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Super Junior’s back with “Sexy, Free & Single”

Kang In rejoins the group after three-year hiatus

Hallyu star group Super Junior has returned with their sixth full-length album “Sexy, Free & Single” and also with member Kang In rejoining the group after serving his military service.

Known to many as “Emperor Gwanggaeto” in Asia, Super Junior said they sought a new music style in their latest album, escaping from the repeated acid funky style in their previous work and trying out European house.

“We have been singing similar songs from our third to fifth album. We wanted to do something new and change our music and dance style in this album. And we are quite happy about it,” group leader Lee Teuk told reporters at a press conference held at a hotel in Seoul on Tuesday. Their new album drew international attention with reporters from Taiwan, China, Japan and Kazakhstan attending the conference.
Members of Super Junior pose for photo at a news conference for their new album in Seoul, Tuesday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)
Members of Super Junior pose for photo at a news conference for their new album in Seoul, Tuesday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

Their title single “Sexy, Free & Single,” composed and arranged by Danish songwriters Daniel “Obi” Klein, Thomas Sardorf and Lasse Lindorff, tells the story of themselves -- ten men enjoying top-star status all over Asia and the single life.

Several renowned choreographers including Devin Jamieson, who worked with Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake, also worked on the group’s new album.

“We really worked so hard to show a different dance style by adding more groove. I think it will look sexier than before,” Lee added.

The new album also celebrated Kang In’s comeback, who left the group for almost three years. The 28-year-old star spent some time of self-reflection after he was indicted by the police for assault and drunk-driving. He volunteered to enroll in the military after that.

“I feel nervous rather than being excited now. I am worried I could damage (the reputation of) the team because they are doing so great,” he told reporters.

“In the army I learned a lot more about myself and was disappointed at my bad habits. I missed my good years on the stage and I realized that I was one of a really great team,” he added.

When asked whether he thought about taking another path, since he worked as an actor and entertainer on TV before the incidents, Kang In said “I never thought of pursuing another career. Super Junior was all I wanted to do.”

Super Junior has been proving their star power in and out of the country after its debut in 2005. Their fifth album “Mr. Simple” dominated the country’s music charts and won numerous awards late last year. The group sold a half million copies last year in Korea, marking a new record in the country’s music market that has been suffering from the recession.

Their world tour this year was a huge success. The show titled “Super Junior World Tour: Super Show” held in ten cities around the world including Paris, Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore, Taipai and Jakarta, drew more than 400,000 attendees. Particularly in Taiwan, the group’s single has been topping the local chart there for more than 100 weeks.

“I was moved when I received letters written in Korean from our fans abroad. I would like to express gratitude for them spending hours to learn Korean just to communicate with us,” said Kyu Hyun. Hallyu nowadays is not only about fandom toward Korean artists but also interests into anything about Korea.

“We saw many fans translating many entertainment programs just to get to know about Korean culture, that was really amazing,” he said.

The group said they feel responsible for fans’ love and was inspired by a surprise visit by Donika Sterling, an American girl suffering from an incurable illness. She was in Korea to meet Korean singers including Super Junior and SHINee.

“I realized that we have become people who can encourage and inspire many other people. We will try to do something for them like holding a charity concert like Michael Jackson did with his friends,” said Si Won, another member who is busy filming a Chinese soap drama in Taiwan.

By Cho Chung-un (