Released: August 2011
I like ballads. I like sweeping melodies and gorgeous string sections and I like it when they're put with stunning vocals. And thank goodness Jaejoong got some sort of solo song this year, and that solo song was stunning, or I would've raised hell.
If you didn't watch PTB but listen to "I'll Protect You", it doesn't come off as one hundred percent an OST song, because it has a little more than your generic piano, strings and maybe some canned drums in the arrangement, and the melody is out of the ordinary. It has character, and can actually stand apart from the drama.
"I'll Protect You" is smooth, courtesy of the instruments AND Jaejoong's voice that is the epitome of smooth, but has punch, courtesy of that gorgeously real, yet smooth, drum part, and again, Jaejoong's flexible voice that goes from smooth to powerful in a single song. I know I don't say anything much about how voices express emotion, but really, Jaejoong captured it perfectly, and instead of his breaths being annoying and his technique over-the-top, they add to how the song feels over-all.
Everything starts out simple. Minimal instruments, a piano and guitar line, but then the chorus hits and the instrumental gradually explodes, but Jaejoong's vocals don't, and he keeps that tone for majority of the song, until of course, it's time for everything to just go wild, and those gorgeous high notes he does at 2:38 and especially at 2:58 make me ready to kill to see him sing this live.
"I'll Protect You" is a stunning song, done gorgeously, by a gorgeous and learned voice. What more could I ask for?