Since opening Label SJ (a sub-label supported by SM Entertainment), Super Junior have taken a more active role in the production of their music. This is (understandably) the ultimate goal for many idol artists, but it doesn’t always end up creating the strongest material. In Super Junior’s case, the added input has resulted in an exploration of new sounds. It’s a shame, then, that few of these digressions have been to my taste.
Super Junior D&E’s new single “Danger” was co-written by member Donghae, who has really blossomed as a composer over the past few years. His work has been incredibly varied in sound, but it’s at its best when it fully embraces melody. “Danger” stakes its claim on bombast and … well, noise. It’s a rambunctious track, and oddly dated. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m happy this isn’t yet another tropical instrumental, but the heavy blend of trap, EDM, and rock feels like it belongs in 2015 right alongside Big Bang’s “Bang Bang Bang“.
This particular style has immense potential, and that pokes through during the song’s more compelling moments. The electric guitar that opens the track is a pleasant surprise, and hints at a more original instrumental that never materializes. The aggressive synths that underline the verses provide plenty of energy, but the drop-style chorus sabotages the song. It’s not a bad drop, but its presence prevents “Danger” from developing a memorable chorus. D&E have always been a performance-oriented group, and a track like this certainly gives them the chance to show that off. But apart from the video and choreography, “Danger” is more energy than song. It’s a shame, because so many of the right ingredients are here.