Review by Jo Wakely
After one year and seven months TVXQ’s eagerly awaited 4th Korean album is finally here. The release date was put back by two days because of pre-sales in the region of 330,000. How SME failed to realise that there would be a rush on this long-awaited album is a mystery. Estimated over the counter sales on the day of release were said to be in the region of 36,000. Long queues formed outside record shops in Seoul as TVXQ-deprived Korean fans waited to get their hands on the album.
The album has been released in two formats so far, version A (top right) containing ten tracks and a DVD containing footage of the members interviewing each other. It’s disappointing that these are not subbed in English, but thankfully helpful fans have done the job SME should have done and put their subbed versions on YouTube (for example, here). Version B (below right) contains 12 tracks and a picture book.
Mirotic is an eclectic album with a mixture of R&B (You’re my Melody), cheerful upbeat tunes (Rainbow) and the gentle melodic Flowerlady featuring acoustic guitar. Paradise features the sitar, to give it a decidedly Asian feel with lyrics penned by Wheesung. Crazy love, Hey! and Are You a Good Girl are all tracks that would go down well on any dance floor. They are all characterised by electronic beats, heavy drum beats, and imaginative use of the beat box, lending themselves to the typically energetic SM performance that TVXQ are so good at.
The Korean version of Love in the Ice is on version B, the Korean lyrics penned by Changmin, the youngest member of the group. This version is every bit as good as the original and showcases the vocal talents of each member of the group, especially Junsu and Yoochun.
The other extra track on this album is Forgotten Season, a remake of a 1982 hit by Yong He. It is remade with a decidedly R&B feel and is Jaejoong’s solo. It is clear to see why he is the lead singer in TVXQ, with his flawlessly stunning voice. Picture of You is a beautiful pop ballad. Junsu wrote the lyrics to this love song that talk of possessiveness and jealousy.
My personal favourite is Wrong Number. It is a dark track with jealousy as its theme. Jaejoong makes his rapping debut on this track and shows how versatile his voice is.
The title track Mirotic (Miro = maze / Tic = to convert it to an adjective) is composed by the Remee/Troelen team, who incidentally have composed BoA’s American debut song. It is a dance track with an addictive beat that contrasts perfectly with the strong vocals. The song is sexy and pacey. The video for the song (below) is also sexy with the boys showing more flesh than they’ve ever shown before. The lyrics are sexy too: “You want me, you’ve fallen for me, you’re crazy for me, you can’t break out, I’ve got you under my skin”. Defiantly one for the dance floor.
It seems that in their fifth year TVXQ are trying to move away from their image as an idol band. Their new raunchy image and more mature sound is certainly proof that they are achieving this. This, their fourth album illustrates that they are growing up.