Welcome to this edition of K-pop Throwback! On the 26th of December, TVXQ celebrated their 11th anniversary with their career still going strong, which is indeed no mean feat for a K-pop group. For Cassies, TVXQ’s anniversary always holds a bittersweet memory, since the boys have indeed experienced a tumultuous journey to get to where they are now. Even though the boys now coexist as TVXQ and JYJ, it’s comforting to see that all members still fondly look upon their days as five.
TVXQ is probably one of the best things SM has ever gifted to K-pop. Although the boys are currently flourishing with maturity and confidence, it’s mind-blowing to rewatch their debut MV, and marvel at how baby-faced all five of them were. Just take a look at Yunho‘s teeth, Jaejoong‘s hair, Yoochun‘s baby face, Changmin‘s innocence, Junsu‘s cheeks. Now, it’s all sculpted cheekbones and abs.
TVXQ made their debut on 26th December 2003 at a BoA and Britney Spears showcase, which will forever mark the day five angels descended from heaven and made all our lives a little more exciting. They performed “Hug” and an acapella rendition of “O Holy Night”, but only officially released the album in January 2004, although sales only picked up two months later. On 28th March 2004, TVXQ won their first music show award on Inkigayo. “Hug” eventually sold 100,000+ more copies and stayed charted for ten consecutive months.
TVXQ debuted at a time where idols weren’t the trend, and their ability to win a music show with their debut song is a huge testament to their popularity and the public’s recognition of their talent. And while the five members will always look back at “Hug” with embarrassment, it was undoubtedly a suitable song for them to be introduced as the friendly good-looking oppas next door.
The cheese in the song is formidable. With lines such as “Just for one day I would like to be the bed in your room” and “I want to become a page in the diary in your small drawer”, the lyrics alone are enough for your fingertips to curl up and for goosebumps to appear. But the humiliation doesn’t stop there, Changmin’s cat-kiss and Yunho’s toothy wink are literally some moments that they would want to erase from K-pop’s history forever.
The little dance break with fanchants are possibly some of my favourite portions of the song, and the five boys just have this amazing ability to make any song sound good. “Hug” has one of the simplest song structures with most straightforward dance moves in TVXQ’s history, but the five pretty boys made it work with their heavenly voices and stunning harmonization.
No doubt their cheese-filled debut song set fangirls’ hearts on fire, but there was no way that anyone could have predicted the unprecedented wave that they set throughout Asia. And to think that “Hug” was the one that started them off, boggles my mind all the more. TVXQ is this explosion of talent, visuals, vocals, and chemistry, that Lee Soo-man probably didn’t even expect them to take off to such heights.
It hurts to think that such an unpleasant split had to happen to this astoundingly talented group of five, who were first and foremost brothers. It’s still something to be thankful for, that they had five years to bless every single one of us with their talent as one phenomenal TVXQ. We all went through a time where Jaejoong cracked us up on variety shows, Junsu enamoured us with his husky voice, Yunho charmed us with his sick dance moves, and their teasing camaraderie and perfect chemistry made our cheeks hurt from smiling and squealing. Still, time passes and people change, and it seems that they are all somewhat content with were they are in life now.
With the the four hyungs pushing their thirties, it’s a sooner or later event for them to enter the military, and who knows, we might finally get a glimpse of 26-year old maknae Changmin singing:
Just for one day I would like to be your kitten
While staying in your soft bosom, enjoying the delicious milk you give
While I move around playing
I must have unknowingly felt jealousy inside your cute kisses
#11yearsWithTVXQ and here’s to many more.
(YouTube, Dailymotion, SM Entertainment, Instagram)