This week we’ll be looking at TVXQ’s much awaited comeback, ‘Catch Me’.

 

Concept

The concept for this song and video seems to be cyber (there are many electric and robotic components), as not only is the song an electro-dance track but parts of the outfits worn in the video by TVXQ and the backing dancers look like metal structures. To be perfectly honest, the first thing that sprung to mind when I started to watch the video for the first time was ‘Tron’; everything is electrical and clean lines, and it straight away reminded me of video games and virtual reality. This cyber concept should be pretty universally popular as it relies heavily on visual appeal; this concept combines a compel-repel style dancing, a cool and slightly futuristic set of outfits, with a highly electronic track. All of these components put together create something visually amazing which, with the world being fascinated by fantasy and 3D films, should be something that many people can appreciate.

Everything in this concept ties together well with the song title; if you take the two member’s similar styling and the fast-paced and magnetic approach to the choreography, you almost get the sense that you can’t keep up. They are saying to catch them, but it’s difficult to keep up with who’s on the screen when they move so quickly and even look a little alike with their toned-down clothing and similar hairstyles.

As expected, this is a typical SM Entertainment-style video as it is set in a handful of locations which are all basically the same; fairly empty rooms with nothing but TVXQ and the dancers. There are always small differentiating factors, in this case there are rooms filled with huge speakers and floodlights, but it still looks very similar to most of their other videos in this sense. On the other hand, you can’t deny that the song matches such desolate surroundings; they are saying ‘Catch me if you wanna’ and, well, it makes sense that they are in a deserted place.

It is mostly simple monochromatic colours for the outfits, which again fits very well with the concept; too much emphasis on what they’re wearing by vivid colours could be too much with such a full on and intense sound. This relatively simple style will once again help this song to appeal to more people in this country because with more outrageous and extravagant clothing, it runs a risk of putting people off a video and not giving the song a chance.

UK Potential: 4.5/5

 

Choreography

The choreography for this song is genius and it utterly blew me away; it is intense, masculine and powerful. There are large amounts of amazing dance moves which are undoubtedly going to be iconic for this song.

After a few times of watching the video, I finally realised what I was seeing; everything that happened to one member happened to the other at the same time. You might have noticed what I mean, but if not then just look closely at Changmin and Yunho while they dance; at some points when it is Yunho’s part of the song, he will be free from the dancers while Changmin is restrained in some way. But then when it is Changmin’s part, Yunho is collected by the dancers while Changmin is released. At other points you will only see Changmin dancing at the front of the formation and you can just see Yunho behind him, then before you even realise the two rotate and Yunho is now at the front of the formation hiding Changmin from view. In some ways this dance is reminiscent of Fx’s ‘Electric Shock’, as they do the similar push-pull of members too. This kind of choreography just reinforces the electric concept as they seem to be moving like electric currents, and even like they’re controlled by magnetic forces. It’s like for every action one member makes, there is an opposite and equal reaction made by the other.

One of the most visually stunning aspects of the dance is when they make good use of the metal-looking structures that they have attached around their arms; they join together in such a way that makes it look like Changmin’s arm has robotically extended, as if he has suddenly become more powerful. There is also a point when Changmin is lying on the floor in front of Yunho and is quickly pushed up by a few of the dancers and it looks like he has risen up from the floor backwards by himself. (Again, if you watch Yunho at this point, he is pushed backwards to lay on the floor like Changmin was – an equal and opposite reaction)

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This routine also uses a style of move that I recognise from other SM Entertainment releases, such as SHINee’s ‘Sherlock’, which is the kind of dance moves where people are interlocked with each other. In ‘Sherlock’ the members have their hands on each other’s shoulders and moved fluidly in order, and in ‘Catch Me’, a similar thing happens. The members and the dancers stand in a line, and again making use of the metal arm structures connected alongside them, they move together in a rollercoaster motion as if they were one unit rather than eight or so people.

Even if people don’t like the song or are wary listening to a song in a foreign language, dancing is universal, and I think such powerful and visually awe-inspiring moves will appeal to a lot of people and leave a big impact. They may not be as easily replicated as moves in something like ‘Gangnam Style’, but I think they will definitely be memorable.

UK potential: 5/5

 

Song

As I mentioned before, this song is an electro-dance track, and it makes heavy use of voice modifiers and computerised noises to really give this track an edge. I often find when songs have auto-tune, voice modifiers or just a lot of manipulated sounds, they run the risk of sounding terrible and as if the members cannot sing, but ‘Catch Me’ manages to use all sorts of computerised techniques within the song and still sounds catchy, fresh and remarkable.

I was also a little surprised and then immensely pleased to hear a bit of dub-step laced throughout the song at certain points. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is possibly only the second or third K-pop song that I know of in which dub-step has been a component. This bodes well for ‘Catch Me’ if TVXQ were to try and release it here in the UK, because dub-step has quickly become a very popular genre of music in the past few years, which would help it appeal to more people.

I think this song actually has a very international feel to it, as the beat and melody sound as if they could have been made anywhere in the world. In my experience, this kind of electro-dance track tends to be fairly popular in a lot of places because these kinds of beats are something can be made and can found anywhere, and as such are non-exclusionary to most people who listen to them. You hear many dance tracks in music charts in many countries.

Despite the modifications made to their voices in post production to be in-keeping with the electronic sound of the song, Changmin’s signature screams are still present in this song. It helps give the song it’s uniquely TVXQ feel for fans, but at the same time will be something powerful for new listeners to hear.

I am happy to say that the English that I could hear that is used in this track is very understandable, and it is pretty much the same thing repeated fairly often, so non-Korean speaking people will be able to sing along easily. The English used is pretty much the title of the track and slight variations thereof, ‘Catch me’ and ‘Catch me if you wanna’.

UK Potential: 4.5/5

 

Highlight:- So much of this video is highlight worthy, but I especially loved at one point during the video when Yunho is standing in front of Changmin, they waggle a finger to the camera, as if taunting us because we can’t catch them. It was if they were playing a game that they were winning, and it really made me smile.

 

Overall UK Potential: 14/15 – This is definitely the highest score I have ever given a K-pop band with regards to their chance of succeeding in the UK with a song. ‘Catch Me’ is an electro-style song with dub-step breaks which would be highly appealing to a large portion of the younger British population, and it has similarities to American and British songs that do very well here in the UK. Of course, the language barrier is always going to put some people off the prospect of listening to ‘Catch Me’, but if we can take anything from ‘Gangnam Style’s overnight success, it’s that visual aesthetics and an amazing sounding song can appeal to just about anyone. In that regard, ‘Catch Me’ has all the makings of being popular in the UK.

Thanks for reading! Post your thoughts and votes for next week below!

Click here to check out TVXQ’s new album ‘Catch Me’ on YesAsia

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