HoMin - Athena

*note that I am not calling them TVXQ/DBSK/Tohoshinki for reasons I have stated a gazillion times already - DBSK is Jaejoong, Yoochun, Junsu, Changmin and Yunho and without even one of them, it's not DBSK. Therefore, I will be calling, and tagging them as, HoMin for the duration of their promotions.

Even before their comeback was officially announced, HoMin were the part of DBSK that I was really worried for - how were they going to pull it off? JaeChunSu were the "voices" in DBSK and they left - what remained was a dancer and a screamer, not the best combination in the world. But you know, the release of this song is one of the biggest reliefs I've had since the start of the lawsuit and everything, apart from what Jaejoong said during a recent interview.

I go on and on about how JaeChunSu are the better singers in DBSK and how I always find something wrong with HoMin's vocals - when the HoMin comeback was confirmed I was honestly having some doubts about how they were going to carry themselves vocally as compared to how JYJ have (even if their production team was crap), but then I remembered something. Just because JaeChunSu are the better voices, doesn't mean that HoMin are bad. They're actually fantastic compared to a lot of other idol group singers these days, why else were they put in DBSK?

DBSK are the best of the well-trained - these 5 were lead singers of their respective SM project groups before ending up in DBSK. If JaeChunSu are the best voices in the idol group world, for me at least, for HoMin to be able to not only stand, but sing, beside them, takes more than just long legs and "decent vocals". I still believe that there is un-replicate-able magic when the 5 of them sing together, but I cannot deny the fact that all 5 of them can very well function on their own and do a damn good job at that!

If you're waiting for me to say it - HoMin have brilliant vocals. There, I said it. Because it's true. I was talking to Mel and purplelykthat on Twitter the other day and I was saying that Changmin really has to step up vocally now that JaeChunSu's gone because I don't think Yunho will, but to be honest with you, now that I've heard this song, I can conclude that both of them really upped their game, and that's a relief.

To a certain extent, this song has allowed HoMin to step up. You know why? Because it's in the right range for both of them. Another worry I had before I heard the song was how SM was going to make the top and bottom voices of DBSK work, seeing as vocally they're pretty much polar opposites. Then it hit me, when I finally heard this, that Changmin actually sounds better singing lower octaves and not screaming his head off, while it is very much in Yunho's range to hit the occasional high note and not suck at it. One of the main reasons why DBSK songs are so high (in relation to their ranges) is because Jaejoong and Junsu can sing basically anything and not suck.

Whoever wrote this song clearly knew what he/she was doing, and I'm glad he/she does.

The song starts off all dramatic with the string section and the eerie piano line with Changmin's vocals, but part-by-part it turns into 3 minutes of head-banging fun, mostly during the chorus. I don't usually head-bang (unless it's for a joke or something), but I find myself having urges to just let go and bang my head (maybe even whip my hair? LOL!) when I hear this.

Notice how the verses and the chorus are rather different from each other - while the verses sound like they're straight out of a 2010 version of Tri-Angle, the choruses are begging to be sung in a big stadium with thousands of Cassies screaming every line along with them. Somehow, everything just works. It's a mixture of a few things done right, in my opinion.

First off, the production is spot-on - it gives emphasis to the right things and even if it's a really intense song, there are elements that lay low when they have to, letting shine whatever should shine during a specific part. Then the vocals. Apart from the fact that both of them really stepped up and delivered, they way their vocals were treated is a joy to listen to. The faint, but still noticeable, harmonies throughout the chorus, the reverberations during the chorus and the regulation Changmin scream thrown in with everything else that makes this song brilliant is sometimes a little too much for my little fangirl brain to handle! I love the synths throughout the song too. SYNTHS.'

Vocals are important, yeah, but the material you deliver those vocals with will ultimately contribute just as much to the final package, so gorgeous voices are great, yeah, but gorgeous voices singing fantastic songs are just mind-blowing.

So as you can see, even if I've pretty much cooled down from the initial shock of hearing such brilliance a while ago, I still can't find the right words to describe how epic this song is. And don't you dare go listen to the audio on the music video sment posted on YouTube - YOU HAVE TO HEAR IT IN 320 KBPS, NO LESS.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that all my initial doubts about the HoMin comeback have been laid to rest, buried and will never again be heard of, let alone seen because THIS SONG IS BRILLIANT. That said, I cannot wait for January, even if it means I'm gonna be dumped with yearbook and paper editing, BECAUSE IT'S HOMIN COMEBACK MONTH EVERYONE! Time to show all these new idols how it's done.



  1. I have to say it's good. Good. The song went in one ear and out the other unfortuantely and I'm still a Cassie. O.o I think the only part that stood out for me was Changmin and Yunho's vocals put together.

    Well, all I can say is I'll still support them and wait for January 5th, that should be interesting.

  2. I agree with you! Love them, love all the DBSK member! <3 Raimu

  3. I personally didn't enjoy the music when I first listened to it.Nevertheless, I agree with the way you criticize their vocals.The song basically wasn't my cup of tea but I am starting to like it because I've got a HQ version now

  4. yes, I totally agree with you (except for the technical part because I don't know anything about that XD) I love whoever made this song because it worked for Changmin and Yunho. And I'm amazed at how the maknae can scream his head off while sounding better at middle to low range. Even Yunho was amazing. Though I find it weird that somehow, these guys seem to have similar voices. I don't know...Haha. Anyways, now my expectations for their album has increased but at the same time, my confidence that they will pull it off has upped as well.

  5. Honestly, I found the instrumental brilliant and Changmin as well as Yunho have both improved but when they sing the song together...

    One word- nasal.

    Truly, those parts were so nasal, I was turned off but I do have to admit something, Changmin was brilliant in this song.

  6. I admit, I was very scared for these two as well since the usual DBSK song is high to complement JaeSuMin (and let's face it: Yunho + high= Purple Line. Blech. Stick to your baritone roots!). I may get flamed for this (on this site and mine when I eventually write my review), but I think the split between JYJ (that CD is lo- er... like-hate for me) and HoMin turned out to be a good thing. Not only did the split give the boys a chance to work out of their comfort zones, but now we get to see what the boys can really do without picking up each others slack. They still have areas that they're weak in individually, but now JaeChunSu w/out HoMin and HoMin w/out JaeChunSu can pinpoint those areas and work on them instead of being lazy and relying on the ones that are strong in the area they're weak in. They might never be absolutely wonderful in those weak areas, but they'll still improve with enough effort.

  7. HoMin is progressingas well as JYJ! HoMin + JYJ Hwaiting!!!!!


Want to share any of your thoughts on the above post? Drop a comment here! I read all comments and reply occasionally, especially if you have specific questions for me. :D

Note that comments are moderated. Spam, self-advertising (K-Pop-related and otherwise) and overly vulgar submissions will NOT be accepted. If you want me to promote/endorse/follow/link to your site, please e-mail me at popreviewsnow@gmail.com instead.


Recent Tweets

Like Pop Reviews Now on Facebook!

Statistics (Since May 2009)

Music - Top Blogs Philippines Follow on Bloglovin

Blog Archive

You're reading an award-winning blog

The K-Pop Writers' Workshop

A workshop for writers of critical pieces on Korean entertainment -- formal reviews, expository essays/Op-eds, and personal essays/Creative Non-Fiction.
Learn from the best in K-Ent writing