Review: Growing Pains – Super Junior D&E

Hey y’all! Super Junior’s subunit, D&E (Donghae and Eunhyuk) debut with a silly song (Oppa Oppa), but now they’re back with a more serious song, with the English title, “Growing Pains.” This song was written by Donghae, who also helped to produce the EP it’s on, The Beat Goes On. I’m always excited when idols get to play a part in the creation of their music, so let’s take a look at Growing Pains!

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Here’s the music video with English subtitles:

The lyrics are from the perspective of a guy who is looking back on an ended relationship. It’s hard to say how recent the break-up was, but regardless, he can’t stop thinking about it. He’s pained by memories every day, but the bottom line is that he hopes the girl doesn’t feel the way he does. He hopes that she is doing better than he is.

It’s totally coincidental that I decided to review this song after doing Love Equation not too long ago. The premise is very similar, and it’s one that I’m fond of. I strongly prefer “pleasant” break-up songs to hateful break-up songs. True, some relationships end very badly, but if you loved someone once, wouldn’t you wish them well, even if things are over between the two of you?

The music video includes both Donghae and Eunhyuk playing men in failed relationships. Donghae tries in vain to forget his past, while Eunhyuk tries in vain to win his ex back with a bouquet of roses. They both cope in different ways at first, but the end result is the same. Tortured by their past relationship, all they want is to forget.

super junior d&e growing pains erasure

“Erasure” and “memory center” make it pretty clear what’s going on.

 

The video opens with Donghae talking to a man, who lifts up an interesting pocket watch. At my first viewing, I thought Donghae was trying to sell the watch- perhaps it was a memento from his last relationship. It wasn’t until I saw the ending, with the “Erasure” card that I realized he was trying to hypnotize himself into forgetting his ex.

It was a really interesting plot, especially considering it’s coming from SM Entertainment, who are notorious for their “creative” sets in music videos (but no plot to speak of). I had to watch the video several times to get the whole story, but I still have a couple of questions.

In the beginning, Donghae and Eunhyuk bump into each other like strangers. A little bit later, after Eunhyuk and his girlfriend break up, Donghae walks up and they look like friends. I’m not sure what their relationship is supposed to be, if they’re friends or not. Still, it’s only a minor part of the video so I’ll let it slide.

super junior d&e growing pains

What is your relationship to each other???

 

The song itself was beautiful. It opens with an acoustic guitar, with pop elements coming in later, especially around the chorus. It’s one of those songs that’s a mix between upbeat and ballad, and it’s balanced almost perfectly. It’s melancholy without being boring, and upbeat without being too cheery.

I especially love the dancing. There are many background dancers, so it looks more like Super Junior than a SuJu subunit, if Super Junior had girls in it. The dance is crisp and aesthetically pleasing, and the background dancers definitely add to it.

Music videos almost never show the full choreography, perhaps to entice fans to watch the live version, and in this case, it definitely worked. I can’t wait to watch the dance all the way through.

She takes a rose from the bouquet... but she won't take Eunhyuk back.

She takes a rose from the bouquet… but she won’t take Eunhyuk back.

All in all, it was an interesting video with impressive choreography and a beautiful song. I thought this subunit was more of a comedy venture when I saw their debut song, but with this song, I definitely see their artistic side. I’m pretty much hooked on this song, and can see myself listening to it on repeat for the next few days (or months). I highly recommend it!

Pros:

-Gorgeous music.

-Another positive(ish) break-up song.

-Compelling video.

Cons:

-Parts of the video were unclear.

Rating: 4.5/5

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