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.