It is fitting that Donghae and Eunhyuk named their first Korean studio album The Beat Goes On. Even after a decade in the industry as the members of Super Junior, the fun does continue for the dynamic duo. In fact, while younger idol groups are adopting a darker and more mature approach to their outputs, D&E plays it cool by mish-meshing a number of genres – hip-hop, R&B, electro-pop and ballad – with a dash of their trademark cheekiness. And the album is their strongest to date precisely because none of the tracks felt out of place despite the diversity.
The album opens with ‘The Beat Goes On’ – a psychedelic and synth-heavy number that attempts to impress but is probably the weakest link of all. The title track ‘Growing Pains’ is a charming mid-tempo ballad written and composed by Donghae. The subtle guitar and piano backdrop gels perfectly with their emotive delivery – it was almost hard to demarcate from their pain of lost love. The boys take on a wispier version of their vocals in the studio with ‘Sweater & Jeans’. The soothing, slow jam is downright addictive and is (debatable) their best shot on the album. The danceable ‘Breaking Up’ is just as worth repeating, elevating the mood with its catchy chorus of breakup woes, “I guess we are breaking up just so we can make it up”.
Although The Beat Goes On runs on a short 25-minute track-list, Donghae and Eunhyuk were not deterred from letting in ‘Lights, Camera, Action’ and ‘Can You Feel It’ – two gleeful electro-dance pieces stuffed with an interesting mix of autotune, synth-bleeps and crazy-catchy lyrics (choki, choki, they say?) that roll effortlessly off their lips. The album wraps with the heart-warming track ‘Mother’ penned by Donghae to express his gratitude for his mum’s unconditional love.
Recommended tracks: ‘Growing Pains’, ‘Sweater & Jeans’, ‘Breaking Up’, ‘Mother’