DBSK, A History: Tohoshinki’s “Time”

Tohoshinki TVXQ TIME1Considering most of the albums from all five members (in whatever form they come in) have been reviewed to death, I’m going to take a look at the lackluster Time which for some reason is never reviewed. Actually, it’s pretty obvious why. Time is disappointingly bad, coming after Tone and Catch Me.

It’s unfortunate that I think the real problem with this album isn’t just the haphazard and sloppy composition, it’s also Tohoshinki itself. They keep using Changmin in all the wrong places (in other words, lots of screeching), and forcing Yunho to sing in higher registers with his nasaly singing.  I don’t blame either of them for the voices they have—it’s just that they pick songs that bring out everything that’s wrong with their voices, even down to the words they use. Seriously, hearing Changmin sing “Thing” in a high register is ear-splitting. If it was any other word that didn’t end in a “ee” sound, it wouldn’t have been so bad, but no. Honestly, I’d rather have Yunho sing in that register, even with his nasal and word swallowing voice. Oh well, you take what you get.  The one positive to Time is the gothic touches, which I really appreciate as a person who pretty much loves everything that’s in a minor key.

Tohoshinki_Time3

“Fated”

Not feeling this song one bit. I like dramatic intros, provided that the song itself remains dramatic and well structured. Don’t worry, that’s not the case with this song.  It’s also a whopping five and a half minutes long, which is too much provided all we get out of the song is too repetitions of “It’s Fated,” out of the chorus.  I liked the actual melodic verses, the melodic bridge thing in the chorus(?), and pretty much hated everything else. This song also lacks a proper bridge…which is disappointing.

“Catch Me” 

I’m actually one of the few people who really did like this song when it came out in Korea, (without that dubstep interlude and the weird burp sounding “catch me if you wanna” in the beginning).  However, the Japanese version actually pales in comparison to the Korean one, which tends to happen when they try to translate Korean singles over to Japan (the same thing happened with “Mirotic,” “Maximum,” etc.). However, I liked the electronic processing in the Japanese version during the bridge better.

“逢いたくて逢いたくてたまらない”

I’m also a fan of this song’s concept. The verses are nice, and I like the forward momentum in the song. But like the others, you get annoyed with too many repetitions of the same word.  The bridge edges on being excessively dramatic, but I do like effect of the drop, so I can’t really complain too much. It’s a solid song, but nothing to write home about.

yunho_time“One More Thing”

This is the biggest let down for me.  Unlike the others, this song is composed pretty well (overly simplistic, but passable). The problem is that Tohoshinki shouldn’t be the one singing it with the members they have, because the chorus literally sounds like nails on a chalkboard. I like Changmin so much, but I can only take his upper register in small doses. Changmin’s voice is like an embellishment. Dumping glitter everywhere does no one any good.

“STILL”

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for staying in the lower register boys, because this song is one of the better tracks.  I’m not a fan of the enunciation in the song, but it’s Yunho and Changmin, so I’m not going to get anything else.  Anyhow, this is one of the tracks worth checking out, because it’s quite good.

“I Know”

I love the piano and water drops here, and this song exemplifies everything Yunho and Changmin is good at. It’s clean from start to finish, and the vocals are well balanced and controlled.  No ear-splitting screaming, minimal nose singing, and some ad-libs thrown in. Yup, I’m a happy camper.  If you’re used to the glorious ballads of Tohoshinki former, then this will be one of the songs from Yunho and Changmin that gets you pretty close to those days.

“Y3K”

Tackiness is having a free day in this song, but I really like the processing of the vocals and the sonorous feeling. The bridge is also so gloriously dramatic that I can’t help but enjoy the song. I admit that this song is inferior objectively, but who cares? I like this song. I think that “Y3K” will increase in palatability when seen from the live performance point of view.

Tohoshinki_Time4

“BLINK”

This is better than “Y3K” compositionally, but I hate the latter half of the chorus. Next time I hear Homin say the same word three times in a row in a song, I will throw something at the wall. Oh wait, I forgot that horrendous instrumental break. Yeah. The awesome bridge isn’t going to save the song…

“Humanoids”

I actually like this version better than the Korean version because the instrumental stands out more, which adds a lot of dimension to the song. A lot of this song is very monotone, so seeing the instrumental take center stage improves the song dramatically. It’s definitely not the best song in the world, but I like it much more now than I did before.

“ANDROID”

My electronic side really likes “Android” because it has more direction vocally than many of the other songs we’ve seen so far.  No super kitschy elements, and I like the melody.  I even found a version that deleted the dubstep break on tumblr and the song got even better. This song also has so much confidence, that its hard to not enjoy it for what it is.

changimin_time“One and Only One”

This would have been one of those saving graces on the album, until you get to the verses and then you want them to end as fast as possible to get back to the wonderful chorus.  The bridge is great as well, and I can even forgive them for saying “Come on” three times in a row!  If only they didn’t end the song with the part I disliked.

“In Our Time” 

I didn’t think that the short PV of  any song would actually be better than the real song, but I guess I have to take that back. “In Our Time” is more than 2 minutes too long.  I can’t even express how excessively long it is, and it’s not like they added more verses or anything; it’s just them singing the same chorus ad nauseum. I’m sorry Homin, but the “la la lalalala” stuff gets really annoying after a while. It also doesn’t help that the verses sound too similar to the chorus and the “la lallalalalala” stuff. By the end I have a headache from too much of the same and the sheer level of corny.  You literally get to the four minute mark and cry once you realize that there is actually 2 more freaking minutes left. Don’t say I have some stigma against long ballads, because I have an Indian classical music background. Ten minute songs are like a breeze to me.  For a song to actually get me bored by minute 3 is pretty impressive, and not in a good way.  Homin, getting your listener frustrated is not a way to end an album.

Score: 3.2/5. I thought I didn’t like Tone too much, but good grief, I actually want that album back now.

(Avex)

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4 responses to “DBSK, A History: Tohoshinki’s “Time”

  1. i love Tohoshinki. but Time is a terrible album, their worst release yet. i honestly am disappointed as a long-time fan. none of the tracks are memorable…

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  2. I don’t know what SM or Avex are doing to Yunho and Changmin, but please make it stop. The songs that they have been releasing nowadays just don’t fit their voices and it seems like the company (or companies) are trying too hard to sing very trendy and upbeat songs when the real solution is to give them more songs that actually compliment their vocals.

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