[Trans] Music critic Noh Junyoung's review on In Heaven
In fact, the epithet 'idol' is a double-edged sword. To someone, it could be a real 'idol', but to someone, it could be a subject to prejudice. The idol fever that swept the whole world traces back to the 80s. On August 1st 1981, the pop music world changed as a lot of idols with fine appearances started to pour out when MTV, a station that airs music vidoes for 24 hours, was founded. Of course they each had star qualities and singing abilities, but it was true that somehow their appearance attraced more attention. This kind of prejudice is still valid. In many cases, for an idol, people expect a lower level of musical ability. However, as a lot of talented idols showed up, the twisted attitude is slowly disappearing, and 'TVXQ' is one of the artists who contributed largely to this situation. All of the members produced high quality, classy music. Eventually they gripped the whole Asian markets, and also guided the idol groups to the right path. In a bigger picture, they created a new methodology for singers to benchmark.
Their fans must have been more sorry for what had happened to them because of these reasons(he's talking about the lawsuit). JYJ is still the most talented among idol groups in existence. This is becuase the collaboration of Jaejoong, Junsu, and Yoochun, who possesses singing, performance, and entertaining ablilities, is on the basis. They could target the worldwide market with their first album [The Beginning] because they were confident of their abilities. Isn't it proved that their possiblities to comepete in the American market was confirmed, as the best hiphop producer Kanye West lent his voice without hesitation? There are three points to focus on [In Heaven], released in this kind of situation, when even spatial constraints are collapsing. Whether a Korean album-not an English one to target the worldwide market-can appeal as a hit keywod, if they can compete with only their music without enough appearance on TV, and if the music is good enough to cover three members' singing ability. When you listen to all the songs of [In Heaven], you'll get an answer of these three points easier than you thought.
The first thing we must focus on is that the members participated in every song in the album, taking a step forward to an musician. The single fact that they directly participated in the album and showed their leadership is a part that should be highly appreciated. It is a nice evidence that they are making an effort to be accepted as artists. In addition, since the members demonstrated their sense of trend that they felt during the tour, it is needless to comment on their possibilities. 'Get Out', produced by Jaejoong and Yoochun, is a trendy pop dance song. The lively composition and the texture of the sound makes the members' charm stand out even more, and furthermore, as shocking shouting vocals were added, it became a nice song with a strong feeling. You can feel JYJ's Asian sensitivity in 'In Heaven', 'Fallen Leaves', and 'Boy's Letter'. Especially the appeal in the climax of 'In Heaven', the nostalgic sensitivity of 'Fallen Leaves', and the unusual composition of 'Boy's Letter' are outstanding. Because these songs have both the nostalgia for the past and the goal of present, you can meet the longing feeling and the delight at the same time.
Different from the former songs, 'Mission' and 'I.D.S' shows future-oriented aspects. 'Mission' with the powerful beat, and 'I.D.S' with the auto-tune technique, both has the trendy American sounds. Especially the addictive sound of 'I.D.S' is very high-leveled, and in my opinion it would recieve favorable responses even if it is released in the American market. 'You're' and 'Pierrot' are pop dance songs with medium tempo, better if you watch the performance. Especially, 'Pierrot' refreshes the listeners' logic by the ironic composition with pretty shocking lyrics, craving for freedom, and a bright melody. 'Nine' is a retro-stlye song, also a song that you must listen to. It is hard to define clearly, but 'Nine' kind of shows the old sound from the Britpop scene, and is a well made song that can gain sympathy from a whole generation. If [The Beginning] showed a beat centered sound with the American trend at the basis, [In Heaven] has a character capable of gripping domestic and Asian sentiment, emphasizing melodies. Their goal changed as they went through an ablum, but the quality is still high. The innate talent and musical instruments they have is unchanged, even though their target has changed.
I want to say JYJ's new album is a 'raw' thing. The most honest stories and the most honest sounds of the members are realized in the album. In addition, their own songs, composed with understanding of various genres, are quite good in quality. Even though there are points lacking slightly in the overall composition of the album, I feel no need to mention it, since it is not about the quality of the music. Their musical ability is already beyond the highest level. The musical possibility that these men, JYJ who macthes with the term artist rather than idol, can show has just started.