Why Did I Fall In Love With You?
Something I’ve noticed during my stint in various fandoms is that people are loyal. If they obsessively like something, then they will support anything related to it, no matter how distantly related it is. For example, when the music of ORANGE RANGE’s KIRIKIRIMAI was used in the Fantastic Four movie’s motorbike stunt scene, there was a huge buzz. Never mind that not a second of the vocals showed up, or that it wouldn’t be on the soundtrack. It was in the movie! People went to watch the movie for that reason alone!
Not me. I don’t have the attention span to stick with fandoms to the point of micromanagement. You see, somehow, over the course of the two weeks in which I kept the Music Station episode on which both Arashi and Tohoshinki/DBSK/”SCREW THIS NAMING SCHEME, SM, I GIVE UP” appeared to promote and perform their latest singles, I ended up becoming a definite fan of the latter. There are dreams, there is the knowing of songs without really looking up the lyrics (and this is really harder because the Tohorangers still have accents, and I only listen to their Japanese releases of yet), and there is the looking up of variety appearances.
Honestly, I only have the attention span for one #-member boyband at a time. The instant I became a fan of V6, any consideration for NEWS was immediately shoved out of my head – KAT-TUN was never in the running. Kanjani8 used to not get any love because NEWS was also formerly 8 members, and they still don’t because AAA now also has 7 members. Tackey & Tsubasa don’t have a chance against KinKi, and while I tried to get into SMAP and TOKIO a lot more than I currently am – which is still saying something – they never could surpass Arashi. (Luckily for w-inds., there are few, if any other, 3-member boybands in Japan.) But somehow, the Tohorangers (perhaps due in part to my nicknaming them the “Tohorangers”) are edging their way in there.
And so it is only appropriate that the single I next review is their 23rd, どうして君を好きになってしまったんだろう? [Doushite Kimi wo Suki ni Natte Shimattan darou?] At least they were kind enough to provide a song to help explain my feelings.
Doushite, for the sake of brevity, is a sweet ballad with a beautiful instrumental. As a person who hates slow songs, this surprisingly grabbed at me immediately, and I’m not sure what I noticed first. There is the music, light guitar with a drum/snap beat and some electric transitions, led by a harp. It sounds like a odd combination, but it’s a pretty bare-bones track that could by the technical definition be shuffled into the R&B genre, and here it is the simplicity that works. There are the vocals, passionate and led by Jaejoong (of course the girl would be the most emotional about a love song). While his vocals comes off a bit strong against the simple backing at times, there’s a good use of harmony and the rest of the Tohorangers adopt a lighter touch with their own vocals… Okay, I lie. Junsu and Yoochun are always breathy, Yunho’s kind of high for someone who’s labeled as being a bass/baritone of the group, and Changmin’s sort of whiny when he’s not screaming his lungs out. So there’s not much of a difference. But what sounds bad in theory, once again, turns out to be an excellent final result.
And of course, the subject matter. The title is literally “Why did I fall in love with you?”, and the song tells the story of an unrequited love because the significant other “chose a different path.” We now get several minutes of “coulda shoulda woulda,” a few seconds of “but dammit I didn’t,” and by the end of the short song (a length of 3 minutes and 20 seconds, and always sending be scrambling for the Back button), the singer has given himself to the idea that his lover will no longer be there, and wishes them happiness in their life.
Me? “Why did I fall in love with you, Tohorangers? You’re Korean and I’m focusing on my Japanese! I could’ve paid attention to you sooner when everyone in the wFL fandom started trickling towards either Johnny’s or Korean boybands. I should’ve probably never listened to this song. I would’ve been able to keep you forever in my mind as the boyband for the more danceable songs and left it at that. But dammit, I didn’t and now I’m actually paying attention to you as idols! …and you’re doing another ONE PIECE song too. I AM NOT HAPPY. Or at least my wallet isn’t.” And that is your summary of the song lyrics the way I hear it.
The song was originally written and composed by Lambsey, and so that duo will be covering it themselves this year. Clips of it can be heard on their site – but to be honest, it just isn’t the same. The music is different. The vocals lack the girl. The lyrics… okay, the lyrics are the same. But because I heard this first, it’s become the definitive version for me, and it makes me rather sad because I figure any group who wrote a ballad I could fall in love with on first listen deserves a better shot. I guess the credit has to go to the Swedish arrangers once more.
Box in the ship, the B-side, is more suited to those of you wanting fun pop. Island mood meets boyband pop, in fact. Perhaps the easier way to describe it would be to call it a laid-back SAYAENDOU. Unfortunately, it’s not as catchy or inspiring, and merely serves its role as a theme song for some island-themed ride in Universal Studios Japan. That’s not to say it’s a bad song, but it could’ve been much better.
So, DBSK fans, make room, another one’s joining the crew. And I’m still not entirely sure why.
(By the way, guys, sorry to say, but this isn’t an April Fool’s joke.)