[My own Review] Their Rooms: Music Essay

This writing/ranting suppose to be posted on TheJYJFiles but I feel that it’s a bit inappropriate somehow because basically, it’s my own ranting with many personal feeling. So I will leave it to TheJYJFiles staff whether they would post this.
  
A few months ago, one of my dear friend told me that she still didn’t consider JYJ as artists, mainly because her definition of artist is not only the one who compose/write/sing a song but artist should be able to create art and determine his/her own music direction. So even if Jaejoong, Yoochun, Junsu started compose some songs for DBSK/THSK since a few years ago, they were not counted really an artist, not yet, not at that time.
Somehow I agree with her. There is always argument among K-idol fans, just because you don’t want them to be idol, you want them to be superior but it can’t be denied that at the end, they are still idols. Just because one of a boyband can compose a few songs/ write some lyrics here and there, some fans think they can put their idols up high.

 

I used to be one of those fans…too.
 
Actually, I really love Jaejoong and Yoochun composition before I really get into the fandom. “Kiss Shitaa Mama, Sayonara”  has been one of a few songs I could replay whole day since 2008. It is a utterly heartbreaking but simply beautiful. I didn’t even know that they took part in composition and arrangement so I am pretty sure that my feeling was not biased. I jumped into TVXQ fandom around 2009 when Tohoshinki 4th album: The Secret Code was released. 9095 and Kiss the Baby sky are my favourite tracks before I knew who are the mastermind behind these 2 songs. Strangely, while everyone seems to admire Wasurenaide, I did not appreciate that song much until I heard the Tokyo Dome version. Some ballad composed by them could sound a bit generic to me.
However, during the confusion era of 2009-2010, JYJ composition has become more and more diversified. From a peaceful lovey-dovey piece like “Colors, Melody and Harmony” to sexy naughty R&B dance like “Intoxication“, dark-deep confusing song, including Pop, R&B, Ballad composed by Jaejoong, Yoochun, Junsu in “The Beginning”.
I particularly love “Shelter“. I like the layer that mixed together neatly and it’s probably counted as the first group work of JYJ. Jaejoong and Junse composed this song. (Well, Junsu just went to Jaejoong room while Jaejoong was composing this song and hum a melody that become a hook of that song. lol.) And you got “Theories of Porno” rap from Yoochun.
Still, I didn’t see JYJ true music colors much during the time when they were under SM and AVEX. It was until “The Beginning”, the album that many fans said it’s a flop, at least in term of artistry. Personally, I would rate that album as another so-so album with some particular great track. “Ayyy Girl” has great sound engineering but need better arrangement, plus it does sound unfinished. Most people tend to admire “Empty” more.
From then, I get the perception that JYJ music would become more and more like an experiment, with the strong base – the beautiful melody. It’s quite amazing that JYJ are self-taught composer. Yoochun and Jaejoong don’t even know how to read and write the music notes properly. They composed songs by playing cords and melody that they like, then record it in their harddisk.
 
Before going into the detail, there is one thing that’s irritated me  is that people tend to judge the song/sound mixing by what they heard from youtube.
 I can’t listen to Nine and Fallen Leaves when the full songs were uploaded on youtube for the first time because the uploader didn’t care much about the sound quality. As a result, the production company of this album was bashed because some listener judge the song quality from the first uploader. Some even said it’s the problem when they don’t have SM and AVEX behind their back. – -“)

It’s easy to recognize if you have listened to the original preview in C-Jes.com with your headset. Obviously, YOUTUBE VID =/= CD QUALITY. I ripped mp3 from my own CD with 320bps rate. highest quality on itune. Their songs quality is top-notch, especially the arrangement and sound mixing. Still some room to improve in term of vocal design but so far, this album is very great considering that this is their 1st mile stone of their full self-composition/written/arrangement/produce album.


(Here, finally find someone who upload pretty good sound quality of this song and the rest of the songs on Youtube.)

 

 
There is a reason why many people like a song that is written by the singer himself. When he sings that song, he would be the one who know that song the best, especially when that song straightly comes from the composer own experience. The level of sincerity in each word, each phrase, each sentence would deeply pierce into the listener’s soul. Especially when those singers are already the ones who could sing all emotion within any song out like nobody’s business. That is the exact reason why “Their Rooms: Music Essay” got a lot of admiration from an old soul like me.

 

“Mission”

It’s the real opening song for JYJ. With “JYJ dance now”. This song is composed and arranged by Junsu while the lyric was written by his twin-brother Zuno. (As credit in the book.) Strong beat, fast tempo, (with an ipod headset, you would lose some of its charm as the bass would be too low to capture.)

What I really like about this song is the intro, the key, the engine, the drift, remind me of Fast and the Furious. (This song would suit well as OST.) Also the vocal design for this song, especially the part “You make me feel SHOCKED” and the arrangement of this song are quite interesting. One thing that seems to be noticable as Junsu’s song is the string instrument added in the music part. Somehow, this become a gimmick of Junsu’s fast beat song.
Once you listen to the song, you will feel your heart rate increasing crazily, just like the lyric, beat beat crazily. That’s why I listened to this song to make myself awake while driving or working in the office.
“Nine”

I remember listening to this song from fancam in 27 November 2010 and immediately thought that it would suit the closing ceremony of Asian Games perfectly. (I was watching the ceremony while having dinner that day.) As Jaejoong described, this song reminds me of some old school song with all basic chord. The only problem I have about this song is Jaejoong’s high note at the bridge. It seems a bit shaky and out of the place. That’s exactly why I don’t really enjoy this song much even though the chorus is beautiful with JYJ harmony.

