When I first started to explore TVXQ, I kept coming across information that the group performed quite a bit a cappella-style in its early days. It is interesting that the word itself, an Italian word, means “in the manner of the church” or “in the manner of a chapel.” You know, sacred music. Music that is generally unaccompanied by any musical instruments. The only instrument used is the voice. For a pop band to come blazing out singing without instruments is pretty ballsy. But someone knew what they were doing because TVXQ takes you to church with this song.
In the pop world today, and specifically here in the US, I think you would be hard-pressed to find a singer or group that could go au naturel. In this day and age of auto tune and the likes, many singers have to rely on electronic cosmetics to make the finished product listenable. I know there are many excellent singers out there, Josh Groban, for example, that could sing without musical accompaniment. But these true vocal phenoms are few and far between.
Then there are Yunho, Changmin, Jaejoong, Yoochun and Junsu, five beautifully tuned musical instruments. When I listen to Whatever They Say, I am once again reminded why there are so many of us out here in fanland who would sell our first borns to see these 5 amazing singers reunite and regale us once again with their incredible and synergistic vocals. When Jaejoong hits those high notes at around the 2:44 mark in this one, it sends chills down my spine. Each one of their voices has an intonation and mellifluous quality all of its own and this song showcases each one of them beautifully individually, and when together, magnificently. So very, very lovely.