SuperM seemed like a questionable idea from the start, with many fans initially skeptical at best and angry at worst. However, as the hype machine rolled along, predictably many fans seemed to change their tune and the hype was back on for SM Entertainment and the debut song “Jopping“. However, what we got was an effort that I’d probably prefer the Urban Dictionary result over.
The ‘Avengers’ theme that was endlessly and at times cringily slapped on to this certainly seems to match the ambition of the music video, but why did the song seem to not match that same sense of adventure? It seems to promise swelling, epicness through an anthemic pop jam for all time, but delivers nothing of the sort.
After a rousing intro that holds some promise, things drop off into verses that are essentially just one throbbing beat in the instrumental. That can definitely work, but certainly not if it’s surrounded by mediocre rap with honestly cringy lyrics. The vocals aim to add some melodic heft to the song, but they are still simply sung over the same sparse foundation that doesn’t do a whole lot.
From there things build and build, and it feels like the payoff is coming. Something worthy of all the bluster and ‘The Avengers’ theme sample. Instead, there’s a rather nice instrumental for literally five seconds and then they shout “CAUSE WHEN WE JUMPING AND POPPIN WE JOPPING” … and that’s it. Things just go back into the verses again, and all of this comes off like some kind of backing for a dance performance more than anything made to be listened to since it lacked even many attempts at a melody. It just felt like there was always a climax that it was getting to and where it wants to be, but it never quite takes that leap. Instead it’s a song that’s trying to be cool and badass but ends up sounding like an unfinished demo with large sections missing and the result is that on top of the other issues there’s not much cohesion. Well at least the bridge was a nice reprieve from all this, though it’s a standout section specifically because it doesn’t sound like the rest of it.
Expectations are the downfall of many releases, and it’s an unfair reality in a way. However, regardless of who this was released by or to what fanfare, it would’ve been a rather forgettable boy group effort, much less as something that seemed intent on marking a change in the guard or a landscape-altering debut for K-pop.
TheBiasList enjoyed how surprisingly non-Western the song was.