When the announcement of DBSK’s disbandment was made I immediately took JYJ’s side. The fact that my favourite member, Yoochun took part in the rebellion made no difference, the true reason behind my choice laid in the fact that no matter what, SM does play an important role in the misfortune of its artists. I’m talking about those damned contracts but also about the suspicious series of events that got JYJ banned from tv appearances, ignored on music charts, to lose some well remunerated endorsement deals and, for a few months, to play the ingrate role of a scape goat.
Despite all these hardships, our fellas are live and well :
Jaejoong, well he started with directing his band’s shows but also other events and the latest we know from him is that he is also a kdrama actor in Protect The Boss. But their biggest achievement has to be their own label and the 3 mini albums they released since the departure. Quite a lot coming from a band that was obligated to promote itself mostly through the internet and private events. The fact that they were able to do all this on their own brings tears to my eyes. You just cannot imagine how hard it is to work your way into the music industry without the financial and professional support of a strong label. Their only advantage was their own popularity, as former members of the most famous korean boyband, DBSK.
Once you’re a free agent, you can take the liberty of making your own choices. JYJ started composing more, taking on more challenges, like Junsu’s main roles in musicals and organising long concert tours. Those many concerts were a risky way of promoting their albums. Without live appearances on music tv programs, concerts bring them both money and a chance for a show of but could also mean a turning point in their careers if they result in a failure. The US tour still remains a questionable choice, I have no idea if it made them more good than bad but the fact that it brought them closer to their fans has to be a plus.
As for their music, well, The Beginning was a big disappointment, The.. Japanese release had some nice songs, but the tiara goes to Their rooms. The most noticeable thing upon a first hearing of this album is that they seriously lack good studio processing of the songs. The instrumentals sound weak, even cheap at some times, and don’t manage to compliment the vocal parts as they should. JYJ do have good instincts when it comes to the melody and vocal performance but they need an expert to arrange the instrumental parts in a more professional way. Thus the songs would have been more than just good songs.
There’s a lot to discuss on this matter but getting back to Their rooms, Fallen Leaves and Nine are the best tracks, Pierrot could have been even better with a more appealing arrangement and I.D.S and Mission stubbornly hang on to mediocrity’s limbo. As for Unnamed Song Part 1, well, it’s the cherry on top of the icing. I gotta give it to them for chosing such an elegant way of telling their stories.
Final rating : 8/10
A more detailed review will be programmed after the release of “In Heaven”
01 Get Out [Lyrics by: Kim Jaejoong, Park Yuchun | Composed by: Kim Jaejoong, Park Yuchun | Arranged by: Kim Jaejoong, Brian Kim, Yoo Seongmin]
02 In Heaven (Narr. Kim Jeongeun) [Lyrics by: Kim Jaejoong | Composed by: Kim Jaejoong | Arranged by: Kim Jaejoong, Bjd, Mds]
03 낙엽 (Fallen Leaves) [Lyrics by: Kim Junsu | Composed by: Kim Junsu | Arranged by: Kim Junsu]
04 소년의 편지 (Boy’s Letter) [Lyrics: Kim Jaejoong | Composed by: Kim Hyungseok | Arranged by: Kim Hyungseok, Yoo Seongmin]
05 Mission [Lyrics by: Zuno | Composed by: Kim Junsu | Arranged by: Kim Junsu]
06 I.D.S (I Deal Scenario) [Lyrics by: Kim Jaejoong | Composed by: Kim Jaejoong | Arranged by: Yang Junyoung]
07 Pierrot [Lyrics by: Kim Jaejoong | Composed by: Kim Jaejoong | Arranged by: Kim Jaejoong]
08 You’Re [Lyrics by: Kim Junsu | Composed by: Kim Hyungseokg | Arranged by: Yoo Seongmin]
09 Nine [Lyrics by: Kim Jaejoong | Composed by: Kim Jaejoong | Arranged by: Kim Jaejoong]
10 이름 없는 노래 PART 1 [Lyrics by: Park Yuchun | Composed by: Park Yuchun | Arranged by: Park Yuchun]
I can’t wait !!![tracklist source]