‘SMCU Express’: Release date, where to listen, artists, concept, all about Kwangya album
SM Entertainment has finally announced its year-end project involving all of its artists. Last time, we only got the concert ‘SMTOWN Live Culture Humanity’ which was held on January 1, 2021. For the new edition, the ‘2021 Winter SMTOWN: SMCU Express’ project includes an album, concert and art exhibition. The K-pop label is incorporating their latest venture, Kwangya — the SM Culture Multiverse — as the concept of this ambitious project. The last SMTOWN album was released 10 years ago.
This year’s SM album feels extra special as along with the usual active artists like EXO and Red Velvet, we are also getting reunions and comebacks from iconic older-generation artists. We have the legendary soloist BoA, H.O.T.’s Kangta, Girls’ Generation-Oh!GG, SHINee and Super Junior participating in ‘2021 Winter SMTOWN: SMCU Express’. SM also remastered the 2001 winter SMTOWN song ‘Angel Eyes’ which featured iconic first-gen acts Yoo Young-jin, Moon Hee-jun, H.O.T’s Kangta, S.E.S, Shinhwa, Fly To The Sky, BoA, Dana and MILK.
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The ‘2021 Winter SMTOWN: SMCU Express’ album will be released on December 27 at 6 pm KST.
Where to listen
The album featuring all SM artists will be available on all major music streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, MelOn and more.
December 27 - Album - ‘2021 Winter SMTOWN: SMCU Express’
December 30 - Art - ‘SMTOWN Experience: Play@Kwangya’
January 1, 2022 - Concert - ‘SMTOWN Live 2022: SMCU Express@Kwangya’
All of the active artists under SM’s label are collectively called SMTOWN. The ones participating in the ‘SMCU Express’ album are:
Super Junior (While Heechul is missing from the teasers fans hope he is present in the album)
Girls’ Generation-Oh!GG sub-unit
SHINee (Taemin will not be present since he is currently in the military)
EXO (Only Kai is participating)
NCT (There are 22 members participating except for Lucas who is on hiatus)
DJ Raiden, Ginjo and Imlay
1. ‘Light (Hope from KWANGYA)’ - Title track
2. ‘Dreams Come True’ - aespa. Title track
3. ‘Dinner’ - TVXQ
4. ‘Melody’ - Girls’ Generation-Oh!GG
5. ‘Magical' - TVXQ and Super Junior
6. ‘ZOO' - NCT’s Taeyong, Jeno, Hendery, Yangyang and aespa’s Giselle
7. ‘Ordinary Day' - Super Junior’s Kyuhyun, SHINee’s Onew and NCT’s Taeil
8. ‘Snow Dream 2021' - aespa’s Ningning, NCT’s Haechan, Chenle, Jisung and Red Velvet’s Yeri
9. ‘Goodbye In December' - Girls’ Generation’s Sunny, NCT’s Jungwoo and Renjun
9. ‘The Promise of H.O.T (Jazz version)'
There are a total of 10 songs and two title tracks in the 2021 winter SMTOWN album. ‘Dreams Come True’ is a hip-hop remake of the dreamy dance-pop S.E.S song produced by BoA and sung by aespa. It was pre-released on December 20. ‘Light (Hope From KWANGYA)’ is the second title track of ‘2021 Winter SMTOWN: SMCU Express’ and will be performed by all of the artists involved. It is a remake of the 1998 song 'Hope' by H.O.T.
TVXQ’s ‘Dinner’ is a pop ballad perfect for the winter as they sing about ending a hard day by sharing small moments of happiness like having dinner with a loved one. ‘Melody’ is an original song that will be performed by the sub-unit Oh!GG and is a retro pop song with jazzy elements. TVXQ and Super Junior are collaborating after 16 years with 'Magical' which is an upbeat pop song about friendship.
Like Marvel’s multiverse, SM aims to create one shared universe that connects all of the artists under the label through storytelling in songs, performances and music videos. This SM Culture Multiverse has been titled Kwangya and was first introduced in aespa’s debut song ‘Black Mamba’. Like the title of the album, ‘2021 Winter SMTOWN: SMCU Express’ suggests that all of the SM artists will visit Kwangya together for the first time by hopping on an express train to Kwangya. The teasers all show the artists in different railway compartments that are decorated to fit the aesthetic of each act.
The artists are also given different roles and abilities in Kwangya:
BoA - Birth of the Kwangya universe
TVXQ - Speed of light and sound
Super Junior - Space travel beyond nationality
Girls’ Generation - Goddess of sound
SHINee - Five lights
EXO - Supernatural powers from EXOPlanet
Red Velvet - Transcendental beings that are in communion with the Gods
NCT - Messengers of solidarity through dreams and subconsciousness
Kangta and aespa’s roles are yet to be disclosed.
Music videos and teasers
Watch aespa's 'Dreams Come True' music video below.
Watch the remastered version of the 2001 winter SMTOWN track 'Angel Eyes':
SM also released short teasers for 'Hope From KWANGYA'.