I wanted to get SJ-M’s first album but out of all the versions available it was hard to pick just one. I ended up picking the Asia Deluxe edition, which includes a Region All DVD(so I wouldn’t have a problem playing it on my XBOX360 or PS2 if I wanted to see it on TV) and it also had three tracks from the original Mandarin album in Korean as well.
Once the package arrived at my house, I quickly opened it up to find a carboard sleeve over the CD/DVD case.
On the other side of the sleeve we’re treated to an almost similar picture along with the tracklists of the CD/DVD. There is a music video in the DVD as per stated in the tracklist, but we’ll get to that later.
The covers on the CD/DVD case are exactly the same as the shots in the sleeve while inside we have a CD(White one) and the DVD(Orange/Gold one). The booklet which is up at the top, has the same picture as the cover for a third time and came tucked in on top of the CD, hiding it.
The booklet in itself has simple pictures of the boys against a white backdrop along with their names. Their thanks are grouped together on one page except for Henry’s. The lyric credits along with their respective lyrics are in the booklet and there’s a separate page for the Korean lyrics of the Korean songs in the album.
Two sample shots of what the booklet looks like. My scanner wasn’t doing a well job with the booklet and kept giving the pictures lines.
Breaking it down now! To the songs that is…
1. 迷 (Me) – The song, I fell in love with it at first listen. It’s the first original album song you’re greeted to and its also the title track. The voices here blend very well and though it flows oddly at times, its quite nice to listen to. It’s a nice uplifting melody and the chorus brought a smile to my face every time I heard ‘It’s gonna be me’. Zhoumi and Henry sound great in this song and their English phrases are very well sung.
2. U(Chinese Ver) – This is the first of the few Super Junior remakes that take part in the album. The first indicator that the song isn’t the normal version is the ‘SJM’ you hear at the beginning and then we hear Siwon’s voice at the beginning, like in the Korean and Japanese versions of the song. The song is almost exactly the same as its counterparts in Korean and Japanese and it flows well. There’s a little add on to this version that the others don’t have and that the element of a violin and a dance break. The violin was played by Henry and its a refresher since it gives the song a little something extra and unique to this version that makes it SJ-M’s own.
3. 至少還有你(At Least I Still Have You) – Another cover but this one isn’t a Super Junior cover. It’s a cover of Sandy Lam’s song of the same translation name. The ballad is exceptionally beautiful in Mandarin and Zhoumi steals the show for me in particular. He has a great voice and this ballad does a great job in showcasing his range.
4. 你是我的奇蹟 (Miracle) – Second Super Junior cover. It’s almost essentially the same as its original except that it’s in Mandarin. The song flows well and I didn’t find any awkwardness in this song.
5. 愛你愛你 (Love Song) – The little video game/8bit sound effects at the beginning were very nice and made me think back on my childhood and playing Mario and Pac man for some reason. The chorus is quite cute and Henry sounds adorable in his part. The song was written by Zhoumi and its’ really sweet.
6. 我抱著我 (In My Arms) – Another original song for the album and this one is a sad, moody ballad. Kyuhyun was the best in this song, carrying great emotion in his voice, much like Zhoumi. The ending was a little awkward for me though.
7. Don’t Don – Another Super Junior cover. I love the original ‘Don’t Don’ so I had high expectations with this one. This was one cover that I found really off. It’s not bad…but it flows strangely.
8. Marry U – Again with the Super Junior covers! But this one was my favorite out of all the covers they did in the album. Zhoumi penned the lyrics for this version and it flows very well. I was very pleased with this cover. The rap was great and I loved this version of the song as much as the original.
9. 我的二分之一 (Full Of Happiness) – Another cover! This one was good too, made me very hyperactive like it’s original does when I listen to it. The lyrics flow oddly sometimes but the rap flowed excellently.
10. 渴望 (A Man In Love) Another Super Junior cover but this one is the last one in the bunch. Again Zhoumi showcases his talent in writing lyrics by writing this Chinese version of a Super Junior favorite. This song was all right but the lyrics flowed strangely once or twice.
11. 這一秒 (The Moment) – Words cannot capture how much I loved this song. It’s another SJM original and this song caught me at once from the get go. The violin was played by Henry and the opening lines are amazing lures. Henry’s rap was done completely in English and it was perfection. The violin solo right after that was also excellent. Vocally the best performer for me was Donghae along with Henry because of his rap and its intensity.
12. The One – Another ballad and the last song of the original full on Mandarin album. This one was very well done and the violins throughout give it a sweet feeling. All of them did a great job with this song and they all excelled vocally. Their voices blended well in the chorus and it swept me away.
The next three tracks were the bonus tracks in the standard Korean version of the album and the edition I purchased:
13. 迷 (Me) – Korean Version
14. 至少還有你 (At Least I Still Have You)- Korean Version
15. 愛你愛你 (Love Song) – Korean Version
Out of the three self covers, Me was the one that flowed the best. The other two sounded odd at some points, great in others.
The DVD gives us introductory films on all the members along with a commentary and behind the scenes footage of the making of ‘U’. It also has the MV for the Chineser version of U as the last thing on the tracklist. The whole thing plays in a row though you can skip throug the 6 chapters as you so choose. I would’ve loved to have had the BTS footage along with the MV for ‘Me’ in the DVD as well but oh well.
All in all this is a sound album and a great debut for the boys of SJM chroniccling some of Super Junior’s most iconic songs together in a language Chinese fans can enjoy and sing along to. The only stand out Super Junior single that’s missing is ‘Twins(Knock Out)’ but when I really thought about it, that would’ve been a very strange song to hear in Mandarin so I was happy with the songs they went with in the end. I’m hoping that for their second album, SJM focuses less on the Super Junior covers and give us more original material…along with more songs written by Zhoumi. He’s got talent in that department.
Want to check out the album yourself? Click here to buy it off YesAsia!