Song Review: TVXQ – Parallel Parallel

TVXQ - Parallel ParallelOne of my hopes for 2023 is a Korean comeback from TVXQ that honors the legacy of their best work. We’ll see if SM Entertainment has that in them, but until then we have a new Japanese single from the legendary duo. Parallel Parallel arrives five months after last year’s Utsuroi and ups the tempo considerably.

Parallel Parallel is a nice blend of the old and new. There are aspects that callback to TVXQ’s older work (its impish rap is chief amongst them!), but the song’s electro swing style feels fresh. It’s an off-kilter approach that defies current trends, and I appreciate that. Parallel Parallel’s instrumental is loaded with texture. From the rubbery bass underlining the verses to the twinkling keys of the chorus, the track has a fullness that’s quite satisfying. Add TVXQ’s confident performance and you’ve got all the ingredients for a showstopper.

I’m not sure Parallel Parallel quite gets there in the end, but it’s still a fun, quirky addition to their discography. The melodies have a playfulness we don’t always hear from the guys – especially in their later work. There’s a sense of showmanship that grabs your attention immediately and pulls the entire track forward. Though some moments in Parallel Parallel border on novelty, the song has no throwaway lines. TVXQ dig into the material with relish and that spirit is infectious. Above all else, I’m happy they’re still making music together, proving that age doesn’t automatically relegate idols to OST ballads and subdued coffeehouse fair.

Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 9

Grade: B


5 thoughts on “Song Review: TVXQ – Parallel Parallel

  1. Oooh, so many bells and whistles and whistly dance break. Too many flavors? .. … ok, sure, fine I would rather have a song that over-embellishes than a song that plays it safe. I mean, there is a little bit of every good trend in here and mercifully spares us the tired trends (drop chorus, 2nd verse slow, etc).

    Also, actual fun is being had. They are going to ham this song up in concert big time.

    So its a yes from me. Rating is about right, maybe a fraction too high.


  2. Most of the comebacks released in January seemed really boring. Like, the vast majority songs did nothing to me, and the ones which were actually supposed to hit me failed to do because of them collapsing/feeling underproduced (e.g. Beautiful Liar by Monsta X, SRR by TXT, BXB’s debut).
    Thankfully, TVXQ managed to fix that for me! I adore how the guys are having actual fun while performing the song. Rating feels about right.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Okay, what kind of confuses me is that the verses seem created by a producer of mediocre vroom skrrt boy bands, but the bridge and verses were created by a skillful master of luscious Japanese dance-pop. It’s about 3/4 of a good song, I will have to see if I warm to the other quarter. They look great, and sell the hell out of it, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Something about the chorus throws me off a bit! Not in a bad way, just in a “musically unexpected” way I don’t have the knowledge to define. I think with the setup of the verses I just didn’t expect that sound.


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