 

“Pierrot”
My favourite track of this album. I love the music since the first time I heard it from the fancam. I even love it more with the meaningful and strong lyric. Plus the arrangement sounds amazing. (Multi-layer arrangement + left to right ear sound mixing + piano base.) If you listen to the chorus closely, you would here Jaejoong super high note harmonize with middle tone Junsu and slightly low tone of Yuchun.

 

“Fallen Leaves”
Apparently, Junsu got a lot influences from musical as you can see from his composition. Fallen Leaves reminds me of “I Can Soar”. Honestly, I like this song at some verse and some verse sound a bit boring to me. (And this is from a ballad sucker.) While I think the song is beautiful the arrangement is a bit weird around the bridge. (When they started to put electronic guitar + heavy drum in the instrument.)
But still, this song is indeed beautiful with their emotional voice, especially Junsu’s voice.

 

“I.D.S.”

Another weird title from Jaejoong. lol.
And someone said that this song sounds like Pierrot which is… of course! Jaejoong tweeted that they were desperately searching for upbeat songs to sing at the concert. Well, after he changed the “supposed-to-be-a-slow-piano-piece” Pierrot to the middle tempo, this guy also splited the song and build another upbeat song based on the same melody. You can here the exact piano notes at the intro of Pierrot starting around 0.48 of this song.
Although Jaejoong didn’t arrange this song by himself, I must praise the arranger who did make the song become more interesting. At first, I opposed to JYJ using autotune so so much but I don’t know why I really enjoy this song which full of autotune. The part that can make me and my friends stop looking at JJ’s intermodulation started at 1:36 and it’s the most obvious autotune part of this song. lol.
And yes, another weird lyric come from a person who has his own world that nobody can really understand. (quoted from Junsu talking about Jaejoong’s composition: 9095)

 

 

“Song without a name Part 1”

The emotion and style attached to this song remind me of “The Last Song” from X-Japan. If anyone of you interesting, here it is.
After “The Last Song”, I hardly find any song could capture my heart every time I listen in the same way. Without knowing the lyric, you can feel the clenching and twisting in your stomach. You feel as if you want to cry but your tears fail to fall out of your eyes.

With only a few piano cords + Yuchun’s fierce rap + heavenly voice of Junsu and Jaejoong, obviously this combination is full with surprise and make this 8 minutes long song worth your listening. The censor of the name in the rap, the slightly crack of Junsu’s part make this song raw and real. The emotional that they put into this song is amazing. The chorus is supposed to be something repeative but then each chorus is different from each other with how Jaejoong and Junsu switched their part and changed some note here and there. Some part make you sad, some part is absurdly beautiful, some part make you depressed, some part bring you to the land you want to be.
The lyric is so direct, raw and also full of controversy. People might said this is an excuse but I think the artist suppose to have their freedom to express their feeling. That’s why I don’t agree with some review that said the lyric of this song is too much, too personal. Some might say they sing too much, talk too much, but various powerful feeling they put in this song is undeniable.
This song is obviously a lament…missing, longing, hurting, sobbing, frustrating,…and then calm…goodbye and welcome to the new world where they can be free.

 

 

I don’t think this album is perfect. There are still flaws in term of vocal design. (YC and JJ’s in Nine) However, this is a very very good start to show the world what they can do. I’m pretty sure that JYJ fans size would be smaller than when they were a part of TVXQ but these 3 guys have enough potential to stay in entertainment industry where the real artist is supported by casual fans. Fans who appreciate and judge them by their works, singing, composing, acting rather than their personality and personal lives. I won’t say that they would definitely be able to do that completely, but they seem to be on the right road for that.
Hopefully, they can survive in the music industry because these 3 guys are really talent and their passionate in music is real.
Advertisements
This entry was posted in JYJ and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to [My own Review] Their Rooms: Music Essay

  1. jejeliebling says:

    love you review, especially review part of Song without a name Part 1. I dun have to say more ❤

  2. LoveAndPeace says:

    I like this review – how you pointed out points that could be improved but also what parts were worthy of praise. I feel that I agree with your verdict, “I don’t think this album is perfect… However, this is a very very good start to show the world what they can do. ” And I think your opinion of the songs were generally very good too.

  3. CarlaYoochun says:

    I’s say Jaejoong is my favourite composer after 9095 and Shelter.for Music Essay,I know all three involved in composing & writing but I dont know which song composed by who.At first,Nine is my favourite song.Then changed to pierrot and shortly after that,i changed to I.D.S.

    Then I just realized all my fav songs come from the same person xD.

  4. dewi says:

    your review seems detail, are you in music major or something related to music?
    just curious…

  5. RFairdrive says:

    I share your views on the statement about their not so perfect album, then again I’ve not praise artists whose album carries ‘not their mother tongue’ songs in one single album. I must say as Koreans/Japanese singing english is tough.I usually don’t part my monies with album like that.
    I am just amazed why I’m willing to pay for their album and I’m not a cassies. Just becoz what these young chaps produced thru their talents is impressive.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s