Kim Jaejoong (김재중, JEJUNG) is known as a member of a K-pop group JYJ, which in turn is made up of three original members of super popular group TVXQ (are you lost yet?). Cut the story short, the dude is out with a solo number ‘I‘. The mini album causes quite a stir in South Korea and Japan, slaying charts like Hanteo and selling out shows within minutes. The lead single Mine features high budget music video, apparently shot for 60 hours straight across seven sets.
Mine deserves all its hype. It’s a fast, angsty rock anthem that sounds refreshing and really stands out from the army of K-pop’s beloved electro. On top of that, Jaejoong delivers an impressive vocal performance. He doesn’t just wear a leather jacket to match the theme, he actually pulls of rock; check out that growling chorus. In some parts, vocals on this track remind me of L’Arc~en~Ciel, especially the second verse (Hyde? Is that you?). Guitars really make this song catchy, and that offbeat sequence after the first chorus is stunning. Be sure to check out the video below:
Now, how’s the rest of the mini album? After listening to Mine you might think ‘oh cool! he’s out there on a mission to turn K-pop into K-rock!’ but your hopes will come down crushing as you listen to the rest of the record. Jaejoong‘s voice lives up to the high standard and all but the three other songs are just 90’s ballads, soapy-waterfall kinda thing… Bland. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t terrible, but they sound completely different than Mine and all together not even half as good; the kind of songs you’ll just most likely skip. Either way, I is definitely worth checking out, if only because of Mine.