[#7] XIA Junsu (JYJ) - "Lullaby"

Merry Christmas everyone! (If anyone's reading this, that is D:) Now excuse me while I go scramble to finish up the rest of this year's best of special, including my favorite albums and rookies I have my eye on. ;D

From: "Tarantallegra"
Format: Full-Length Album
Released: May
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Appearances: #39 - "Intoxication" (2010) / #10 - "You Are So Beautiful" (2010)

"Tarantallegra" as an album was a disappointment because here you have one of the most outstanding vocalists in the industry, one of the most practiced, most versatile, most technically sound, and majority of the tracks didn't do him any justice, neither did the album work as an album. That was the majority though, there were good songs, with "Lullaby" leading the pack.

First and foremost, "Lullaby" is stunning -- it's another one of those songs that are beautiful because they're so simple. It lives up to it's name, it really does sound like a lullaby (even if the lyrics say otherwise), and the chorus is something that will sound beautiful, regardless of who's singing it. The melody was the first thing that really dragged me in to the song, and amidst an album painfully full of mediocrity, it was the one thing that made me stop and really, really pay attention.

The arrangement is very cut and dry -- no big shifts in dynamics, instead we have these gentle build-ups and little additions here and there. It's just like the melody, simple but beautiful. And for once, this kind of production, the kind I usually look down upon on JYJ releases (and even in majority of "Tarantallegra"), works. It works because even if it's very warm and matches the whole lullaby theme, it's also quite bare and so it doesn't cover much up, unlike more flashy production styles that are used to cover weaknesses.

I keep saying that this is such a simple song, and even I think I'm one step away from calling it plain, but I'm not going to because it's nowhere near plain. The bareness of the song, the simplicity of the melody -- they're all there to show off Junsu's spectacular vocals, because really, they're in a league of their own on this song. And that's no easy feat, because the more simple a song, the harder it is to do it well.

I always say that the true measure of a good singer isn't in how big his or her range is, it's not in how complicated melodies are pulled off, but in how the simplest of lines are delivered. Complicated songs may be, well, complicated, but once you figure out how to do it, it's easy. Flashy songs are show-stoppers and show off ranges, but the more flash there is in a song, the more smokescreens you have to hide behind when you make mistakes. If it's simple then anyone can do it, if it's familiar, like a lullaby, then we've all heard it before -- the challenge of a simple song is how to pull it off like a singer, and not "anyone else". It lies in the competence of the vocalist above all, and of course the interpretation of that simplicity. If you're afraid, it won't work, if you're not good enough, all your shortcomings will be out in the open.

But of course, Junsu has absolutely nothing to be afraid of. I've known for a long time now just how outstanding a vocalist Junsu is and what he sounds even more phenomenal singing, but "Lullaby" took my impressions further. His voice is beautiful, and his singing is strong on all fronts -- technical, emotional and everything in between. And you see that in the song, in how his technique not only delivers the chorus, but gives it the emotion he wants to bring out of it.

The emotion, my gosh the emotion in those vocals -- they give me goosebumps, make my heart race and leave me smiling like a madwoman at the same time, all while lulling me to sleep. It's more of Junsu's technique than his actual voice, how he drags his notes and delivers those otherwise boring lines with such emotion. But in any case, to deliver a song with this kind of emotion is something you can't just learn overnight.


  1. I was placing my bet on 'Around and Around'. Similar to the mentioned song, 'Lullaby' is soothingly beautiful (one of the musical remedies to my insomnia), but the rapping is unnecessary- it ruins the song.

  2. Oh yes, this is a favorite among a lot of fans. I love it as well! It's so lovely!


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