Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

TVXQ – Road

Not the warmest welcome we could have given to this K-pop group making its Jukebox debut…


Iain Mew: I leave this not sure whether I’m meant to marvel at the straining expression of their persistence, or visit a new old European holiday destination.

Jonathan Bradley: A lilting accordion line gives this Japanese-language track from a long-running Korean act a European pastoral air — some burbling keys even push it towards prog during the bridge. More mundane is the strained emoting the pair reach for to push along what is ultimately rather leaden ballad.

Thomas Inskeep: This ain’t K-pop, it’s K-adult top 40, and the song itself could almost be Train with a (really, really annoying) accordion. I hated this the longer it played, and thanks to that accordion, I fairly hated it from the start. There’s also a flute.

Will Rivitz: “Wagon Wheel” as performed by Skillet and sung by Mason Ramsey.

Alfred Soto: This mix of Riverdance and award show balladry is weird, no question. The mixing of modes is hard to assimilate; the acoustic guitars and pizzicato come out of nowhere. It takes getting used to, but eventually “Road” starts looking narrow and easily traveled.

Juana Giaimo: The violins, accordion and flute aim to add a nostalgic and sweet tone, but this overproduced quality, along with the neat voices, make “Road” too artificial to transmit a genuine feeling. 

Anna Suiter: It’s not that TVXQ isn’t allowed to change, especially not at this point in their careers. But they’ve definitely gotten softer and more sentimental now that they’re back from the army, and older. The problem comes about when you still kind of yearn for simpler times, either before either Yunho or Changmin enlisted, or way back when TVXQ was five instead of two. It’s that you want the songs that are more bombastic or in your face, but you also have to accept that that’s not going to happen anymore, probably. So this is fine, but I can’t help but want something else.

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One Response to “TVXQ – Road”

  1. Geez, they came out with “Spellbound” in 2014 and had the extremely spiteful but wonderfully questionable “Keep Your Head Down” in 2011, but this is the first TVXQ! song TSJ covered? So sad.