Jaejoong or Junsu?

Posted in Uncategorized by nanshi on August 23, 2008

…as vocalists…

Photobucket OR Photobucket

(( Sorry, I don’t feel like uploading new pics, and although I have a ton of Jae solo, I only have a few pervy Junsu shots ))

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I’ve written essays on this before on AF’s Jaejoong vs. Junsu thread, but I promised I would post about it here… so here I am. Posting about it. Here.

Jaejoong or Junsu?. This is a topic that has been well-debated and argued in [DBSK] fandom(s) and of course, the fans will have their biases. Overall, I’m madly in love with Jaejoong. I think he has a really great, funny, dorky, and adorable personality and the physical attritubes of the Greek Pantheon. But Junsu gets the prize for being the vocally best in my book.

Let’s break it down a bit, shall we…?

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Jaejoong: The “lead singer” of DBSK with the most overall vocal passages in the group. He’s usually the one that gets the loudest mic during the choruses, the most verses to sing, and a hefty good bit of vocalizations throughout the rest of the song. This is… well, easy to see because he has a great range and a versatile vocal ability. Jaejoong can’t sing rap, but he can do ballads, rock songs, dance-pop, and regular easygoing pop music. He also has a falsetto (which Junsu can’t boast) which is marvelous. Personally, though, I find Jae’s voice quite generic. It’s simple and soothing. It sells so well because of its simplicity. Not a lot of extra trills, not a lot to get used to. Just simple and soothing. It’s like a “mixing medium” for the rest of DBSK’s eccentric and unique voices. It blends all of the boys’ vocals together to make each one sound very good and beautiful. Balances out what would otherwise be “too much” in the other members. It’s not so much “I can’t imagine DBSK without Jaejoong,” but I genuinely think that DBSK would suffer quite a bit vocally with Jaejoong. His voice is perfectly “in the middle” of DBSK and that’s what makes his voice so perfectly suited for DBSK. The Chinese characters for Jaejoong’s name is ι‡‘εœ¨δΈ­ (Kim Jaejoong) and that directly translates (into English) as “Gold in [the] middle.”

Jaejoong is my favorite member (duh), so I can say this. His voice is just shocking in its simplicity. It sounds like any other R&B ballad crooner out there (give or take his breathing eccentricities), but I believe that’s what makes it spectacular. He is occasionally flat (although he has improved!) and I believe as a solo singer, he wouldn’t do quite too well. Eventually fans would get tired of his voice, maybe? Oh, and no. This isn’t a post-DBSK solo career; I’m talking about if Jaejoong were to have debuted solo from the very beginning. With the success that DBSK shares now, I believe that they would all succeed solo to an extent. Jaejoong’s voice is just very mellow. There’s no other way I can describe it. There is no interesting flair to it. Nothing that makes it marvelously exceptional. BUT, he sings well and he’s quite consistent. Oh, he has his moments… but he’s frequently in tune.


Junsu: Undoubtedly, in my book, DBSK’s star vocalist. I love Jaejoong to pieces, but in terms of sheer vocality, I think Junsu wins it. Because Junsu is ridiculously consistent. Junsu may not get the most verses, but who usually gets the bridge (usually the most vocally challenging point in a song)? Junsu. Who’s voice will really stand out onstage? Junsu. Who do I think has stronger vocals (like, literally, not actually a better voice, but who actually has physically better projection)? Junsu. Actually, that’s not quite true. I think Changmin has the most incredibly powerful voice and projection in DBSK (you can hear him EVERYTIME he sings), but he is also the least consistent, if you ask me. But I digress. Junsu has a large (large large large) range, but I’ve never heard him sing a falsetto. At least not a genuine falsetto (not that his voice just goes a little breathy). So Jaejoong wins that round. But, in terms of consistency, Junsu never lets me down. Well, he did once in a “Tonight” performance (which I giggled at), but that was it. He is a spectacular live singer. Live to the point where I remember there was one SM showcase (at an awards show) where “Timeless” was performed, and it was debated by fans across most boards that Jang Ri In lipsynched it, but Junsu sang it live. It was later proved that they both lipsynched, but that’s how accurate Junsu’s lives are. I beileve that sometimes his lives are even better than his recorded performances because of his stage charisma and presence (he was BoA’s co-trainee… so he learned from the best). Junsu has an incredible unique voice, and it might have to grow on you, but you can’t doubt that he is fantastic. Jaejoong will be the one to draw you in and be like “Ooo, they’re good…!” but Junsu’s voice will be the one that stays with you, I think.

