If you had asked me a few months ago if I would have ever predicted a collaboration between Zico and Super Junior, I probably would have laughed you off. But much like most of what has transpired so far this year, we have 2YA2YAO!, the title track of “Timeless”, a repackage of last years super solid SUPER Clap album. Although I’ve enjoyed almost all of Super Juniors material since Black Suit all the way back in 2017, I feel like this is the groups first misstep. Apart from the name, which is one of the more bizarre song names of the last few years, 2YA2YAO! sounds more like an old Block B album track than something within Super Juniors wheelhouse. Although this is expected due to Zico’s work on the track, it just doesn’t come off as genuine.
The opening blast of filtered percussion is a promising intro, foreshadowing a more modernised take on the aggressive new jack swing so prevalent during the time of Super Juniors debut. The addictive instrumental loop that anchors most of the first verse is probably the tracks most enjoyable moment, providing an exciting burst of energy. This loop also acts as the post chorus breakdown, adding additional umph to the track. The guys also provide a suitably dramatic vocal performance to match the tone of the track. This is most evident during the beautiful pre-chorus, the most melodically rich segment of the entire track. But unfortunately this is where most of my praise for the song ends.
My main issue with the track, is that It just doesn’t feel like a song suited towards Super Junior at this point in their career. The loud blaring chorus especially feels like something ripped from the debut of more little known groups. It just feels like they are trying too hard to prove their worth, and comes off as outdated and low-key cringe. The “we are we are young” line irks me the most, sounding like something newly debuted boy groups would proclaim, not 15 year veterans of the industry. Although I appreciate the bombast, the tracks lurching nature truely prevents me from fully appreciating its charms . The momentum killing breakdown before the climactic chorus is the tracks weakest moment, and the culmination of all my previous problems in one segment.
For an album titled ‘Timeless’ the songs heavy usage of trap and grating EDM elements feels oddly outdated as it does trendy. Although I understand they probably went with 2YA2YAO! for Zico’s name recognition I cant help but think how much better new album track Shadow would be as the title track. It’s dark groove and addictive hooks are a perfect fit for Super Junior at this point in their career and would actually live up to the album title. 2YA2YAO! on the other hand is not the sound I want at all from Super Junior and a massive downgrade from last years amazing SUPER Clap.
Final Rating: 6.5 / 10
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