My wife Cathy bought the Super Junior Super Show 2 double CD as a Valentine’s present for me. (The locally produced CDs even came with a free poster, which is now displayed in our living room. Ack, we’re so out with our Korean love, aren’t we?) Since Super Junior is coming to the Philippines in April and we have virtually no chance of getting decent tickets – thanks a lot, Happee Sy – this is the closest we’re going to come to the concert.
The Super Junior Super Show 2 CD is so worth its price. It’s got live versions of all my favorite hits – Sorry Sorry, U, It’s U, Don’t Don, Rokuko, Pajama Party, Marry U, and Twins (Knockout), among many others – as well as some charming new ones, including a Kyuhyun-led Puff the Magic Dragon and a Ryeowook spotlight, a new take on Craig David’s Insomnia. (Woohoo, go Wookie!)
The biggest surprise, however, comes via outspoken Super Junior Christian Siwon, who delivers a surprisingly effective rendition of Casting Crowns’ Who Am I. Super Junior has had a so-so record with English-language songs, from a laughable Y.M.C.A. to a version of 98 Degrees’ My Everything that can only be described as cringe-inducing. Siwon’s take on Who Am I is both heartfelt and touching. I assume that Korean singers who deliver English songs learn them phonetically, which is why some words would sound odd, but Siwon’s English is more than passable, especially for someone for whom English is not even a second language. At the end of the song, you can even hear him whisper the words, “Thank You, Lord,” which just took my breath away. I don’t know who his backup vocalists are – I think it might be Ryeowook, because he’s Christian too – but they did splendidly as well.
Suffice it to say that I am even more supportive of Super Junior now. The universality of the group’s music has been made even more accessible to me by the inclusion of Who Am I in the concert and by the decision of SM Entertainment to even allow the song to be included, because doing so may have alienated, even offended, some of their fans who are not Christians. (Of course, there is also a sizable number of Koreans who are Christian, and Who Am I may have undoubtedly endeared SuJu to them even more.
Don’t take my word for it. Listen to the track and see for yourself. And if you like it, please do buy the original double CD. It’s available at local record shops for only Php495 (for two CDs, plus a free poster!). Support original music, please, and support Christian musicians, whether they’re American, Korean, Filipino, or whatever race; you’re helping spread the gospel in your support of them.[audio:Super Junior – Who Am I.mp3]