Super Junior’s post-army comeback was highly anticipated and fulfilled many fans’ expectations and desires. Sleek dance moves, a mature concept, and an addictive song.
However, with every comeback, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the boy (man?) group won’t regain its previous level of popularity. So what is SM Entertainment doing now with Super Junior?
SM Entertainment remains a trendsetting, forward-thinking company with some of the best trained and well-rounded artists in the field. This remains a fact even to this day with the new generation of NCT and Red Velvet continuing in the footsteps of their more senior groups like f(x), SHINee, EXO, Girls’ Generation, TVXQ, and of course Super Junior (there are more, I know).
With years of training under their belt and a polished team behind them, the groups under the label usually have the resources and ability to be chart toppers. Indeed, I am sure that like myself many expected Super Junior to quickly regain the previous frantic popularity they have had for years. However, while successful compared to many other comebacks at the time “Black Suit,” did not make huge waves in the industry.
Additionally, their lastest comeback songs “Lo Siento,” and “One More Time,” have had similar receptions. Moreover, it appears that the group is deviating more and more from the current music trends. But why? SM Entertainment’s founder, Lee Soo-man, is a lauded and savvy businessman (link in Korean), a visionary that came up with the Neo Culture Technology (NCT) concept and is already delving into artificial intelligence and hologram performances. Would he purposefully let one of the company’s groups flounder?
Everything we see with Super Junior is because SM Entertainment is not pushing the group is the South Korean entertainment market right now. Instead, they are using the world-famous group to explore a new frontier and market. Looking at their recent song titles, it quickly becomes obvious who they are targeting. “Lo Siento” featured Latin pop singer Rita Ora while “One More Time” has a second title name in Spanish, “Otra Vez” and features Reik.
The group has already appeared and performed on different entertainment networks and have even appeared on local music charts. Moreover, with their more mature look and feel, and universal group name, and experience in the field have probably made Super Junior the most marketable group from SM Entertainment in regards to the Latin pop music scene.
As Super Junior works to test the bounds of Latin pop, I expect a possible local NCT group to pop up in a few years, but we’ll have to wait and see for that.
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