[Album Review] The Renaissance (10th Studio Album) – Super Junior

Keeping in theme with the other reviews this weekend (reviews I should have written sooner), I have decided to review Super Junior’s 10th (!) studio album. It has been almost two months since the release of the album, titled The Renaissance. It features the title track House Party and a whole bunch of other new songs, including all the pre-releases which Super Junior have unvieled since late last year. The reason why I have decided to review this album to continue the theme of this weekend is because I feel I don’t review Super Junior all that often anymore. I have done a couple of album reviews for them previously. But given they have 10 studio albums (and countless mini-albums) under their belt, I feel I have a lot to catch up on. I have also been neglecting their solo work, so I better get to writing those reviews. But in the meantime, here is what I thought of The Renaissance.

The Renaissance Album Cover

1. Super Super gives us a teaser of what is to come on this album. The track itself is only a minute and half, and acts as the album’s introductory track. I liked the intensity of the track and the chanting delivery which makes Super feel very Super Junior. I just feel the short track was very plain when it came to its instrumentation. I think it would have been better served as a full-length track and was further down the tracklist. (7/10)

2. House Party (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for House Party. (6/10)

3. Burn The Floor Burn The Floor starts off very elegantly with its focus on waltz-like music in the verses. But if the name suggests any clues to you, this whole elegant touch is pretty much a ruse for what is to come. Burn The Floor integrates trap electronic music and a rush of intense energy into the song for the chorus over the top of the strings, keeping true to the start of the song. The transition between classical and electronic was very well done and clean-cut. Burn The Floor also throws a few more curveballs towards the end, such as the haunting bridge and dubstep finisher. The entire song is quite unexpected, but yet is a show stopping piece that has me coming back for more. And this doesn’t even consider the performance, which is really unique and one you ought to check out. (10/10)

4. Paradox Paradox features a funky background, which is fitting for the current trends of KPOP at the moment. However, the chorus takes more on a percussive route opting for an interesting mix of EDM that I find quite intriguing. In combination with the whispering vocals, the chorus comes off as surprisingly sleek and classy. The vocal work, aside from the chorus, were pretty solid. My biggest issue with the song is that it sounds rather loose, when you consider everything together. I just the various parts blended more with one another continued the momentum from the preceding sections. This would have made the song sound a lot more refined. (8/10)

5. Closer – We move away from the EDM and heavy emphasis on electronics with Closer, a R&B pop track. Closer is a lot easier on the ears and is simpler in terms of its arrangement, compared to the preceding tracks. But Closer has this really catchy underlying beat that makes this song hard to stay away from. With a softer song, the focus is without a doubt more on the vocal works. While all the members sound so nice throughout the song, I have to applaud both Kyuhyun and Ryeowook’s vocals that opened up the song’s two verses. They oozed so much charisma, pulling me into the song from the start. (9/10)

6. The Melody (우리에게)The Melody has a few great star attractions. The first is being the song’s feel-good melody. It makes the song extremely pleasant and gives off a simple atmosphere. The second is the instrumentation. It is an acoustic pop number, which is quite likeable. The simplistic nature of the song is further emphasized by the whistling and urge to foot-tap along to the beat of the song. The third has to be the vocals. Alone, the members handle their parts effortlessly well. But the harmonies is what gives the song so much depth. Altogether, The Melody brings a smile to your face while listening to it, and is also my favourite side track from this album. (10/10)

7. Raining Spell of Love (사랑이 멎지 않게) (Remake Ver.) Raining Spell of Love was previously a very emotive dance track from Super Junior’s seventh studio album, Mamacita. For this album, the song was remade into a ballad (piano and soft percussion) but it still retains the song’s original emotive and heart-breaking profile. The vocals in this version are breathtaking, especially when it came to the chorus when they all sang together. Yesung’s high note at the end was also spectacular. Also retained are the rap sequence. I personally felt that this version could have redone this sequence to be delivered by vocals and to make this more fitting in this version’s ballad set-up. (9/10)

8. MysteryMystery returns us to the start of the album with the focus on electronic and EDM. Mystery isn’t as explicit with this return however, opting for a more down-tempo atmosphere. I really liked how the vocals sounded in this song, aiding in making the song sound soothing and mature. But it is the instrumentation that I am not entirely sure about. It made the song unnecessarily busy. I would have preferred it if they took out one or two elements from the instrumentation to make the background a bit more fitting for the rest of the song’s atmosphere. (7/10)

9. More Days With You (같이 걸읅까) More Days With You is your more straightforward and traditional sounding ballad. Once again, the focus is more on the member’s vocals. I really like what they did for the chorus, making it breathy and airy. I also like the instrumentation. Piano, violins and acoustic guitars consistently throughout the song. Unfortunately, the melodies are not as memorable as the previous ballads on the album, which leaves it falling behind the rest on the album. But it still sounds good, nonetheless. (8/10)

10. Tell Me Baby (하얀 거짓말) – The final song on the album is an upbeat pop number. The energy coming from this song brings a smile to your face. It also gives me holiday vibes, as I think there are some instrumental influences in the background. It isn’t the most promising song on the album, but it was nice song to end the album with. Furthermore, there is actually a cute video to accompany this track on Super Junior’s YouTube channel. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.2/10

The Renaissance Teaser Image

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