By Kwon Mee-yoo
Super Junior, the K-pop group leading "hallyu" (the Korean wave of popular culture) across the globe, returned to the local music scene with their fifth studio album, "Mr. Simple", last week.
"Mr. Simple", the title of the song as well as the album, is a catchy tune conveying a message of living in a simple way.
Leeteuk, the group leader said "Mr. Simple" maximizes the characteristics of the group.
"Rather than define the genre of the music, we focused on the lyrics. There is so much terrifying, sad news on television and in the newspapers, and we wanted to bring hope with our song", he said at a press conference last week.
Their fourth album, Bonamana, was a big success. It was the biggest-selling album in Korea last year and drew and audience of some 200,000 people to their "Super Show 3" concerts in 13 Asian cities. "Bonamana" has topped Taiwan's KKBOX music chart for 61 consecutive weeks.
However, the new album is ready to break previous records. Their fifth studio album sold more than 60,000 copies in the five days since its release on Aug. 3, a relatively high amount for the local music scene. Some fans bought 10 copies of the new album as there are 10 different album covers featuring photos of each member. The album will be released in 11 countries.
Among the tracks of the new album, members showed affection in songs like "Good Friends", written by Yoon Jong-shin.
"The song talks about our friendship. Yoon said we have grown up over the years", Leeteuk said.
The press conference was international and tech-savvy, just like Super Junior. Reporters from Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and China asked questions about concerts in their countries and some overseas fans submitted questions for the group through YouTube and Facebook.
Ira Belyakova, a 23-year-old fan from Russia, asked how the group feels about non-Asian fans. Leeteuk said he feels good as he is proud of being at the center of developing Asian culture.
"I was afraid of foreigners when I was young, but seeing overseas fans often made me overcome such fears", Eunhyuk said. Ryeowook also shared an experience of meeting fans from Spain seated at Sungmin's musical.
The K-pop group is eager to hold more overseas concerts as the nation's leader in hallyu.
"We met more than 500,000 fans through our concerts in Asia. We want to visit South America, Europe and the Middle East to hold Super Junior concerts, not only an SM Town concert", Leeteuk said. "Personally, I also want to perform in Pyongyang, for a peace exchange between the South and North Korea".
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