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.
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