Only a fraction of K-pop groups last beyond their initial seven-year contract, but Super Junior are still going strong after seventeen (!) years. I’d wager that’s longer than the age of many K-pop fans, and it’s a legacy that should be respected. The group is currently in a phase where they just release what they want to release, free from the expectations that frame the careers of younger artists. This allows them to play with trends if they’d like, or simply deliver a classic pop track like Mango.
Pre-release Don’t Wait did little for me, but Mango is the kind of straightforward summer bop that will always be in fashion. The song is not reinventing the wheel, nor is doing anything spectacular or thrilling. But, Mango delivers good vibes without distraction, bolstered by the natural talent and charisma of the members. It’s melodic to a fault, which can’t be said about many 2022 K-pop songs. Its various segments flow together seamlessly without the cut-and-paste construction that often makes tracks feel disjointed and/or predictable.
It might sound like I’m praising Mango for the things it’s not, rather than on its own merits. But, the importance of Super Junior’s performance can’t be overstated. The guys bring robust vocal strength to every bit of the track and I love the use of layering. The arrangement feels so smooth, perfectly suited to the natural funkiness of the instrumental. A late-song breakdown is especially fun, building energy for Mango’s cathartic climax. This is my favorite Super Junior title track since 2017, and I wasn’t expecting to say that!