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26 May 2011 @ 06:52 pm
DBSK5, TVXQ as a duo vs JYJ's music  

Why I prefer TVXQ (Yunho and Changmin)'s music to JYJ's is for the most part related to their voices and how they fit and mould (or don't) together.

While many a Cassiopea will probably think this analysis expresses personal bias, I honestly assure you that I have tried to be objective as possible. Hence my explanation in detail as to why I have this preference. No one needs to agree with me of course but if this entry helps give people insight into the beauty of TVXQ's music the way I see it, then great.

Pre-lawsuit / DBSK as 5 era:

Back when I first started listening to DBSK, I confused some of the member's voices. After it happened repeatedly (and with the same members), I decided to seriously try and figure out how and why it happened. Eventually I came up with a line regarding the similarity of their voices regarding texture. Naturally, members with more similar voices have more ease and better success at harmonizing.

To describe the voice similarity in one way, we can use pairings:

Yoochun and Yunho
Yunho and Changmin
Changmin and Junsu
Junsu and Jaejoong

A better description I think is however the line of overlapping (similarity) I came up with, looking like this:

Yoochun -> Yunho -> Changmin -> Junsu -> Jaejoong

As the group had an uneven number of members, one member was always left somehow out of place in the songs that relied on voice compatiblity and similarity instead of contrast. Of course said member had to be on one of the far ends of the line aka Yoochun or Jaejoong whose voices have the biggest difference.

By DBSK5, one song, and my personal favorite, stood out as a great example of this 'voices blending together almost effortlessly' and that is Darkness Eyes.

I provide a link to the song because it would help fans understand this analysis even better with an example.

In both verses and chorus fans can hear for themselves how members have been paired off as more compatible voice wise and who is (albeit not obviously) left out of the equasion.

The odd one out in this song is Yoochun, who for the most part is stuck repeating "Darkness on my eyes" in the chorus in order to further strengthen the mood of the song. His voice fits the meaning behind the lyrics perfectly, but doesn't make him any less left out regarding voice fitting with the rest of the members. Even the one verse he sings in the beginning of the song (following Yunho's start) seems slightly out of place when the song is taken as a whole.

As fans can hear, the pairs whose voices mold together are determined as Yunho and Changmin (coversing first verse and second chorus) and Junsu and Jaejoong (covering first chorus and second verse) in order.
I will admit that the first few times I heard this song, I had trouble distinguishing Yunho and Changmin and hence found them to be the members whose voices blend together best, almost as though it's one voice. Junsu and Jaejoong's blending was more apparent to me in Rising Sun, but more on that some other time.

Skip three years into the future and we have TVXQ as a duo and JYJ as a trio. I think both units are doing very well separately and am not desperately waiting for the day they are together as five. However, once having determined my line of similarity, I now have a better understanding of why I prefer TVXQ's music to JYJ's (American debut aside).

TVXQ as a duo has little problem harmonizing as it is Yunho and Changmin, whose voices overlap in a way and blend together due to their texture's similarity. I am no expert so I am probably not using the proper terms but upon listening to songs like 'I Think You Know' or 'Before U Go' or even 'Our Game', fans can hear for themselves and see what I mean. It is exactly that beautiful compatibility and moulding of Yunho and Changmin's voices that steals my heart away again and again with each song they make.

On the other hand JYJ have two members whose voices fit incredibly well - Jaejoong and Junsu and one member who is left out - Yoochun.

Yoochun -> Yunho -> Changmin -> Junsu -> Jaejoong

Between Junsu and Yoochun there are two voices missing. As a professional, he can harmonize with Jaejoong and Junsu, but that two-person gap between him and them is still incredibly difficult to fill in. That is how, in songs relying on harmonizing and voice compatibility he ends up mostly rapping - see 'Mission' or barely singing - see 'I.D.S'. Then there are songs relying on contrast where he covers the verses single handedly, which seems to be JYJ's best bet at this time - see 'Empty'. Of course, there are other examples of these as well, which I am sure many JYJ fans can think of.

That being said, I love both TVXQ and JYJ's music. I know all five members' talent doesn't go to waste.

Perhaps I have missed something, and if I remember it, I will edit this post later on. Please, do keep in mind that I have no education in music and trust only my ears when I make observations. I have no serious claims to being right, although I have put effort into being as fair and objective as possible.

