Day two of SM Entertainment’s holiday advent calendar is upon us. After Red Velvet and aespa got the ball rolling yesterday, Super Junior are back with another seasonal track. Celebrate also acts as the title of their new mini album, billed as the second half of their eleventh full-length The Road. I can’t imagine grafting a Christmas album onto last July’s summery Keep On Going, but it’s always nice to have the guys back.
Given its title, you might expect Celebrate to bound out of the gate with a festive energy suited to the dancefloor. But, the song is far more reserved. It’s a pleasant, toe-tapping mid-tempo that would sound very nice in the background as you’re doing your holiday shopping. The synth-kissed beat has a retro appeal, though this production never strays from the middle of the road. The one exception occurs during the bridge, when Celebrate briefly flirts with hip-hop before reverting back to its adult-contemporary sheen.
The vast majority of Celebrate floats by on amiable melody performed with ease. As usual, the group’s vocals sound great. I love how much they’re layered together, creating a dreamy soundscape that feels well-suited to a chilly winter night spent gazing at holiday lights. But overall, Celebrate feels more like a punt than a home run. K-pop Christmas songs don’t necessarily have a high bar, and this track gets its job done. However, I would’ve much preferred a song that harnessed the colorful personalities Super Junior have become known for.
as I said in the Red Velvet and aespa review, it’s pretty basic. Might grow on me soon.
I would give this a 7.25 (7, 7, 8, 7)
There is a song just like this on every Super Junior album.
“A Day” from the A-Cha album
“Blue Tomorrow” from the SuJu-M Super Girl album
“Islands” from Mamacita album
“Make you Smile” from the One More Time album
That it has a promoted video is coincidence with the holidays, adding in festive bells and twinkle lights. For this ELF, this will fold nicely into my soft SuJu playlist as this year’s edition so I have no complaints. For SuJu, it gives them something new to sing during the Super Shows at the section part-way through that calls for the group ballad.
“Islands” with live live singing at SS6 circa 2014. Ooh, Sungmin present and singing too.
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I was not optimistic based on the teasers – I was ready to write it off with, “Sorry guys, but I don’t like this one all that much.” Coming from that initial expectation, I’m pretty pleased with it. Yeah, it’s pretty simple and straightforward, but I do like it! It’ll will be a nice addition to my Christmas playlist, which is usually played in the background while tree trimming, cookie baking, and gift wrapping. There wasn’t a song that I disliked on the entire mini album, which is tricky to pull off with me, even for SJ (who can get away with more murder than most groups due to heavy bias), and is always welcome when it happens. All of it is easy listening and good fun (plus one pretty ballad), and in a year where a decent chunk of the music has left my head spinning from a combination of noise and trying to figure out where the song is going, I will 100% take it!
I like it. If Only You and Snowman have my whole heart. The title track is fine but those 2 are my favorites on the ep.