JYJ’s performance on May 2nd~3rd in Thailand which opened their World Tour was somehow different. It was not like an average performance by other idol groups who simply sing and dance. It was a “performance of eagerness,” with primitiveness, instincts, and earnestness added to splendid dance and great singing ability. [JYJ]’s movement, hungry for the stage, was intense like the thing of a wild animal and sensual. [The members], who newly started with the new name JYJ, matured as much as they suffered. The maturity was expressed as incomprehensible confidence of a person cornered to the edge of a cliff and relaxed laughter and serious ways of talking. In summary, the members are encountering the world with “if you can’t escape it, enjoy it” mindset.
“After establishing our group, we set out for the world tour six months after releasing the worldwide album ‘The Beginning’ last October. We can only stay alert since we’re trying to do such major things in an inadequate system. If we continue to run and break things like this in the future, shouldn’t things get better?” (Junsu) “This is the time for us to become closer together. There’s definitely the aspect that we are more careful because we are in a situation that if we miss our footing, everything will collapse at the same time.” (Yuchun)
While hearing their story, I got the thought that the hormone which had the most important role in the three mens’ growth plates are ‘chops.’ They formed their will by thinking that in the [current] situation, a tree which will normally fall after one chop with an axe will [fall] with 10 blows, and showed strong will that if [something] doesn’t work after running into it 10 times, they will continue at it for even 20 times.
Although they are in the form of an idol group, internally JYJ is heading to be an artist. Even in World Tour concert (Thailand), they saved their words and focused on the various contents that they can show on stage. Furthermore, in this performance, Kim Jaejoong(who has the skills of a creator as a person who composes and writes songs and is called “director Kim”)’s directing abilities stood out and[JYJ] was “recognized” into a position which further increased their weight as an artist.
Before the tour, JYJ went on vacation for the first time since their debut. With the week-long vacation, JYJ left to travel all over Korea together. The sky which they looked at with an open chest, the wind they felt while driving with their windows down, pretty flowers were all sceneries which pointed toward their new life. The theme they selected for this week’s “Musician’s Choice” is “albums ideal for traveling and driving.” “We left with the feeling that we were resting no matter what, and even drinking coffee at a café felt different from the other times we drank there. Even while setting off to travel for the first time, we thought that there are probably many people like us, who have never been able to travel for ten years. So we picked such a topic because we wanted to care for the hearts of such people a bit more.”
Although it seemed like the meaning behind their wry smiles which can sometimes be met in their conversation might surface, [JYJ] never hurried or went ahead. However, it wasn’t like they were holding everything in. In such ways, they were mastering the ‘wonders of dialogue.’ Now, JYJ who has become an adult is standing in front of us.
First album selected by Kim Junsu: Sarah Vaughan’s [Very Best of Sarah Vaughan]
“I tend to go wild for ‘Lover’s Concerto’ sung by Jin Haerim. When I hear the song, I draw thousands of imaginations. Although this song makes you feel sad starting from its introduction, it also contains happiness and thrills and journey of shyness. The scenery which this song makes me think of is rain water falling on the roof of a car parked in a European street at night. I get excited when I hear it on Christmas. I most like the version sung by Jin Haerim. It’s still fresh and exciting and makes my heart beat….”
Second album selected by Kim Jaejoong: Boyz II Men’s [Balland Collection]
“It’s an album I always listen to in the car. If I listen to dance music while driving, it actually disrupts my visual field. I think this music is best at making your ears soft and focusing your vision. Even after listening to so much music, there were a lot of songs which were “just good,” but not many that gave me “goosebumps.” For this music, I want to use that expression limitlessly. The best atmosphere for listening is during a moist dawn, it’s so good when you listen to this album when it’s a bit dark. In the older days, when we were practicing a cappella, we picked about three songs to practice from this album. It was too hard to listen and copy so I had copied just the chorus part and practiced, but passed right away after listening to the song “Doin’ Just Fine.” It was too hard. So I decided to leave the song as a song which was just good to listen to.”
Third album selected by Park Yuchun: DJ DOC’s [7th album Poong-Ryu]
“When I’m driving or on a way to a shoot, I always have this album in my car. While shooting for a drama, I’m always in limited situations where I’m always tired and don’t have time to look for and listen to songs, and don’t have time to memorize the script, but this album comforted me when I was tired and down. Should I say it rediscovered my lost feeling of excitement? Listening to this album while going to shoot at Moonkyung or other areas away from Seoul made me feel like I was going to play. The reason why I especially love DOC hyungs is because raps aren’t tainted. There isn’t “intentional traces” of trying to be cool or making things rhyme. The fresh and honest feeling, I liked that the best.”
Fourth album selected by JYJ: The Classic’s [1st album Magic Castle]
“I don’t think it’s a song that’s affected by seasons. It’s a good song no matter when you listen to it. What should I say the song’s feeling is. It’s like a feeling of new start? And hopeful message? I think there’s feeling of traveling your life. Wouldn’t Koreans listen to this song the most when they are traveling?” (Yuchun) “’Don’t be surprised when I fly away. The world in front of us is too precious’ I think this lyrics fits best for traveling.” (Jaejoong) “We’ve also remade ‘Magic Castle.’ The lyrics is so much like a fairy tale that even children won’t be repelled after listening. It’s lyrics can be identified by adults as well so I think it fits well for family vacations.” (Junsu)
Fifth album selected by JYJ: Jazmine Sullivan’s [Fearless]
“It’s the best. A voice can’t come out like that…. We all fell in love for the first time with the voice and fell in love for the second time with her ability to interpret the song. There’s a clear difference between her singing songs with a beat and her singing soul, and we were just amazed. The song ‘In Love with Another Man’ has a winter feeling at the start of the song so we thought it was a carol, but as the chorus neared we learned that it wasn’t a carol and felt even more attraction. The album was given by a fan who recommended it and we listened to it with the thought “should we listen to it,” and were greatly satisfied. If you guys listen to it, you won’t be able to tell if the [singer] is a man or woman.” (JYJ)
This is our first step… “if given the opportunity, we plan on doing everything”
JYJ who will focus on just their album and concert this year, plan to turn over a new leaf into a “participatory musician” where all members are directly involved starting with JYJ’s Thailand concert. Therefore, the World Tour period is also a testing stage which perfectly verifies their skills and talents. However, the members aren’t satisfied just with this. Their desire is that “if there’s something good, we are thinking about doing everything possible.”
“We believe we only just took our first step. If there weren’t any mistakes on this first album, we plan to try for perfection in our second album by making it more full”(Jaejoong). “Because our pride in the Worldwide album itself and its quality is like unlike any other, I believe we gained the confidence to show something on stage. I believe such a stage was possible especially because us three trusted and leaned on each other.” (Junsu) “We haven’t established any specific goal right now. We aren’t going to center on something, but work naturally like water flowing. We are confident that if we put our strengths together, we will absorb it naturally even if there’s change to our music style.” (Yuchun)
It seems like we won’t be able to make an easy judgment on the success of their “standing alone.” However, if you just understand their “earnestly conceived instinctive struggle” and “going forward without looking back,” no one will raise objections to the fact that they are trying their “best.”
Main songs from albums recommended by JYJ