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Kim Jaejoong Is Back With “WWW”, An Emotionally Complex Album Reflecting His Musical Evolution [REVIEW]

By Adrienne Stanley | October 30, 2013 02:00 AM EDT


In many ways, WWW plays like a post break-up album. There is a sense of raw energy that is generally relegated to artists whom have undergone messy public split ups. In such cases, those who were once avid fans, either turn away from the performer or become more fervent in their support. The emotional angst contained within Kim Jaejoong's solo release WWW is not only a testimony to his growth as an artist, but also reflects the aftermath of the transition from TVXQ front man to JYJ.

Prior to 2013, Kim Jaejoong was known as a pop artist who appeared to be in the midst of a musical identity crisis. While fellow JYJ member Junsu continued to embrace pop, hip-hop, and electronic music, Jaejoong exuded less confidence within the genres. As an artist who was no longer contained within a very formulaic system, Kim Jaejoong could either reinvent himself or flounder. In January 2013, Jaejoong firmly established that he would be making a strong return to music, however, it would be as a K-Rock performer. The release of "Mine" marked the return of the artist's confidence and served as a catalyst for his artistic brilliance.

With the release of the 13 song album WWW, Jaejoong provides both audiences and the industry with a full album which could serve to revolutionize Korean pop music. K-Rock as a genre remains on the fringes of the Korean music market, with pop music dominating the charts. Outliers such as CNBlue, FTIsland, and Busker Busker maintain the ability to stay within popular culture, but often see more popularity amongst Japanese audiences. WWW could help to change that trend.

One of the standout gems within the album is the song "Paradise", in which Jaejoong vocally endears himself to audiences with tender and sensual refrains. "Modem Beat" is a rowdy, rock anthem which serves in stark contrast to "Paradise," but which establishes the instrumentals present throughout most of the album. "Shiny Day" which features Noel's Lee Sang Gon plays like an original soundtrack song, so much so that the song would be perfect as the next music video release.

"Don't Walk Away" which features rap vocals by BEAST's Junhyung has classical instrumentals and an very upbeat tempo. In contrast, the guitar riffs and transitions on "Butterfly" help to solidify Jaejoong's leap to rock star status. The same can also be said for "Just Another Girl" and "Light", which are both incredibly engaging songs, in terms of the background instrumentals and Jaejoong's vocals.

In addition to being a vocalist, Jaejoong is a composer and lyricist, which is strongly represented on WWW. Tracks like "Rottten Love" clearly reflect Jaejoong's influence. Overall, WWW is worth both listening to and purchasing. The album reflects the culmination of Jaejoong's struggle over the years to find himself in the world of K-Pop. After his journey, it is obvious that he is most comfortable not necessarily in the realm of strict K-Pop, but one that incorporates heavy rock influences and could become a genre onto itself.

Tagged :  JYJ, Jaejoong, WWW


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