Sometimes I ask myself if loving Yoochun has made me blind or deaf. Am I now seeing him through rose-tinted glasses or am I still being true and honest with myself, and in how I see him? Am I still how a Chunsa should be, someone who is not blind to his imperfections? Or have I become a fan who would blindly shout that he is the best actor, he is the best singer, he is the most handsome; he should be No. 1; and this, to the exclusion of everything and everyone else, to hell with common sense and logic? I truly hope not. I hope I am still a sane fan, although one might not think so after reading this account. 😛
A few hours before Yoochun’s first solo mini album was released I was busy deciphering a tutorial on how to register and have an account on Melon. A very kind Chunsa, our very own “Karma Girl,” was guiding me through the entire process. [Thank you, Dongsaengest, for your patience in helping your Unniest, whose knowledge about these things is a whopping nothing!] All Chunsas who had Twitter account were out of their caves, waiting for midnight. A Chunsa said it felt “like New Year’s Eve countdown where people wait for the clock to strike at 12.” Indeed, it felt like that! Excitement and nervousness were felt in Chunsaland. The dreamed of solo album, Yoochun’s voice, unaccompanied by his brothers’ voices, was just a few minutes away from our ears. I can imagine every Chunsa’s heart racing. Some even had their earphones already plugged to their ears and fingers at the ready to tap the right keys. That was how ready we were at Chunsaland.
I was ready, too. My heart was racing, but I was trying to control it. Mind over matter. I had a plan. I was not going to watch the MV. I would just play the song and listen to Yoochun’s voice with closed eyes. I was not going to look at his face. I wanted everything in me to focus on his voice alone. I didn’t want his face or the story of the MV to color my first experience of this most anticipated song. And I wanted to make an honest and objective opinion, I wanted to critique his voice, even if only to myself.
Hearing the first line, I had goose bumps on my nape and my ears, as if someone was behind me and I could feel the whisper of a breeze touch my skin. A few lines into the song, the goose bumps were all over my body. Then I was shaking. I was shaking real bad. My teeth were practically chattering, for crying out loud! Heavens, what was the matter with me! When he reached the first high part of the song I started crying. I sobbed, as if I was in pain. My mind was like a kaleidoscope of everything I have learned about Yoochun from the very first time I saw him. I was thinking of that skinny kid crying in front of his fans, and that 30 year-old man crying in front of his fans and what he went through in between. I wanted so much to hug him and tell him “Baby, you did it, you did it!” And he did, in more ways than one!
After the song ended, I just quietly lay down and contemplated what just happened. Have I gone completely mad for a few minutes? I felt as if my heart got lodged somewhere down my solar plexus. I told a Chunsa friend what happened, that I went totally and completely insane for a while. She laughed and said, “You are in love lah!” Aiyoo, I am so not! I LOVE Yoochun, but I am not in love with him. Too old for that! LOL! What was it I said? I was going to form an objective opinion? “Objective” sailed out the window the moment Yoochun sang the first line. Objectivity means forming an opinion uninfluenced by one’s emotions, right? But how can I be objective about this when the rawness of his voice zeroed in on my deepest emotions? So I am left with ‘honest’. I guess what I’m going to say from here on in will just be gibberish of a fangirl, but nonetheless, it is an honest gibberish. It wouldn’t make sense to others, but a Chunsa will understand.
What was it about this song that generated such an overkill reaction from my mind and body? Was it the music? Partly, yes. Was it the voice? Oh yes! That timbre in his voice that conveys raw sadness and sincerity reached out to my deepest being. It was just so beautiful that I couldn’t handle it like a normal/cool/sane human being. I don’t know what to call Yoochun’s voice. I’m not musically learned. I don’t know anything about singing voices. Vocal techniques are beyond me. But I have ears, I have a heart, I have a soul. Aren’t those enough though? Wouldn’t my ears know if a sound is pleasant to them or not? Wouldn’t my heart know if it’s being touched by the sound of a voice? Will my soul budge from where it snugly is by the force of just any sound? I think not. But it still stands; I know nothing about music, I don’t know its language. I’m saying all these as a form of a disclaimer (or a warning maybe?) before I go further.
Can we call Yoochun’s voice soulful? Can it be considered that? I don’t know what to call it if its’ not soulful. It touches our raw emotions, you can feel the deep sadness and anguish but it’s not a crying voice. I don’t hear it crying; I just feel its cry. (I am the one crying!) But it doesn’t do “too much,’ it doesn’t whine, it doesn’t grate. It is tender and velvety, at times like honey down my throat, or a soft, cool breeze touching my skin, at other times like a subtle force reaching out to my soul, pulling at my soul! His high notes in Bolero did that to me. The first time I heard it I had to clutch at my chest for fear of my soul sailing out the window! Now, he did it again with this song. I don’t know why his high notes do that to me. I know it sounds fantastical, but what can I do? It is how it is. His raw voice, blending with the gentle guitar and piano sound, and the building up and climactic sound of the drums and those other instruments I don’t’ even know the names of, punctuating Yoochun’s soulful voice, is just perfect. I don’t know any other way to describe it. IT IS PERFECT!
It took me three days to finally listen properly to the other songs, because I couldn’t move on from the experience of the Wallet song. But EVERYTHING is just so beautiful! The piano piece by Yuhki Kuramoto is going to be my ringtone. While listening to it, the fresh-faced Yoochun of more than ten years ago comes to mind. It gives me the feeling of reminiscing a happy past, tinged with melancholy. I don’t know if this melancholy is the effect of the other songs. I am very curious what the notable pianist and composer thinks of our Yoochun. An article said it’s the first time he gave his own composition to another artist. And he gave it to our Yoochun! I wish we knew how it came about. And Until the Last Album will be my text tone! I love Until The Last Album, not only because it’s for us, but also because it’s truly beautiful. It sounds crisp and refreshing to my ears. It makes me wanna go boat-sailing haha! Yozoh’s sweet voice compliments Yoochun’s sexy voice. I was on the road yesterday afternoon when I listened properly to Unwound Heart. I think the driver got a bit startled with my mild expletive haha! I was like “Darn it!!! Why is everything in this album so beautiful?!” Unwound Heart is wounding my quivering heart! The gentleness of Yoochun’s voice accompanied by that sweet, fluttering melody is a test to one’s composure. And of course we can’t forget our old friend and companion for almost three years, Walking With Her in Spring. I feel sentimental towards this song. It’s the one that got us through the long wait, from Spring, to Summer, to Autumn, to Winter and back to Spring several times over. Who wants to be the “Her” in this Spring song? 😀
This album is a MINI, but it more than fills the heart of a Chunsa.
The wallet-style CD Jacket: Don’t you think this is Yoochun? It is just a simple brown wallet-like, folded card with no frills, no fuss, no unnecessary trimmings. Just like the man himself. It’s not ostentatious; it’s not extravagant. But the inside is full of love, sincerity and honesty. That simple brown thing contains a treasure, a diamond. It is Park Yoochun!
Uri Yoochun-ah, we are extremely happy and touched with this gift, please accept our heartfelt gratitude.
Until the next album, my love.
(Pic. credit to CJes/owner)