Korean boyband Super Junior’s fourth album, “미인아 (BONAMANA)”, was released on 13 May 2010 to great anticipation following the success of their third album, “SORRY, SORRY” in 2009. I must say, they did not disappoint.
Compared to Super Junior’s previous album, the sounds on this album are more mature, edgy and urban, which is especially evident on the faster and mid-tempo tracks. The ballads are also intense.
The album has a balanced mixture of fast/mid-tempo tracks and ballads, in a variety of music genres. Just go with the flow and listen to the album from the first song to the last without shuffling the tracks. It’s surprising how smooth the transition is from one track to the next.
While the title track, 미인아 (BONAMANA) (romanised: Miina), is reminiscent of “SORRY, SORRY” from their last album and “Super Girl” by their sub-group, Super Junior M, it does not fail to be an addictive song. They even coined a name for this style of music – SJ (which stands for ‘Super Junior’) Funky.
나쁜 여자 (Boom Boom) (romanised: Nappeunyeoja), a sexy yet edgy hip hop number, is another notable track. 사랑이 이렇게 (My All Is In You) (romanised: Sarang-i Ireoke), a soothing mid-tempo pop ballad, also makes it as one of my favourite tracks on the album. The danceable Shake It Up! just makes one want to tap the feet and move along with the beat. I especially like the use of the trumpet in the music arrangement which gives the song a retro feel.
Of the slower tracks, 나란 사람 (Your Eyes) (romanised: Naran Saram) and 봄날 (One Fine Spring Day) (romanised: Bomnal) stands out for me.
나란 사람 (Your Eyes) is a duet between Yesung and Kyuhyun, two members with, in my opinion, the most charismatic singing voices in the group. It is really comfortable listening to this R&B number where their voices complement each other’s.
On the other hand, 봄날 (One Fine Spring Day) is the first recorded solo by Ryeowook, another member acknowledged as one of the best singers in the group. I do not understand the Korean language, but I feel poignancy listening to Ryeowook’s soothing voice accompanied by just a simple piano arrangement.
For the album that has broken the record for the most number sold in the shortest period of time in Korea (100,000 copies in 8 days, for the record), I’d give it 4 out of 5. But it edges very close to the 4.5 mark.
01 – 미인아 (BONAMANA)
02 – 나쁜 여자 (Boom Boom)
03 – 응결 (Coagulation)
04 – 나란 사람 (Your Eyes)
05 – My Only Girl
06 – 사랑이 이렇게 (My All Is In You)
07 – Shake It Up!
08 – 잠들고 싶어 (In My Dream)
09 – 봄날 (One Fine Spring Day)
10 – 좋은 사람 (Good Person)
11 – Here We Go