Oh sure, his tonal quality may be a bit nasally, and I suppose his pitch may be considered weird, but those are all eccentricities that add to Junsu’s vocal ability, I would think. And unlike Changmin’s vocal eccentricities, Junsu has rarely shown any lacking in his vocal abilities. He doesn’t crack or waver (or sound like he’s about to crack or waver). Sure, he doesn’t have that deep soulful richness of Hwanhee from Fly to the Sky or Jinho from SG Wannabe… but he’s good at what he does. And he shines onstage.

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Final Word?
I think that Jaejoong and Junsu are on equal footing when it comes to vocal abilities. They were both trained by some of the best in the industry… so that has to speak for something, true? They have excessively different vocal qualities so it makes it hard to decide and — really — pointless to debate. You’ll have your preferences, and I’ll have mine. Jaejoong’s mellow and soothing tone or Junsu’s perfect power (if a bit pitchy). Neither of them have classically powerful voices (as to which many fangirls may kill me for saying), but they have very strong voices that have been coached by professionals and the best. Jaejoong’s voice is a touch generic because he practiced and coached it out of him. It’s quite similar to BoA’s dilemna, if you ask me. The diference is, Jaejoong actually used to suck as a singer. Hey! He said it. Not me.

One thing’s for sure though, DBSK needs both of them to be DBSK.


Disappointed that this was so short? Especially compared to how much I usually can write? Well, I must admit: DBSK has lost a lot bit of their appeal for me as of late (LOL, request me to write a post on Big Bang or SHINee) because of their lack of stellar vocal performances (grrr… SM should release a DVD of their SMTown concert) and disappointing singles. Maybe I’ll have some more inspiration once their 4th Korean album releases (which I promise to write a track-by-track review/play-by of, okay?

But anyways, want to read more? Even though these are different and my opinion has changed from these posts… I’ll repost what I wrote up on AF if you don’t want to go there and try to hunt down my posts.

” When it comes to appeal and preference, of course most people will say JaeJoong. His voice is what some have labeled, a “vocal orgasm.” It’s soothing, it’s sexy, it’s GENERIC. Sounds harsh, but it’s true. That’s why his voice is so appealing to everyone, because it’s a generic voice that is easily loved by everyone and it’s easier for the ears.
A unique and actually GOOD voice is hard to come across, a beautiful, but generic voice is easy to find.

End of essay.” – quoted from another AF user (Kayem)

Good thing we’re keeping this nice, right?


I agree with Kay. As much as I love JaeJoong (and yes, I do adore him to pieces) and think his voice is incredible… Xiah Junsu has that voice that really pushes him over the top and is really really REALLY special.

I’ve expounded upon this before, I think.

Anyways… JaeJoong definitely does have that generic voice. With a group such as TVXQ that has such unique voices (Yunho, Changmin, Xiah, and Micky both have incredibly unique voices) you need that one strong (and somewhat generic) voice to bring them back in and tie everything together. JaeJoong is the main vocal of TVXQ because his voice is so normal. It helps bring the focus back… I don’t think TVXQ could be any other way. Their songs are composed around JaeJoong’s impressive range (his falsetto makes me melt) because he provides the most balance in the group.

