In the year of 2003, a band with an legendary name as well as a unusually epic career began. Formed by SM entertainment TVXQ or DBSK (which stands for Dong Bang Shin Ki) roughly meaning Rising gods of the East, which is a high name to live up to. After their debut song Hug (which was not epic lol) TVXQ became a force in Korean and Japanese pop music. They were a groundbreaking and barrier breaking k-pop band reaching countries and audiences not yet touched by the newly growing k-pop industry. As time went on and their fame grew the good times hit a climax. In 2009 just even years after debuting three members split from TVXQ and sued their record label SM Entertainment to dissolve their contracts, for more info on why click here. In 2010 TVXQ reemerged as a duo with the two members who decided to stay with SM entertainment Yunho and Chagmin. Becoming a duo was a drastic change, despite this setback TVXQ came back strong with their first single Keep your head down and the rest is history. TVXQ the duo began to rise again as gods of the east with a successful career and like before once TVXQ’s success reaches its zenith as a new challenge appeared. On July 21 Yunho was drafted into the Korean Army and the possibility of Chagmin entering later this year, meaning TVXQ will be on hiatus for at least two years. So before they leave the music industry for a while TVXQ released Rise as god as a farewell album for their fans.
A short TVXQ MV history
TVXQ – Triangle
I remember seeing this on t.v. in the U.S.A on the international channel!
TVXQ- choosy lover
TVXQ the Duo!!!
Keep your head down mv
First track Vertigo opens with a vocal loop that repeats throughout the song. Powered by bass and a slight orchestral note Vertigo has a bit of the Epic sound I was hoping for. Yunho and Chagmin’s voices blend so well in the stanzas but more definitely in the chorus that it almost sounds like one voice is singing.
After the smooth dark intro by U-know and Max, U-know’s solo track Champagne brightens up the mood. With its disco-esque dance beat Champange is a definite party song. As it is Yunho’s solo track we are also graced with an accompanying music video.
Champange mv review
The music video for Champagne is as bright (literally) and energetic as its track. Yunho sheds his usual serious visage for a lighter and at times comical image in this mv. Yunho shows off his dance moves and even tries something a little different like his “cane dance” near the end of the music video.
Rise as one is Max’s first solo song on the album. Unlike like Yunho’s solo track Max is a slower tempo song with dramatic orchestral elements. It’s surprising with a chorus that places emphasis on we’ll rise as one that the song wasn’t sung as a duet.
Every day it Rains opens with the appropriately fitting sound of rain which then fades into the background of retro R&B music the beginning reminds me of never can say goodbye by Jackson 5. The premise of the song is how rainy days make the singer remember his ex-girlfriend. However it may not be truly just rainy days that stir these memories hence the songs closing line everyday it rains.
Smile lifts the mood with its jazzy melody which sounds very similar especially on the chorus to Grazing in the grass. Once again TVXQ shines with their vocals and use of English in the chorus.
Top of the world a bouncy piano infused number with 90’s flavor keeps the old school theme flowing. High energy with a slightly laid back feel this song reminds one of R&B summer songs from the mid 90s.
Max brings down the high mood of Top of the world left us and leads us to the somber track Apology. As its name suggests it’s a song from the POV of a man missing his ex (once again) and offering apologies for his wrong doings almost to the point of begging hoping it would win his ex back.
Komplicated is Yunho’s second solo on the album and as expected is another dance track keeping with the old school theme. Komplicated brings as an early 90s house/dance themed track complete with minimalist instrumentals and repetitive lyrics. This song would fit right in on their Tone album.
Dominus meaning “master or lord” is a fitting title of this jazzy number about falling for a woman and wanting to her make his own. With its smooth jazz feel it would fit in well on one of their Japanese releases.
Lucky Star brings this farewell album to a close. This however is not a sober or sad song by any means. With its dramatic piano cords and building guitar in the dramatic chorus Lucky Star is more like an anthem song from TVXQ to the fans. After Lucky Star fades off (fittingly) the music of TVXQ will go silent for at least two years.
The selection of the solos highlight the contrast between the two singers Yunho (U-know) represented by upbeat danceable tracks while Chagmin (Max) shows his talents with slower, downbeat and somewhat solemn songs. As often with an impending loss or possible career ending event it tends to bring out the best in people in this case TVXQ. As a group that went through many hardships as a whole and individually in the end (for now) prove that they are truly The Rising gods of the East!