Song Review: TVXQ – Hot Sauce

Though TVXQ are one of my all-time favorite K-pop acts, most of their post-enlistment music hasn’t hit me in the same way as their classic material. However, new Japanese album XV is a strong collection of work, touching on many of the aspects that have made them such a musical force. The guys seem to agree, as they’ve recently released a fun music video for album track Hot Sauce.

As you might expect from its title, Hot Sauce is one of XV’s lighter moments. It’s upbeat and addictive, but carries an air of novelty that makes it much more inconsequential than many of its surrounding tracks. But, the guys have earned the right to have a little fun, and Sauce is pretty enjoyable if you don’t take it too seriously.

The bulk of the track hinges on its percussive instrumental, which takes a distorted synth loop and builds sing-talk melody around it. The rhythmic verses are a blast, bouncing along a hooky bassline. It’s nice to hear Changmin and Yunho deliver a more restrained performance, as much of their usual material forces their voices to strain at uncomfortable levels. Hot Sauce’s chorus is more catchphrase than melody, but its brash goofiness fits the track’s energy. At just over two and a half minutes, the song knows its limits. Any longer and Sauce’s charms might start to grate. After so many big, blustering Japanese singles, releasing this pleasant palette cleanser was a smart idea. Now they just need to give us music videos for some of the album’s superior tracks, like Master, Six In The Morning and Crimson Saga.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

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9 thoughts on “Song Review: TVXQ – Hot Sauce

  1. However, I personally think you are too harsh on tvxq (using your rating system, chance of love got 9.5, Jealous got 9.5 also). Same with CIX. Also, quick request, in your year end posts, could you do a top 10 c-pop songs?


    • Sadly, I don’t listen to enough C-pop to warrant such a list. Any recommendations?

      (and I’m only harsh on TVXQ because I know what they’re capable of 🙂 )


      • First things first, I am KPOP_FAN’s new profile. Toooo bad, I love spexial! I myself am a long time tvxq fan (my first kpop song was mirotic), but as a duo of 30 year olds that they are, I feel they are still ahead of most of the pack. And fyi, end year list, Big Hit manages Gfriend


  2. I spent the entire song pondering that this should be a SuJu Donghae + Eunhyuk cover. With Shindong and Heechul. It needs even more camp. It needs someone to wear a hat made of noodles and red lame’ suit.

    I just find TVXQ too serious, even when they are trying to have fun.


    • Now that you mention it, this is definitely a song suited to D&E. They would’ve killed it. TVXQ acquit themselves well, but I prefer when they take an edgier approach. You’re right in thinking that this kind of lighthearted, goofy material isn’t really they’re strength. (Except for ‘Balloons.’ I shall always love Balloons in all its goofy glory. But then again, they were a totally different group back then.)


  3. This is my current jam and I love the facial expression of both guys in the MV. Changmin is always effortless charming and Yunho is gorgeous as ever. I don’t care if the song suits another Kpop idols more, I still adore this song because TVXQ nailed their performance and wouldn’t have it any other way, even if Changmin sounds weird whenever he’s singing the stanza before the chorus. If you get what I mean 😉


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