TVXQ – “Magic Castle”

It has been almost three years since I last wrote. One reason for not posting is that youtube videos are constantly being taken down, so what I say about the music becomes meaningless if readers (if any) do not have access to the songs. But still, I will just say what I want to say, even if no one reads it ^^, since Kpop is so much more interesting than the cantopop crap that Hong Kong people have to put up with =b

Reading my last post about TVXQ in 2010, it is sad to realize that the singing career of JYJ is worse than what I expected – live performance not allowed in TV music shows, no more exciting dance numbers on par with what they had at SM. Everytime I listen to “Maximum” and “Catch me”, I cannot help but think what could have been.

Still, I could understand why JYJ would prefer to stand on their own feet, despite losing the protection of a big company like SM, as I myself quit a job with good, regular pay three years ago in pursuit of doing something more fulfilling but quite unstable. Perhaps it is the wishful thinking of fans that idol groups should stay together forever. Look at SS501. Apart from Kim Hyun Joong, I do not know what the other four members are doing now. The shell life of idol groups is extremely short in Korea. Both TVXQ (5 members) and SS501 lasted for 6 years. Big Bang has been around for 7 years now, but apart from Tae Yang, I am not impressed with the singing skills of the group at all. I guess it is a clever strategy of JYPE and its associated companies to simultaneously raise several boy groups. Not putting all gold eggs in one basket, just so that no one group becomes so successful to think that they can leave the company and survive on their own. But the downside to it is, we have a long wait for one hit to come out from a group. Last hit from 2PM (“Hands Up”) was released one and a half years ago. So was “Fiction” from B2ST.

I have a soft spot for SM artistes, to be accurate, their songwriters, as they tend to produce music with warm harmony and complexity. I will listen to their songs again and again just to figure out the different sounds they use and how they are related to the overall musical texture. Talented singers are great, but if they do not associate themselves with good songwriters, they will not last long in the music scene.

I am happy Yoochun does great in acting, and Jaejoong, to a lesser extent. I hope Junsu is happy doing musicals and singing for OSTs, and hopefully this will open up new opportunities for him.  Rather than being successful by following the formula set out by a big, powerful company, following one’s heart is more important. I sincerely wish them all success :)

Back to TVXQ’s “Magic Castle” (…finally). It is clever for Yoochun’s recent drama “I Miss You” to incorporate the song into the drama plot. It is the alarm ringtone of both Soo Yeon and Jung Woo. Since all hits during Yoochun’s TVXQ’s days belong to SME, “Magic Castle” is perhaps the only song with no copyright problems. TVXQ covered the song in 2004 in their Christmas album. “Magic Castle” was orignally released by The Classic in 1994.

Here is the live performance of the song by TVXQ at their 2006 concert. Sigh* The good old memories…

Merry Christmas and happy new year to everyone. Enjoy the video =)

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