DBSK - Darkness Eyes

I don't know if you guys have noticed, but I don't usually write single/song/album reviews of my favorite boyband of the year/moment for the simple reason that most of the time my fandom takes over my train of thought and I end up gushing throughout the entire song - it was like that with Westlife, it still is with DBSK. Have you noticed? Even if I know practically everything about DBSK and more the stuff I write about DBSK are either not reviews or basically me gushing over performances or songs, which I don't wanna do too often.

But I guess I'll have to make an exception for this song.

Darkness Eyes was released in 2008 on DBSK's third Japanese album T - the same album that had Purple Line, their very first Oricon/Japanese #1 single. It was never a single, but they performed it live for the accompanying arena tour in the same year and when I saw the performance I was speechless.

The song is so. damn. EPIC. in every way possible. DBSK's vocals don't explode, but the instrumental does - the contrast between this intense, epic instrumental and DBSK's almost float-y vocals just makes me go ballistic. In a damn good way. The instrumental screams girl in a black dress running in an old, deserted mansion - the piano loop, the HOMG I THINK I'M GONNA FAINT 'COZ IT'S SO DAMN GORGEOUS string section and all the little bells and whistles throughout the song. I already established that Japanese production pays attention to the little details, so that isn't a big surprise.

It's as if Avex asked for an 'epic' song and DBSK said "You want epic? Here - knock yourselves out." I personally don't think it's single material for the simple reason that the hook doesn't stick as much as those of singles do, but damn is this a good song or what? No matter how much I think it's a brilliant song, it should stay the way it is - an album track performed on tour.

But again, all these observations were done while listening to the recorded version and knowing that DBSK went on tour with a live band for the first time that year, I should've been ready for the live version above. I wasn't. Aish.

I said this before when I gushed over the O performance but I'll say it again - I. LOVE. LIVE. BANDS. Recorded versions are great and all, they're clean and controlled, but you don't feel the music anymore after all that processing. You know why you don't feel it? 'Coz the drums aren't real.

On most pop recordings, with the exception of a few I've heard, the drums are always computerized or rendered. I know this because my dad's a drummer - I grew up hearing him play a REAL set of drums AND hearing him rant about fake drums. Drums/percussion parts are the very foundations of songs - all the instruments take cues, tempo and feel from the drummer. You have a good drummer, everything will fall into place.

Music is half heard and half felt. I'm not talking about lyrical meaning or any of that crap, I'm talking about how your body reacts when you hear a song, even if you don't understand a thing. Your heart starts beating faster and you get excited in the different way - everything just feels different live. For the simple reason that your foundations and even the other instruments are real, FELT and not computer-processed, live performances sound and feel different. I sure as hell wouldn't mind paying a fortune to watch an artist live if they have a live band.

That said, the song reminds me a lot of the Jaejoong-composed 9095 - how you want the chorus to just explode and the song to turn into this anthemic thing but it doesn't, it stays the same. The contrasting instrumental and vocal parts, the haunting piano loop, how it feels so different live, but all in different ways compared to 9095 - I haven't heard it all before.

Does this need a rating? Fine, for formality.



  1. I personally think this song is great too. before I really fell in love with them, I used to listen to their hit singles only, I didn't pay attention to the other songs.
    so, I never heard of this one before they performed it on 3rd live tour. And it turned out to be a very catchy song and, yes, epic music.
    plus, they rule every live performances. and most of the times, it's practically better to hear them singing live than the recorded one. not because the recording version is bad, but because their live performances are just amazing.

    and on Darkness Eyes, they nailed it. they really did.

  2. hearts the song to pieces. it has this dark and mellow yet edge-y vibe to it. really contrasts with their other stuff and that's another great thing about them. they'll give us all these lovely ballads & SME songs but wham, outta no where, they'll change it up and give us things like this when we least expect it from them.

    to be honest, sometimes it'll leave me thinking all wtf is this stuff (ie boxing the ship..it gives me nothing but the giggles) but i still appreciate the fact that they're trying to push themselves into other areas/genres. be sit successful or not, they try and we've gotta give them props for that because how easy would it be for them to just stick to the same old same old (which i'm sure many artists do.. that is, they stick to what works/sells). so its nice and refreshing to see them try different things because at the end of the day, if it doesn't work out, the Gods can always fall back on what does.

    anyways, i digress~ my comments always seems to. rofl. nice commentary & critique is what i'm trying to say :)


  3. I love all of DBSK's darker songs - Darkness Eyes, 9095, or All in Vain.

    Sometimes their ballads leave this cotton candy taste in my mouth (I'm from more of a rock background) so it's great when they go dark and jazzy :D


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