Just when you thought Super Junior was finished with their promotion cycle, they surprise you with another single, adding a total of three music videos for their Mamacita album. The interesting bit about Super Junior’s three-pronged video approach is the transition of mood despite the continuity of theme throughout the three tracks, “Mamacita,” “This Love,” and now “Evanesce.”
The first is all bravado, the typical fare that we’ve come to expect from Super Junior, with a little zaniness thrown in. “This Love” saw them taking cues from TVXQ with a sophisticated, jazz lounge-esqe track crooning about a beautiful love. However, by the time of “Evanesce” this love seems to have gone sour.
Super Junior uses the “This Love” music video set for “Evanesce” and does it with purpose. The vibrant, glassy red colors on the furniture and walls within this hexagonal funhouse have faded into a bleak decaying space that is far from its past elegance. When Kyuhyun opens the door to the hall in “This is Love,” there’s a look of intrigue on his face, but in “Evanesce” it’s replaced by a shameful hesitancy, as if he doesn’t want the viewer to be let into his world.
The word “evanesce” means to disappear gradually, vanish, or fade away. It’s a fitting title since “Evanesce” is about a love that is ending. The lyrics speak of a total disenchantment with love, a far cry from the bliss of their previous MV. Before the song fades out with complaints that “love is momentary,” the verses make gloomy observations such as:
The sun has set (more and more) and grew black (no)
The waves will crash some day
Why does everything good always become like this?
Through “Mamacita,” “This is Love,” and “Evanesce” we get a clever progression of romance, from courtship to happy relationship to painful break-up. The trilogy is surprisingly cohesive, even if “Mamacita” doesn’t have the thematic continuity that the latter two have.
The music video itself is very beautiful in its tragic visuals. SM used Super Junior’s high member count and their camera tricks to the video’s benefit by transitioning into scenes with different members with the continuity of objects.
Kyuhyun’s hand on the table becomes Kangin’s hand as he begins to navigate through the room. Kangin notices a rose and reaches for it, only for Siwon to pick up the rose and smell it instead. “Evanesce” is incredibly elegant in this way, flashing back to the smoothness of the scenes in “It’s You” from Sorry, Sorry promotions.
All of the angst builds up to a gorgeous scene in the center of the hexagonal hall where Eunhyuk does a duet dance with a woman as the lights flicker on and off in all of the rooms around them. It’s a lovely, extensive dance sequence that communicates the theme of the song well and adds to the maturity of the video.
Super Junior is capable of delivering beautiful ballads, and “Evanesce” shows them really achieving something that could be considered a classic in their large collection of music. Kyuhyun and Ryeowook are of course giving their usual best, but Kangin’s deep, rustier voice is a treasure for songs like this.
“Evanesce” is a fabulous close to a transformative comeback season for Super Junior. The group has the advantage of being at the veteran stage where they have nothing to prove, which allows them to have more fun and experiment with their material. “This is Love” and “Evanesce,” two singles that will now be permanently linked, have revealed a more mature Super Junior and suggest that the group still has a few new tricks up their sleeve.
Music Video: 4.5/5.0