Xiah, on the other hand, has the technically stronger voice. Yes, it isn’t quite as soothing and mellow and can get a little pitchy (and dare I say whiny) sometimes.. but it is incredibly impressive for being so strong AND expansive… and mildly husky. It’s unique. It’s different and that’s what makes it so good. Plus, and this is an aside, I think Xiah brings a whole different level of ‘stage presence’ when he sings. It’s really the whole package with him. Even JaeJoong admitted (once) that he wanted Xiah to teach him how to ‘scrunch up his face’ because JaeJoong tends to always have a very cold expression on his face… no matter how warming the song may be.

But back to actual singing. It’s really a matter of personal preference. But I’ve always been more of a fan of unique voices rather than soothing, but good, generic voices. JaeJoong’s voice is a bit too generic and… well… maybe he’s a bit like me when I sing. For some AWKWARD reason… when I hit lower notes, even though I hit them perfectly, they aren’t loud and powerful. As I go higher up the scale, then my power starts to come out. JaeJoong’s like that, except he throws in vibrato which makes his voice sound a bit weak and vaguely uncontrolled. Xiah’s voice is just… unique. It’s not perfect (I don’t think JaeJoong’s is either), but being part of TVXQ, ALL of their voices complement each other perfectly and their songs just help enhance that fact.

Just a matter of personal preference, methinks.


You know you love me
xo xo
~ Gossip Girl

*runs away*
AH! What’s wrong with me?! It’s like my “Brangelina=Bedward (LOL), Shiloh=Renesmee” moment all over again


10 Responses to 'Jaejoong or Junsu?'

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  1. bell18 said,

    ^_^ Yay! I was looking forward to your posts about DBSK! I know what you mean about DBSK losing their appeal to you…I love them a lot, but I agree that they should be given better songs to sing. For instance, some of their japanese songs, while good, don’t really exploit what they could do vocal wise. I dunno why they go all nasal when they sing in japanese…argh ( I guess it’s to fit the J-POP style better? ). Sometimes they also sing in high pitched tones way too often when they all have really nice low voices ( Yunho really should switch to his low voice instead of trying to sound nasal..XD)

    Jaejoong or Junsu…I have wondered about that too before and again I must say I agree with you completely. Jaejoong is good because he can sing in different styles ( I do think his voice is special though), but Junsu is truly incredible onstage. He hardly makes mistakes, he doesn’t lose his breath…he is 98.999% perfect! Heheh ^^ Jaejoong on the other hand, by watching their concerts I notice that the quality of his voice kinda lowers as he gets tired ( but that’s understandable ^^ ).

    I will look forward to the other upcoming DBSK post in your list XD I love the way you write ( hehe ^^). It’s nice to read insightful analysis of the artists you love instead of gossip, right?

    Don’t lose your love for DBSK, they are nice lads! But you know that already, I’m sure ^_-

  2. mochiicecream said,

    Wow! You actually wrote this post. I seriously thought your recent lack of interest in the fandom meant no more posts about DBSK. Haha. Anyways, I can’t say I’m not sad you’ve lost interest, but I’m sure it’s bound to happen to everyone..sigh.

    Anyways, back to the topic…I agree with you for the most part. Jae has the versatility, but Junsu is without a doubt Mr. All-Around-Performer. My brain can’t really function right now, so I’m just gonna comment on something way out from left field. Ever heard of Passion? Because I find his vocal tone similar to Jae’s in that it’s extremely pleasing to the ear. But while Jae does sound flat at times, Passion really knows how to bring out emotion. It’s like…Jae’s voice + Su’s emotions = Passion. Okay, maybe not as passionate as Junsu, but Passion’s not really a belter. Haha. Okay, I’ll end my random comment.

    Oh, and I hope you write that other DBSK post about their “true personalities” because that seems like a super interesting read. And I hope your love for DBSK will be revamped by their 4th jib. On a side note, I actually really like Shinee also. The only song I like from Big Bang is “Always” but besides that fact, their songs lack variety. They all tend to sound the same…

    Check out Passion, if you haven’t already!

