Because, in essence, that's what music is supposed to do -- it's supposed to not only make you freak out or jump around your room, it's actually supposed to make you near-insane. Not in a bad way or anything, but when you listen to a song, essentially it should move you, and move you more than just a tear or a few tapping fingers here and there. Again, music is half heard and half felt, and essentially what you hear should help you grasp what you feel.
"Tarantallegra" affects you like that because it's effortless, because it's overflowing with conviction. While there were times when I cringed watching the video, Junsu isn't afraid to deliver. Obviously, he has the talent and the technicals to do something like this, something not a lot of people in K-pop have. I always, always say that before you can think of identity and whatnot, you have to be proficient, and Junsu is perfectly capable of standing his own ground on a song, and carrying an entire performance just with his vocals. Now, because he's technically proficient, the song really becomes Junsu inside out. I's not just because he wrote it with his brother though -- if someone else were to sing it, no matter how technically proficient that person may be and no matter how accurate the notes are hit, "Tarantallegra" will lose a part of it's identity.
And that’s really all I ask from K-Pop as a whole, actually. Be proficient in whatever you do, and do what is you. If you’re doing something you love, something that’s a part of you, the effortlessness and the conviction will follow naturally. “Tarantallegra” is proof that those two elements, when put together, work effortlessly. I mean just look at it, it’s so ridiculous and Junsu’s orange hair is just plain weird, but the song, the choreography, and the video work together so well that I have no qualms. At all.
When the teaser first came out, a lot of people were pointing out that the synths on this song were similar to “Xiahtic”, and while they are, honestly, I don’t see a problem with that. The synths here and on “Xiahtic” give both songs different over-all sounds, and Junsu composed both songs -- we’ve heard so many other producers re-hash their own songs even more blatantly than this.
Years in K-Pop have taught me to either absolutely hate, or just not notice rap parts out of personal preference, but honestly, the rap on “Tarantallegra” is one of the few that I cannot imagine taken out of the song. It adds another dimension to the entire package, and Flowsik’s deep timbre both contrasts and compliments Junsu’s vocals.
The reason why I don't have a problem with the auto tune during the chorus is because everyone knows that Junsu is so much more than just a capable singer, that he's obviously one of the best in K-Pop, and even Asia, and so he can easily sing those auto tuned parts live. The thing is, when I go and criticize other acts for using too much auto tune, the reason why I do it is because those acts use it as a mask, to hide their lack of talent. But then, like I just said, Junsu's talent is no secret, and the auto tune on this song is more of an artistic/aesthetic decision than it is a blanket.
The verses are stunning, they really are. I get mini-heart attacks throughout both, and I’m not complaining at all. It shows off what has made Junsu’s voice so infamous, and I get the belting I wanted!
Speaking of vocals, the thing I really, really love about how this song was done is the emphasis on Junsu’s vocals. Autotune aside, “Tarantallegra” is a song that Junsu carries -- the instruments on the backing track do add something to the over-all dynamics, of course, but most of the time they just go in a straight line. Junsu’s delivery controls majority of what happens to the song, and he does it extremely well. I cannot wait to see this live, (even if he’s not going to be on music shows) because knowing Junsu, it’s going to be that much more brilliant live.
And that, my friends, is the challenge I give to newer acts -- make me smile, cry, freak out, and move me, with an uptempo. Hype, looks and aesthetics don’t matter -- use your material and your musical proficiency to move me. It’s easy to do it with a ballad, but uptempos are a completely different story. If a new act can do that, and do it with as much conviction as Junsu has just done, they have my respect. This is the new benchmark for uptempo performances -- because Junsu has managed to deliver effortlessness and confidence over and above a heavily choreographed and produced package.