So I’m not exactly sure how this announcement escaped my – our – attention till now. You will soon all realize that we are all very avid JYJ fans. I (Admin E) consider them to be my favorite band in the KPOP scene – and even in general, and I’m sure that the other two would at least partially agree with me. Our love for JYJ actually somewhat of a long story, and is actually a part of another topic – the superficiality, the ‘mass-production’ of KPOP artists, and the influence of management companies, and I’ll go into it at some later point.
Moving on, Junsu’s upcoming solo album. CJES (JYJ’s management company) announced the release of the album on June 3rd and it again it still absolutely baffles my mind that we are only now becoming aware of this fact. I guess it’s a sign of how busy our lives have becoming. (I’ve only recently started using Tumblr again, the biggest/most amazing time-waster in the world) This album will be his second solo album. The last one was released a year ago and called TARANTALLEGRA after the spell that makes you dance uncontrollably.
Besides the awesome nerd reference in the title, TARANTALLEGRA was probably my favorite release of 2012. Junsu is known as one of the top vocalists in Korea, and has a variety of talents that includes singing, dancing, musicals, TV shows, etc. His voice fits almost any genre and TARANTALLEGRA is a showcase of all of his abilities. “I Don’t Like Love” is an emotional and broken ballad that describes the feeling of hating love once you’ve lost it (side note: this song was on the OST for Rooftop Prince, one of the best dramas I have ever watched). Then there’s “Intoxication” which is actually an old song by Junsu that was released in Japan a few years ago. The Korean version is just as sensual as the Japanese version. Another few songs include “Fever” a techno, dance hit, and “Lullaby” a slow ballad with hints of R&B. The title track of the TARANTALLEGRA album is one of the best MVs I’ve ever seen. The song itself is an interesting mix of techno, hip hop, dance, and with the inclusion of some strings in the background. I don’t even know how to classify it. The dancing and the singing in the MV are beyond amazing, and the song itself has a deeper meaning, criticizing the mass-production of music and the loss of meaning in songs. The imagery of the video is sensual and androgynous.
Basically TARANTALLEGRA was badass, and with such a great first album, I’m excited to see what Junsu comes out with for his next album. I have never been disappointed by anything he’s done. I also know for a fact that he likes experimenting and mixing up genres, so I know that if anything, it’ll at least be interesting. So far they’ve released a few teaser photos for the upcoming album (to be released JULY 15TH) and according to CJES Junsu will have a more “masculine, charismatic image for the 2nd album”
I’m not sure this is what a westerner would exactly describe as ‘masculine’ but Asian culture has a different idea about what is ‘masculine” and not, and hey, it’s certainly manlier than
Besides that is described as a mix of “refined pop songs [and] a balance of ballad and performance as fitting of XIA” which is really vague considering all of Junsu’s and JYJ’s albums are a mix of “pop and ballad song”… and really what does pop mean anymore?
If you haven’t checked out TARANTALLEGRA then you are seriously missing out. And look forward to Junsu’s new solo album coming out on July 15th! With Junsu’s spectacular voice, ability to mix things up and switch genres, and he’s willingness to try out anything, it’s going to be fantastic.