Nearly a year since their last album, Super Junior are back with a special single release. The Road: Winter For Spring is a mouthful of a title, promoted with the much more concise Callin’. It’s the kind of track that feels targeted toward fans, hinging on sentiment rather than the desire to compete with flashier material on the charts.
Songs like this are well-earned for a group as storied as Super Junior. They’ve been in the business longer than some junior K-pop idols have been alive, and have a solid legacy to draw upon. With that said, I’ve never understood why pop groups grow more middle-of-the-road as they get older. As someone in their thirties, I feel the exact opposite. Granted, I’m not a pop star (yet!). But if I was, I think I’d use my experience and built-in popularity as leverage to experiment and push boundaries. I certainly wouldn’t want to rest on my laurels and release inconsequential, strum-along Dad Pop.
Super Junior deliver this style as well as anyone. It’s always nice to hear all of their voices together. But, Callin’ does nothing for me. It’s pretty and gentle and instantly forgettable. With the unmatched Kenzie on songwriting/production duty, I’d hoped for a melody with a bit more bite. Instead, we’ve got a standard fan song – well delivered, but utterly ephemeral. Luckily, there are plenty of great Super Junior classics to return to. Hopefully the group will take a bolder step for their next proper comeback.