As many of you are already aware, TVXQ has graced as with a special album as of July 20th, just prior to leader Yunho’s enlistment into the army. This was a big surprise for many fans, as the majority of them were not expecting something like this, especially considering Yunho’s recent Japanese solo release, “U Know Y.” Many wondered initially if this new album, “Rise as God,” would measure up to expectations, since it was such a last-minute drop. Curious to find out the answer? Well, read on, my friends!
Track 1: “Vertigo”
You will have this track on repeat, just accept it now. It starts out as a real smooth, funky track with a relaxed feel, and the beat is downright sensual. You could strut to this, I swear. The boys use a lot of soulful falsetto, and it’s just the perfect song to start of the album and grab your attention, and more importantly, keep it. If you watched the album teaser, this is the song that was playing in the background, so it may sound a bit familiar. Definitely a solid track!
Track 2: “Champagne” –Yunho solo track
This song is just plain fun, straight up. If you haven’t seen the MV for this, for the love of all that’s holy, rectify that now. It’s a blast, and completely hilarious. Yet the man somehow manages to still be sexy. The song embodies that, as well. It’s very upbeat, with a straight up disco-funk feel, something you would shake your booty to in a retro discoteque. There’s a panty-shredding sexy rap in the middle, so ladies, do prepare yourselves.
Here’s the MV, in case you haven’t had the viewing pleasure:
Track 3: “Rise As One“–Changmin solo track
Oh my dear lord, Shim Changmin, are you trying to kill us all? This song is incredible, both in composition and in vocals. It starts out very slow, with a simple acoustic background, Changmin’s voice sailing right through with ease. Then it hits the chorus, and the electro dance groove hits, and it will just blow your mind. You can literally hear the climax in the music, and your heart just grows and builds right with it. This song is uplifting and powerful, and for those that might have missed this MV, the video sends a strong message as well. Many think it’s about Yunho and Changmin themselves, and how they’ve stuck together through so much. What do you think?
Here’s the MV for “Rise as One”:
Track 4: “Everday it Rains”
Now that Changmin’s kicked your butt with feels, have a straight up, laid back jazz track to cure all your ills. This song is very relaxed, with a smooth groove, and it just gives you the urge to lounge back and enjoy a cocktail or something. Just as catchy as the others, and the boys’ voices just sail right through, crystal clear. Be sure to give it a listen!
Track 5: “Smile”
If Changmin’s adorable little opening whisper doesn’t melt you into a puddle of goo, clearly you’re not human. This is another easy track, but a little more upbeat. Has a very happy, summery feel too it, also with a bit of a jazz backdrop. There’s even brass, bless them! Retro seems to be their shtick, and it shows again on this album. Not that that’s a bad thing, because they pull it off absolutely seamlessly. You will be smiling as you listen, which is very apt. You just can’t help it!
Track 6: “Top of the World”
Good lord, the funk and old school R&B influences on this album. This one kicks it with a bit of a heavier beat, but still nice and relaxed. This has a strong, jazzy piano backdrop, and it just gradually builds. You can really hear how well these two blend vocally on this song, as it’s a bit more exposed. You can definitely strut and groove to this one as well. Enjoy it!
Track 7: “Apology” —2nd Changmin solo
If he didn’t kill you with “Rise as One,” you’re definitely toast after this one. Sorry to inform you. His low little spoken apologies in English in the beginning made my heart go all kinds of out of whack. This is a slowed-down R&B track, and you can really hear just how much Changmin has grown vocally over the years; it’s showcased perfectly in this track. His falsetto is death, it’s a gorgeous track, do not skip this one!
Track 8: “Komplikated” –2nd Yunho solo
Why on earth they spelled it that way, I’ll never know. This song….and I really hate to say this, but it’s true. This sounds like a drag queen anthem. If you don’t believe me, listen to it! This is a straight up dance club tune, with some severe House influences. It’s got a catchy, smooth beat, but I’m telling you, this is catwalk music. Definitely a good one to jam out to, but you betta work!
Track 9: “Dominus”
This song starts out with some smooth, jazzy guitar, and definitely has some funk going on here as well. Here’s another that you will have on repeat, so go ahead and set up your shuffle now. Another upbeat track, with one heck of a cool breakdown in the middle. Just a fun, easy beat to sway back and forth to, and a melody that’s sure to get stuck in your head!
Track 10: “Lucky Star”
The final track on the album starts off with a bit more of a rock feel, with a pounding piano, shortly followed by an equally pounding bass. This one kind of makes you want to march right up to your goals and grab them by the horns and go. It’s got a very powerful feel, much like “Rise As One,” and in my humble opinion, is a great way to close the album. Not to mention they get to let out their inner rock sides, which we all know Changmin appreciates.
So, what’s the verdict? It’s TVXQ, the answer should be obvious. Have they ever been known to disappoint? Clearly the boys knew this was their last time to shine for a while, and they took that very seriously. This is a fantastic album, not a single track I don’t like, with a lot of good variety and fun, retro feels. I encourage everyone to give it a listen, and find out what these two are still the reigning deities of the K-Pop world!
Source: SMTown YouTube
Edited by: KareBare
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