I just realized that I'm not used to writing new single reviews of my favorite boyband - mainly because the last time Westlife had a new single out during the time I was addicted was when I was still a pirate blogger and this is the first DBSK single release I saw as a fan. WOOHOO! LOL. Read on for the review.
A 3-minute preview is out (has been since yesterday), almost the whole thing but not quite, and I remember when I first heard it my jaw dropped. It's enough for a review though - since it stops at the beginning of the last chorus and unless this song is really super out of the box structurally (which I don't think it is), the last chorus is the same as all the other choruses with adlibs all over the place. Even if I wish they'd do the impossible and release some Korean material, this is just brilliance.
You'd think that Break Out is a complete 360 for them as a band musically but it's not - I saw this coming for quite a long time now, especially with Survivor. Their musical identity slowly began shifting from the T era to the Secret Code era but it's only now that we hear the obvious change. The Japanese music industry is much, much more sophisticated and complicated than it's Korean counterpart and it has a deeper value on musical styles and artistic growth - from what I see to hit in Japan you either have to be a good musician or know extremely good musicians who will stick with you and really make your entire sound. DBSK and SM are smart enough to know that you can't treat Japan like Korea because of that, which is why the band are signed to Rhythm Zone under Avex. Smart SM, smart - I wonder why you can't do it for the US.
With the little I know about Japanese music (please don't kill me if I get this wrong) courtesy of DBSK and my best friend, I've come to a conclusion that once you've established yourself in Japan you have to find a niche and stay there for the rest of your very long career filled with Oricon chart-toppers. Like Ayumi Hamasaki or Namie Amuro or NewS or uh... Exile?, they all have certain styles that only they are known for but even they're constantly changing within the constraints of their sounds. I think that's what they're after with this single - they need to start moving towards a signature style in Japan and stop sounding like just another boyband because they're not just another boyband anymore.
Break Out is pop, but it's got very techno/rock elements that scream Japanese - this works in Japan but may or may not work in Korea or the rest of the world. I don't think the melody is the one carrying this song, actually, it's the loop and the instrumental. That's why Japanese music always makes RedOne and the Brave Brothers the most boring thing since anything - the instrumentals are just so brilliant and I wanna strangle someone. The chorus MAKES the song and the "I can't break no more, baby we keep the faith eternally" (I believe it's sung by Yoochun) is really the part you remember. The middle 8 is swoon-worthy, I just wish Jaejoong was the one who sang it.
The first time I heard this song it was literally ringing in my head for hours. It's not the type of repetitive songs like Sorry Sorry or Nobody that are annoying and all because the melody of the entire chorus sticks to your head - not just a part. Whoever wrote this deserves to be put on a pedestal.
The vocals on the song are DBSK through and through - they're not obviously processed during the chorus (thankfully) and during the chorus it's what the melody calls for so it's an apt obvious processing. Tasteful, the way it should be. And may I just say that Changmin's vocals sound GREAT processed but unlike a lot of other people who sound great processed, he can carry his voice without it. Yay!
And the cover - can I just say that one, Jaejoong's looking brilliant, two, I can't believe Changmin's all grown-up (LOL) and three, I LOVE Yoochun's new hair. Hahah!