Almost a decade into their career, Super Junior‘s still got it. The veteran boy band notched their first No. 1 on a Billboard chart by sending Mamacita: The 7th Album to the top of Billboard‘s World Albums chart.
In just three days time, Mamacita sold 1,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan. The album was released to digital retailers on Aug. 29 giving it very little time to rack up sales in Billboard‘s tracking week that ends Sunday at midnight.
Despite the atypical release date, the K-pop act proved triumphant, though the set misses ranking on the Heatseekers Album chart. Super Junior had previously sent 2011 LP Mr. Simple to No. 41 on Heatseekers Albums (it peaked at No. 3 on World Albums) while 2012’s Sexy, Free & Single hit No. 37 on Heatseekers (and also peaked at No. 3 on World Albums).
After the two-year wait, Super Junior’s latest shows the band at what might be their most experimental yet.
More From the Super Junior Guys
Mamacita‘s title track opens with a trumpet intro that sounds as if the listener is in for a full-on salsa romp. But modern-day R&B and dance grooves emerges with the Latin flair left intact via perpetual trumpet blasts and even a bit of Spanish added to the Korean and English lyrics. Co-produced by Teddy Riley (former member of Blackstreet and Michael Jackson producer), the track has subtle elements of New Jack Swing mixed with the boy-band harmonies; a rather fascinating combination best heard on the chorus.
The accompanying video for “Mamacita” has a Spaghetti Western movie theme with the SJ members playing roles like the “Wanted Thief” (Leeteuk), “Sheriff” (Siwon), “Bartender” (Heechul) and more. Paying tribute to the famous movie genre, there’s an over-the-top plotline showing ridiculous fight scenes of the guys spliced in between shots of their group choreography. While the Latin musical theme did not inspire the overall visual theme, the band does incorporate a bit of flamenco in their routine in the second verse.
As for the rest of the album, the song closest to “Mamacita” is “Shirt” which incorporates a sexy samba feel with a hint of modern bachata. Appropriately, Super Junior performed the Mamacita standout during their first live performances to promote their new single. Watch “Shirt” live below.
The rest of the album showcases a variety of musical styles for the K-pop act. There’s the slick “Midnight Blues” that mixes slinky synths with ominous strings for a smooth, R&B-pop track. The melancholic “Evanesce” has a Drake feel with a knocking hip-hop beat and old-school synths. Meanwhile, the funky “This Is Love” has a throwback MJ feel to it. As well, Super Junior show their fun side on the One Direction-esque, rock-pop jam “Too Many Beautiful Girls” that’s packed with shout-along hooks and sounds like it could have been a hit single for junior boy band B1A4.
Almost a decade into their career, Super Junior’s Mamacita proves the band can make a solid album while getting more experimental in their genre-hopping. Listen to a medley of the LP’s tracks below.