Super Junior has jumped on the bandwagon with their pandemic-inspired single, “House Party.” The song and MV is basically a public service announcement that encourages quarantine, social distancing, and wearing masks. Instead of having a serious or mellow tone, the song is playful with an upbeat tune. The single comes with their 10th full album, titled The Renaissance, as the members celebrate their 15th anniversary. Super Junior always keeps it fun even when they are scolding you about masks and social-distancing. For their MV, they keep it fairly simple, maybe too simple, with only a few sets and costume changes. They instead focus on their own energy and personalities to bring the MV to life.
While other senior groups have gone on a more serious route, Super Junior tends to stick to upbeat pop songs. Even though they do jump on trends, as they did with “House Party,” they managed to keep their signature sound and concepts. For this MV, they take the well-known phrase, “House Party,” in a different direction than its normal definition. “House Party” usually means a huge party at someone’s house but in this case, it points to the need to stay home and safe.
While there is little overall plot, Donghae depicts the characteristics of a burnt-out individual. Close-ups of his facial features show his emotionless expression. While the public is stuck inside, a common symptom is the feeling of restlessness that Donghae is exhibiting. Towards the end, he is sitting at the table with the rest of the members and he finally smiles. Although the MV is on the fun side, they do try to relate back to their fans who are tired of the current restrictions. If they have elaborated on Donghae’s persona more, the MV would have been taken to a different level.
In order to stay safe, some individuals have been forced to do their favorite activities alone. The MV incorporates these isolated activities with fun 3D effects keeping with the positive tone. For example, Siwon plays golf on the moon, and Yesung uses a telescope while on a small boat. While the members are alone, surprisingly these scenes do not set a depressing tone. It is unfortunate, but clearly, everyone is making the best of the situation. This circles back to one of the points of the song which is to stay optimistic even during these trying times.
The most interesting part of the MV is the sudden rap break that sets a whole different tone and a different image for Super Junior. The music goes from a pop song to a hip-hop song showing Super Junior in a completely different concept. As a viewer, it can be jarring on the first watch but the member’s message about social distancing stays the same. During this scene, the members are dressed in all-black outfits while they are set in an apocalyptic world full of fire and violence. You can take this scene seriously, or see it as a bit of a parody as the members show a common concept in K-pop to depict their message. The break gives the MV more diversity from the otherwise simplistic MV.
The lyrics to the song promote social-distancing rules to keep everyone safe. While to some, this may all be obvious and common knowledge. It might even seem dated as the world is beginning to roll out vaccinations and loosen up its regulations. However, not every country or region is in the same situation, and it will still be a while before everything goes back completely to normal. The lyrics and scolding tone suggest they are referring to individuals who refuse to wear a mask or stay within safe distances from others. The animated beat to the song can seem conflicting to the message but members are the ultimate cheerleaders of social-distancing. Regardless of how you feel about the MV or song, this is a great message for the members to encourage. They know it is hard and can it is tiring for everyone, but we are all in it together:
Stuck at home
What will everyone be doing?
(We) gonna have a good time (Good time)
The ordinary days that we took for granted
Have become our own bucket list now (Oh My)
All gathering to Party (No) Let’s go to a concert (No)
Not wearing a mask, hey, that’s nonsense
Perhaps we’re paying a heavy price
For the past days of freedom
The single and the accompanying album for this MV were delayed twice and ended up being released in time with their anniversary. Perhaps, they meant to do something else to celebrate but the overall concept for the MV is dull for their 15th anniversary. It is also disappointing to see that Sungmin is still being removed from any promotions or activities. However, Super Junior does channel their endearing charms and silly personalities creating another fun song for their discography. It still has a great message and one that is, unfortunately, still needed during these times.