  3. nanshi said,

    Bell18: But I love the gossip. LOL. Actually, I don’t consider those sites gossip. More like satire (like SNL, MadTV, Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, etc)… so I find it really witty and loads of fun.! I hope people don’t get me wrong though. I think Jaejoong is a marvelously talented singer. I mean his tonal quality is very smooth and doesn’t sound rough or unpolished or amateurish or forced… but it’s just very simple. Simple and sweet. His voice IS special, but not as … “special” as the rest of DBSK? It’s hard to articulate what I think when it comes to Jae’s voice. It’s a great great voice, but he wavers technically about…90% of the time, whereas Junsu is always RIGHT THERE… every time. LOL. Although, personally, I think it would be more enchanting to be serenaded by Jae than Junsu? Junsu’s voice can get a little pitchy or whiny sometimes. Jae’s low and smooth voice is a bit… sexier? Junsu’s overall stage charisma, appeal, and performance is DURN SMEXY, but Jaejoong’s voice quality itself is a lot lower and smoother and deeper. To say nothing of Micky (swoons).

    mochiicecream: I’m a little disappointed in myself too. If you keep up with Pretty Boy Power, it’s kidna like spazzes and how she could never have the patience to be a dedicated stalker. She was only standing outside the SM building for about 20min, and then was like, “Oops. No boys, okay bye” and all the Korean fangirl-stalkers are like “WAAAT?! You’ve only been here for a few minutes!” I’m like that, I guess? I got into DBSK for their singing (honest), and their looks and personality kept me in. But now that their looks and personality aren’t doing anything (like are they appearing on any Japanese shows too? nope)… and their singing is less-than-stellar… I’m veering off into other groups that CAN offer me what I’m looking for. I’m nowhere NEAR as into Big Bang (even though it might seem that way) as I am/was into DBSK, though… if that makes you feel better. I have the strong feeling that DBSK’s heavily preparing for their 4th album and Korean comeback, and that’s why they’re not really doing anything right now (in Korea OR Japan, even though I think they’ve been in Korea since around the Korean SMTown Live concert). I hope they blow me away. Which I’m sure they will. I’m already CRAZY anticipating “Love in the Ice” in Korean… which will probably be even MORE intense than the Japanese rendition. <33.

    LOL. I’ll be sure to check out Passion…!

    ((Trust me: I was very VERY spazzy when I was writing up my post too. I actually have a very incomplete and unfinished draft of DBSK’s true personalities floating around in my WordPress drafts page. I just felt like I had to get SOMETHING out there. Plus, it was easy because I had my AF post to fall back on. DBSK’s True Personalities post will be a nanshi-original. Not posted anywhere else. LOL))

  4. bleaghh said,

    Hi there! I just wanted to say that I agree with everything you wrote. I personally think in DBSK, Jaejoong has the best voice but Junsu is the best singer. =)

  5. nanshi said,

    bleaghh (LOL cute nickname!)… that is SUCH a good way of putting it. It distinction is slight and subtle (and something I would totally say if my brain wasn’t on permanent freeze these days)… but totally there and EXACTLY right…! Sheesh. You’re better at articulating what *I* want to say. LOL. ^.^VV

  6. azalia92 said,

    I just read this now, so late, haha. Anyway, I really agree with you at the personal preference part.
    I have a friend who admits that Junsu sings great but she doesn’t really like it because she thinks his voice is too high.
    She likes singers with deep voices better.
    So yes, they both sing really really great, but everything’s back to someone’s personal taste.

    Imo, Junsu is a better singer because of everything you have mentioned above. And also, I think the length of his training matters a lot. He trained the longest in DBSK right?
    His voice is also more distinct that Jaejoong’s. I could recognize his voice like any day. While as Jaejoong’s, well I got it wrong few times ^^
    And yes, he never disappointed people when he sings live.
    He just nails it. Like every time. And you could totally see that he really puts his heart out there, he really feels the songs that he sings, that even by not knowing the meaning of the song, I could feel the sadness, the heartache of the song. And it’s beautiful. Not to mention, he also raps.

    But no matter what, I still like Jaejoong’s voice better. It’s more soothing, just as you said, and I like that type of voice better. So again, it really depends on the person.

