At the beginning of this whole JYJ in Japan, HoMin in Korea thing, I said that "oh it doesn't matter, JYJ are the voices of the band anyway - they'll sound fantastic," but hearing this mini album makes me wanna take that back. Actually, even when they started those dome concerts I observed that - the album just reinforced it in my mind.
I've said this from the very, very, very start - I want five. I want five voices, five parts of a harmony. I don't want two or three, I want five. I "fell" for the five. I didn't fall for one, or two, or three, I fell for five. And that's all I'll ever want. There is nothing like hearing those five voices on stage together, and there is nothing that will ever be like that.
Those five voices were put together for a reason, and a damn good one. You have your solid base, your middle support, your strong and versatile lead, and the floating top part - that's how harmonies should sound. Every single voice makes the sound the way it is - you lose one, you lose all. I'm not just saying this because I'm a fangirl - I became a fangirl because of the harmonies.
Hearing JYJ now, without a doubt the songs are gorgeous and the production impeccable, but they're missing that spark - they're missing the two extreme voices, and those are just as important as the melodic ones. The entire album sounds so.. bare, if I may say so.
I'm done with my whining about how I want the five of them together, so no more. I promise to do my best and talk about the album as a JYJ album, not "the album by the three DBSK guys who sued SME". But it's hard for a fangirl in pain. : (
These songs were all performed by the three a few months back when they played several dates across Japan, including two nights at the Tokyo Dome. I've heard live versions, but let me just say that these recordings did justice to the live performances a million times over.
The... opens with いつだって君に - what I assume is the lead single. I mean, it does have a pseudo-music video. In simple terms it's a gorgeous, gorgeous song. And I really mean gorgeous. It doesn't his you over the head, but the melody is gorgeous enough to stick. It doesn't have a predominant string section, but with a song already this gorgeous, who cares? Add standard Japanese production to a gorgeous melody, strong arrangement, and three of the best singers in Asia and you have magic.
I love it when these guys do uptempos, I really do. Ballads are nice and pretty and all, but the measure of a good singer is not how high a note he/she can hit, it's how versatile the singer is. The verses of Get Ready remind me a lot of a more disco-y Survivor. Junsu blew me away on this, more than Jaejoong for once, but of course JJ and YC sound fantastic. Once again, none of the songs hit you over the head with excessiveness, nor do they drag on and on and on without going anywhere - Get Ready's nice and perky, but not scream-y or anything like that. It has a melody, it has an arrangement, but it's not boring.
Someone kill me now before Long Way does. The gentle drum rolls, the pretty piano loop and the mind-blowing vocals just leave me speechless - even if I'm hella articulate on paper, words can't describe how gorgeous this song is. It just is, so I'll shut up and let myself bask in the gorgeousness.
Just when I thought I'd heard it all, apparently I haven't. I have an LQ audio rip of a live performance of W, and I was in love with it, what more the recorded version. My new favorite line when I write reviews is, "Music is half heard and half felt," and this is everything that statement stands for. The technical side of this song is spot-on - a stunning string section with a gorgeous piano loop just floating arranged in such a way that it doesn't overpower anything and perfectly-executed vocals give me goosebumps. Who the hell cares if I can't understand the lyrics, that's not what I mean when I talk about the "half felt" part - it's the emotion in the vocals, instruments and arrangement that give a song dimension. And in this case, W has a ton of it. It's a ballad, but you don't hear them screaming their heads off until the tail end, and it only lasts for a while before going back to how it was. It's not about the vocal gymnastics we all know they can do, it's about the emotion, how they sing the song, and they did a damn good job on this one. Throw everything together and, once again, you have magic.