TVXQ! Has a Chance at Love
It has been a long three years since we’ve been blessed with new music from the TVXQ! duo, who are now officially back on the scene after completing both of their mandatory military services. Very few groups manage to survive seven years, let alone a full decade and completion of military service, yet the duo of Changmin and Yunho has not only survived, but thrived in this unstable environment and they have finally returned to their fans with a full-length album, New Chapter #1.
The Title: a Chance at Love
Long time K-Pop fans and newbies alike can get excited about “A Chance at Love.” Fans of TVXQ! and their signature sound will be delighted by the familiar EDM/pop fusion track that the duo is known for. The sophisticated and mature concept is refreshing and delivered perfectly by the duo, really showing their seniority in the business. Even if you’re unfamiliar with TVXQ!’s long history, it’s very easy to get into and enjoy “A Chance at Love.” The funky, upbeat melody is guaranteed to get stuck in your head instantly, and the duo’s vocals are no joke.
Along with the strong vocals, the choreography is incredibly sharp and eye-catching, not slowing down for one moment. Both Changmin and Yunho have solo choreography throughout the song, highlighting the powerful dance skills of the duo both individually and together. “A Chance at Love” really highlights how this duo is the epitome of idol talent; it is truly a fantastic return from an extensive hiatus.
In grand fashion, the two idols returned to the scene with a full album, containing 11 new songs, including a solo track from each of them. The album begins with “Love Line,” a light and soft pop track that is like an introduction to the title song, which follows. The light, bouncy nature of the song is enjoyable and calming, especially when measured up against certain intense concepts that elicit a heavy feeling immediately (think recent releases of Stray Kids and MONSTA X).
TVXQ! maintains this lighter sound throughout the entire album, with tracks “Broken” and “Only for You” having less focus on the upbeat funk sound and containing a more subdued, sweet pop aura that reminds you of a soft, summery love song. Yunho’s solo track “Puzzle” follows, which has a bit more EDM influence with a slight undertone of sensuality. Truth be told, “Puzzle” is kind of all over the place musically, drawing influences from R&B, EDM, and Hip-Hop at different points of the song. That certainly keeps it interesting.
Halfway through the full album and we have arrived at Changmin’s solo track “Closer.” In stark contrast to Yunho, Changmin’s solo is much softer and slower—more ballad focused with emphasis on his vocal prowess. The pace picks back up with “Bounce,” which matches the energy and speed of title “A Chance at Love.” “Wake Me Up” is next—another track that fits the lighter TVXQ! sound that lacks intensity, bringing up a light and happy feeling in its wake.
The overall tone of the album changes with the second to last track “Lazybones,” contrary to what you’re first impression may be of the title. I had anticipated “Lazybones” to be along the lines of the two tracks before it, but it is the singular ballad track on this album: slowly paced and incredibly emotional.
While you may have expected this kind of sound from the next track “Without You,” it’s not nearly as melancholy of a ballad as its counterpart, but actually has a much more sensual undertone. The album concludes with “Sun & Rain,” the final ballad track that musically falls between “Lazybones” and “Without You.” Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of ballads for the most part, so the ending of the album is a slight letdown compared to its beginning. The ballad tracks remind me of TVXQ!’s Christmas albums, which elicits an odd feeling in early April.
Regardless, New Chapter #1 is a very solid release from a very talented duo that continuously shows their multifaceted talents in a cutthroat business. Whether or not TVXQ! has been a major part of your K-Pop life or you’re new to them, this album is definitely worth investing in.