[#5] Jaejoong (JYJ) - "빛" (Light)

From: "WWW"
Released: October
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Entries: 2011: [#12] "I'll Protect You"
Other notable song(s) from 2013: "Just Another Girl", "Mine", "Don't Walk Away" (feat. BEAST's Junhyung), "Luvholic" (feat. Ha Dong Kyun)

This year has been pretty interesting for Jaejoong and his solo work -- "Mine" opened up the year and the EP it came from was extremely underwhelming, and later in the year "WWW" came out with a strong front. So it was pretty obvious that I'd chose something from "WWW," but choosing which song was the bigger challenge.

Ultimately I went with the song that caught my attention from the very beginning -- "Light." And I think it's an apt representation of Jaejoong, his music, and where I think he will be most comfortable.

"Light" is a no-nonsense pop/rock song, and like most straight pop/rock songs, the emphasis is on the singer and, in turn, the melody. And for an act like Jaejoong, it's the right focal point. Jaejoong is a very flexible vocalist, but he does sound best in higher registers (which is also partially why the songs on "I" didn't really work) -- "Light" takes advantage of that strength and gives a balance between mid/low register verses and a chorus laden with belting. It shows off Jaejoong's flexibility, but it also emphasizes what he does best. What you get is a song that is not just well-sung, but one that's masterfully, comfortably-sung.

The instrumentation can't be overlooked either though, because it's what sustains the young, in-your-face (but in a good way) sound. There's a lot happening -- a prominent drum line, an even more prominent electric guitar line, synths running around all over the place. The drum line supplies the intensity and dictates the dynamics, as seen in how it handles the transition between the bridge and the verses. The guitar line(s) set the motifs of each part -- at times it's very rock, like in that instrumental break between the first chorus and the second bridge, at others it's pop, like during the chorus when it generally stays in the upper registers. And the keyboards give the song a sense of playfulness, because they're just running around underneath everything else.

And the last thing to note, and ultimately what made me choose this over anything from "I", is how the production on this song is top-tier. It's very tight, all the instruments sound well-finished, and there's a sense of clarity in the over-all sound of the song. That clarity was what I was looking for earlier this year, because it's what makes pop/rock work, and it's also what emphasizes the smoothness (and flexibility) of Jaejoong's voice, and ultimately, his musical identity.
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  1. His album is not good

  2. I /love/ this album. There are so many great song in it that it´s hard to choose a favorite. Congratulations! ;)

  3. I loved this album so much. It deserved all the success that it has garnered. Though 'Light' isn't the song that I would've chosen, it's a good enough representation of what JJ can do.


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