Comments are welcome as long as they are not too harsh :P


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shilla_dragonshilla_dragon on May 26th, 2011 06:43 pm (UTC)
I really have difficulty figuring out who sings which part when it comes to Min an Yun... they make me confuse sometimes... there are times its easy to figure out who is singing but when they meet up near the same notes/tone I'll be lost in space hahaha

I like TVXQ now as a duo. I guess since its been so long since they were 5 and I also prever faster beat/heavier songs compared to ballad.
utakutik: lovely brotheruti3x on May 26th, 2011 07:04 pm (UTC)
i love to read this because i felt it too!
and the most important....i love darkness eyes very much ^^

actually i was thought if jaechunsu has the most perfect combination but i can't find it in jyj...that's make me wondering "why? why? why?" because i love yoochun voice when he has duet with jaejoong. so it must be anything wrong,isn't it? i was thought it beacuse i've supposed junsu has separated range from jaechun voices, who has similar voice, but after read this i'm sure i have mistaken. when u have trio it difficult to harmonize if just one person has completely different voice, because there will be one similar voice to sacrificed. it will be easy if have 3 different voice or 3 similar voice, like 4Men, Monday Kidz or VOS.

and i'm totally agree with u about "our game". first i've heard that song i'm completely amaze...is it yunho n changmin's voice? they perfectly mixed. i'm sure they spending hard time to molding their vice although they has it but never realized because focusing too much on jaechunsu.
Can - Chanaeries_amethyst on May 26th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
I gotta say that I totally agree with you, but it's not just the voices that have me leaning on the homin ship but it's the quality of the music. JYJ sounds so mainstream now that the stuff that made me fall in love with DBSK just isn't there anymore :(

Yunho and changmin have such similar voices that it's such a pain in the ass to differentiate them sometimes -_____- but their speaking voices sound completely different o.O go figure :/ JYJ, they have different voices but Junsu and jaejoong can actually blend their voices well (love in the ice live) but poor yoochun just stands out with his baritone :(

The best part about DBSK is their harmonizing ability. Sure they each have great voices but together they are phenomenal and its kinda hard to find groups like that in today's world. What each member lacks in they make up for in other areas. For example, yunho may not be the best singer but he dances the best and he's charismatic and he raps. Jaejoong may be a bit awkward but his voice has a perfect pitch etc.

Still hoping that they can reunite before they go to the military at least -_____-
ayoepanayoepan on May 27th, 2011 01:16 am (UTC)
To be honest I never notice this before, but since you mentioned it now I'm more aware.. Kudos for you who able to notice this :)
I'm not a musician to begin with, so in term of musicality, my leaning is mostly due to genre tht one group has given so far. And that will be TVXQ..

I agree Yunho and Changmin's voice in some part of their songs hard to differentiate, because their voices blends together perfectly. Yunho might take bass voice in his previous group, but I think his voice actually has higher pitch than that... :x So blending Yunho & Changmin's voices would be much easier compare to Jaechunsu, though many people said JCS's has the most perfect combination, but yeah have to agree with you that Chun's voice seems out of place compare to Su & Jae...

I also try to heard "Bolero" carefully this time to prove your theory & I have to say, your theory is make sense, I cant say its correct perfectly coz I'm no musician who have right to justify. From what I notice most of Chun's part will be followed by Yunho's & vice versa. Chun & Yunho's voice match,beside their voice texture, maybe because they both use nasal voice whn singing (hear jyj's empty... Chun's nasal voice can be heard clearly). Then Yunho's will be followed by Changmin's. While Changmin's has no problem adjusting w/ Su & Jae's. Well actually I have to say, Changmin has the most flexible voice that can match well with the others. But yes, looking from his voice texture, Changmin's has more common to Yunho & Junsu. Not only one song, I also try to listen "Insa", and once again... the same pattern happen... =)

And for my leaning, in term of musicality, I like SMP's songs better than ballads. I know DBSK5 ballads are the best, but SMP songs is the cherry of every performance! They dance & sing in the same time. It ll make concert/live performance less boring than just standing & singing. SMP is TVXQ's signature. As long as they still able to do it, I want TVXQ keep their style. No other group who can dance crazily like TVXQ but still maintain great voice! Only TVXQ can do it :) And another thing important is stage's charisma of Yunho & Changmin that suck me into them. Jaechunsu's style of music also good, especially thy hav great voice & talent in composing. But I must say that they're lack of originality, maybe its their step to be great musicians, however, wht makes ppl get into K-POP in th beginning? Its K-POP's distinction compare to other type of music. JCS's music is more likely to be westernized IMO... which is then, their music does not rly appeal to me :x

Nevertheless, in the end of the day, I think its not the matter how their voice overlap each other perfectly, but its more to how their voice & musicality to your taste. Plus, where your biased singer is... xD

Thanks Mary for writing this..
dilovesyunjaedilovesyunjae on May 27th, 2011 04:11 am (UTC)
oh i know what you mean!!! i've always find it a bit difficult to distinguish yun and min's voice, even now. Cos they blend so well! But nowadays, yunho tends to sound a bit nasally so i can figure out its him...LOL...aishhh.Homin~~
yunmin on May 27th, 2011 11:39 am (UTC)
What you hear are actually quite different from what I hear... x.x
Yunho and Changmin never ever sound alike to me only until recently - they do sound alike in the KYHD album. I mixed them up when I first listen to it, I kind of think that Changmin's way of singing changes alot to suit Yunho's voice.
I would never mix up Junsu and Changmin - uhm, Su's voice are so much more 'thinner' than Min's one. And excuse me with the limited vocabulary. I'm never good at describing x.x Let alone music.
The people who really sounded alike are Junsu and Jaejoong and especially Yoochun and Yunho. As for Changmin, I feel like.... I would never mix his voice up with anyone's in the past.

