It just occurred to me that it’s been nearly four (!) years since TVXQ had a proper Korean comeback. Yes, they’ve been active as soloists and have released multiple albums in Japan during this time, but that’s still a long gap for a veteran act with an enormous, enduring fanbase. For now, those of us waiting for another K-pop banger will make do with Japanese track Utsuroi – a sentimental, loungey mid-tempo.
I’ll preface my thoughts by saying that I actually feel bad how little Utsuroi resonates with me. I’m a huge TVXQ fan and will gladly take anything they’re willing to give. But, this style of subdued mid-tempo tends to pass me by unless something in the melody or performance really catches my ear. Utsuroi is undoubtedly pretty, especially when the brass kicks in during the chorus. The track develops a swinging energy, laid-back but rhythmic. And as usual, Yunho and Changmin sound great – even if they’re not breaking down doors with the power of their vocals.
Still, Utsuroi feels like a slightly-more-upbeat take on coffeeshop music. And, you all know how I feel about that damn coffeeshop! I think the song will work better in the context of an album, sandwiched between bigger moments. Though Utsuroi’s sound is unlikely to make its way to the forefront of my attention, it makes for a very pleasant vibe – pitched squarely at lazy Sunday mornings. Here’s hoping they’ve got something more dynamic up their sleeves for their long-awaited Korean return.
1 plunky plunky – plunky plunky – plunky plunky – plunky plunk 2 3 4
I like it a lot. It’s gentle and calming and has stuck with me longer than I thought.
unrelated but while browsing the “steven lee” page on this blog, one of the videos that was under “Not K-pop, and not the entire song, but it’s one of my absolute favorites:” was removed from youtube. what was that song since im interested in what it was
god this is why internet archive is one of the best inventions on the internet
Ah, it was Johnny’s West’s Can’t Stop, which has a freaking epic chorus.
Here’s a performance:
What do you think about the b-side? It’s so unabashedly A-ha.