t listened to D&E before and I checked the song out after I saw this review. I really liked it! Fun but strong! Also it’s so nice when there’s singing in the choruses! 🙂

        And because of the high praise for Growing Pains in this, I went and listened to it too and I am SHOOK!!!❤️❤️ I really loved it!! The aesthetic, the song, the rap, their voices – I felt like I had watched a kdrama by the end of it! Definitely understand your strong thoughts about that song! Thanks for the recommendation!! 🤗

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  5. It’s no Growing Pains like you said but it’s pretty good! The album is also great, a few songs went onto my playlist right after the first listen lol.

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  6. Finally a great comeback from these guys!!! I can erase BAD from my memory, although it is kind of growing on me. My only complaint is the pre-chorus strange noise followed by “zero” I can see it getting super annoying on further listening.

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  7. This song is perfectly fine. The best thing about it is that it led me to read this review which then led me to discover “Growing Pains”, which was PHENOMENAL.

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