And yes, Yoochun is awkward in JYJ. But no hard feelings, JYJ would be more awkward w/o Yoochun. Have you heard Colors~ Melody and Harmony~ ? I hope Jae and Chun do more of those, their voices suit each other well. And I remember telling you this before, Jae and Su would sound really whiny together, so JYJ can't do without Yoochun, but at the same time, his voice stand out so much - they have to do something similar to 'Empty' or else it will just be a lil' awkward. However, although I dun think they match each other well, their voices are still good and everything, so they just need to have good arrangements, JYJ's songs will keep getting better.

I think the reason why ~some~ kpop fans prefer TVXQ to JYJ's music is because JYJ is making their own music, and they are still experimenting and honestly they still need alot more experience to polish up their composes. But I truly compliments them for all their composes, it's not bad at all though it's still lacking of something.

For TVXQ, SM have the right formula for them and SMP is definitely the way. (New fans are definitely attracted by SMP) They still have the 'old' TVXQ spirit w/ them, their performance, their standards are definitely still 'TVXQ' though the voices are very much different.
And, though my bias is forever Yunho, I feel that he's still searching for his right way of singing. You can see him experimenting in different songs and I definitely prefer his smooth, real voice (Musical Goong <3) than his nasal voice. Baby need to do his Wrong Number kind of rap, and I know, alot of people prefer the 'Purple Line' one but that's really not for me x__x

Wow that's long. Anyway, I have never learned music and I know nothing about it. It's just my 1 year and 4 months experience (T__T) listening to them and I depend alot on my ears lol. This is Mag anyw! ^^
✖: homin 01stupidrhapsody on June 18th, 2011 10:22 am (UTC)
I absolutely thought that maximum is changmin's solo song. I swear. the first verse is just not yunho. but then again I'm not too familiar with them before KYHD. so. yeah.

this is awesome dude.
sharwee on June 19th, 2011 12:31 am (UTC)
Never really thought about this before reading your post -- but I absolutely see what you're saying. Because the old TVXQ (pretty much) sang together, I thought it was a wonderful blending, like lightning in a bottle.

The similarities weren't very apparent to me personally, but now that you can appreciate them all seperately, the differences come to the fore more obviously. Yunho's voice is very warm, and Min's is crystal clear -- except when Min sings lower, softer, then it's really hard to tell them apart. If Min sings a few more notes, I can usually tell it's him - mostly cuz I know his voice the best. (Always been more attracted to higher men's voices for some reason -- my 2nd choice is an almost James Earl Jones feel-it-in my-chest deep, bass voice. No WONDER I love them lol.)

Watching and listening to Darkness Eyes for the first time just a few weeks ago was a huge awakening to what Yun is really capable off. The depth and warmth of his voice carries you away, and Min's warmer voice is quite wonderful -- and yes, both are very similar in that song. I probably listen to it at least once or twice a day. It seems my eyes and ears are just naturally drawn to the 2 of them now, even in the old vids. They're a wonderful mix of chocolate and honey and any other smooth delicious thing u can think of! Thanks for this -- I usually just enjoy the music, but it's really nice to have someone actually think it through and tell me how it 'works' lol. :-)
screaminpkascreaminpka on September 3rd, 2012 11:59 am (UTC)
oh hi, just came across your blog and this issue is interesting. i know this is ancient but i think i just have to write out my piece of mind regarding this issue here ^^

i must say i kinda agree with your theory here. i too, have been trying to figure out the logic behind their harmonisation, and thank god u've worded it down! :D

tbh, at first i didnt really notice the similarities between yunho & changmin's voice especially. i just thought, they sound good together.
but not until changmin himself said that he has always thought his voice blended well with yunho's the most.
after that only i started listening clearly to their voices, and i must say till today i have probs differentiating those two if im listening without any visuals. but of course, one can notice their diff in singing techniques, in which both have their own distinct way of expressing their voices which is very interesting to hear.

as for the harmonisation during db5k era, i've always thought changmin's voices is the most flexible that he can tune it according to whom he's harmonising with. in fact, with anyone else he sings with. even when they did their acapellas, i always notice that changmin's the one who controls the harmonisation of the group.

idk, this is just my theory from just using my ears, without any background in music either.
in any ways, i too prefer TVXQ's music as compared to JYJ's. there's many reasons to it, and the harmonisation of yunho & changmin is one of them ^^

thank you again for wrting this interesting post ^^