I’m as straight as straight can be, but even I’m in awe of Jaejoong’s beauty! Yeah, “beauty”. There aren’t many men I can use that word for, but the ex-DBSK, now-JYJ member is surely the ‘prettiest’ guy in Asia!
But as if being super-good looking wasn’t enough, Jaejoong is also an incredibly talented singer, songwriter, producer, actor and even director! Which also makes him quite rich.
Sigh… some guys.
And now, second in line after fellow member Junsu, Kim Jaejoong releases his first solo mini-album, appropriately titled ‘I‘.
I had never really listened to DBSK when they were a 5-piece (other than stumbling upon “Triangle” way back on YouTube), as I only discovered K-pop in 2010. So I never realized Jaejoong’s musical talents until JYJ released ‘In Heaven‘ in 2011. The title track was one of the best ballads of that year. Mostly because it was so emotionally sung by Junsu, but knowing Jaejoong wrote it, you knew this guy wasn’t just about good looks.
Jaejoong’s mini-album ‘I‘ comprises of five tracks, and showcases his love for rock music. Which is a refreshing and welcome change from the expected K-pop idol fare. The first track “One Kiss” is an epic power ballad, with soaring violins and Jaejoong even attempting to sing half the song in English. It’s quite a start to the album!
“Mine” – the lead single:
Dark, fast-paced and clearly J-rock inspired, “Mine” didn’t blow me away at first listen, but I blame that on its (audio) mixing. Given how many Japanese friends he has and how much time Jaejoong has spent across the pond, it shouldn’t surprise anyone he took a liking to their brand of rock. It could easily be considered for the opening title music to some anime like ‘Wolf’s Rain‘. My only grudge against the song is that the guitars don’t sound as organic throughout much of the song.
Track 3, “You Fill Me Up” returns to pop for a bit and sounds mighty fine in doing so. One of the best songs on the album, I simply adore Jaejoong’s vocals on this track. The follow-up song “Healing For Myself” was originally featured on the OST of his film ‘Jackal is Coming‘ that came out last year. And-what-a-song! One that starts out really acoustic but then just explodes into a beautiful power ballad by the second chorus. Easily my favourite song among the five tracks. Jaejoong’s wailing vocals really got me on this one. Brilliant song!
The final track on the album, “All Alone” is a mellow piano-tinged ballad that’s quite apt in describing some of Jaejoong’s tweets. For those who don’t follow him, Jaejoong has often tweeted photos and cryptic messages about being all alone in his luxurious home. All the money, fame and good looks — but still seeking the simplest of things in life, like companionship. A bit sober yet befitting end to the album I think.
Despite how good this entire album is, it’s sad that most us will never get to see Jaejoong perform these songs live on television. If there was one K-netizen initiative I would back, it would be asking Cassies to flood the message-boards of every major music show with demands that the PDs allow Jaejoong to perform on their shows.
Even though JYJ has won every major lawsuit against SM and Avex, it f**king sucks Korean TV stations are still scared of allowing them to appear on their music programs. Sucks!
So in conclusion, f**k the Korean broadcast networks and go buy this album! I rate Kim Jaejoong’s ‘I‘ a 4 out of 5. Meaning it’s very good!