    But of course, it works out so much better when they complement each other. It’s like, sheer beauty πŸ™‚

    Oh, has their appeal come back to you? Seeing the shot for the new album made me smile so wide in excitement. I can’t wait >.<

  7. jedi_baby said,

    LOL. i’m replying to this really very late. almost a year late. but i agree with practically everything you said. i probably haven’t listened to enough music to say that Jaejoong’s voice is generic though. haha.

    i do want your opinion on something though. have you noticed that ever since DBSK has gone over to Japan, Jaejoong’s voice has gotten a lot weaker and nasally? i remember in an interview, he said that he’s been working on singing like this. but i don’t see why. I really miss his old singing style/voice back in first album when his singing was a lot stronger.

  8. nanshi said,

    jedi_baby: Jaejoong’s voice isn’t “generic” as it “sounds like everyone else;” it’s generic in the sense that it is very…trained rather than having an extremely unique tone & timber that naturally talented vocal artists have (ie: Junsu, Charice Pempengo, Josh Groban, Celine Dion, etc… just to name a few other contemporary/pop artists).

    Jpop (Japanese pop music) has a rather distinct preference for their musical artists. And in essence, they like those nasally throat voices (not necessarily weaker, but definitely has a nasal tone to it). He’s probably working on it because Avex’s vocal coaches are experimenting in this direction and I can see Jae — in all his quirky self — wanting to experiment in this direction as well. He is clearly the most accomplished rock singer of the group — is that a natural gift or preference for him? I believe it’s the latter. Since Jaejoong is primarily the main singer (people can say all they want, but I totally believe that he is still the main singer) because his range unifies Yunho & Yoochun’s lows with Changin & Junsu’s highs and he’s been practicing stretching his range (along with Yoochun) the most. I think when you start to sing higher, especially as a male, your voice does get thinner and reedier and while not “weak,” it certainly can be perceived as such.

    I’m not exactly enjoying the direction that DBSK has gone in — vocally — lately, but I can’t deny the results. They are producing some really incredible singles on their albums and their overall live performances are a world away from what they used to do (no joke).

    What I’d, personally, really really really REALLY love to see is DBSK sing their old singles (My Little Princess, Whatever They Say, The Way U Are, Rising Sun, etc) NOW instead of just using whatever-is-most-recent. I think that would be marvelous and the REAL benchmark of how much they improved.

  9. JENNY said,

    i think they both have incredible voices, and i agree Jaejoong has a wider range, but i like Junsu more because his voice is so unique, love his vibrato, barely makes mistakes, his lives sound better and filled with such emotion everytime~ I especially love it when he raises his head to protude his voice and esposes those sexy veins on his neck<3

  10. Christine said,

    I agree. I must say DBSK creeped me out at first; they had some creepy outfits and hair styles in Triangle. However, after hearing Junsu and Jang Ri In’s Timeless, it got me interested in Junsu. And I love Junsu’s voice. He just sounds awesome live, kinda like a JJ Lin (Taiwanese singer who’s incredible live). I melted when he sang Tim’s Saranghamnida “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsKfSrDSNK8”. There is just that uniqueness.

    I actually started liking DBSK when their 4th album came out. A lot of the songs suited what I like to listen to, like You’re My Melody and Afterglow. My sister got me into listening to Junsu’s Rainy Night and Jaejoong’s Footstep. And both are vocally great even if Jaejoong sounds generic. But the thing is…it’s the music that attracts me; more than ANYTHING. If the song is good, and the voice is decent albeit generic, I’ll still play the song on repeat. Voice is secondary. πŸ˜€

    Another analogy = Kara’s Mister. I was not really a fan of the song itself and only liked the “la la la la la la” at the beginning. It doesn’t even have much to do with the vocals although Kara’s are not that strong. After I saw the performance with both song AND dance, I grew to like watching & listening to Mister. The dance was really good and totally matched the beat of the music and everything. So I think a generic voice is not a bad thing because entertainment seekers probably look at the WHOLE package.

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