JYJ’s Vocal Analysis: Jaejoong [Newly Updated]

Vocal Range

A2 ~ D6 (3 octaves, 2 notes and 1 semitone)
(Might be able to go lower)

Supported Range

D3 ~ G4/G#4

Voice Type

Tenor

Strengths/Achievements

  • Able to support and connect his phrases well
  • Has been able to show good vocal placement and resonance
  • Notes down to D3’s are generally supported and project well
  • Notes down to A2 at times have cord connection and can be heard
  • Able to switch into falsetto and head voice smoothly without breaking his voice
  • Good dynamic control and generally able to sing softly with nice support
  • Possesses a wide vocal range, able to mix up to F#5 and falsetto up to D6
  • Able to control his mix dynamically and smoothly, in terms of volume and balance between head and chest voice, good at blending in harmony
  • Knows himself as a vocalist in terms of what genre he can sing well comfortably
  • Generally stable intonation
  • Nasality has been minimized in his singing

Points for Improvement

  • Notes above G#4 are often strained, whiny with a high larynx
  • Can get breathy and overly quiet, losing support below D3
  • Nasality can still be present in his singing without being controlled very well
  • Larynx at times isn’t stable in his supported range or during resonant supported notes, bringing tension
  • Throatiness can be quite often present
  • Although able to use a heady mix or a balanced mix, often tries to push with a chesty unbalanced mix when attempting notes above his supported range
  • Vocal runs lack connection between notes and are musically not well placed
  • Vocal placement isn’t always consistent keeping him from projecting and creating a full sound often
  • May present difficulty when songs have key modulations, may go off key/get pitchy, key center may be lost
  • Does not know himself when it comes to what range he’s best suited for
  • Vibrato may cause tension in his throat

Registers

  • Lower register: his low range is generally connected in terms of vocal cords. It doesn’t retain too much weight and stays generally projected down to D3. Notes below D3 start sounding less stable in projection, cord connection and often get slightly airy and quiet.
  • Mixed register: his mixed register improved over time, whereas he used to be more pushed and nasal, he’s able to find a better balance between chest and head and able to project through his mask and chest. Usually able to control his mixing quite well and stay generally relaxed and in tune in his supported range, only at times creating a rockier distorted sound by choice. Notes above G#4 however always have a high raised larynx, where he isn’t able to balance his mix nor choose where his stylistic choices come in anymore, straining anywhere above.
  • Upper register: his falsetto was more of an explored register when he was a member of TVXQ!, after the disbandment, in JYJ and in his solo career he tends to choose rockier songs or lower ballads. Before he used to use it more and was able to keep a relaxed sound up until D5/Eb5 but above would become too throaty and tense.

Agility

Jaejoong’s voice possesses a light quality to it. He’s able to go through runs and stay in his voice well, with a stable breath mostly. However so his runs are rather messy and sloppy in terms of note connection and separation, sliding through his runs they usually sound rather unbalanced and are not musically suited. One example would be his high melismas and adlibs done in “Tonight”, where note precision isn’t present and his sound is mostly very unbalanced and not musically appropriate. However so, Jaejoong’s vocal style and favorite music genre lean more toward a rockier sound, explaining why more recently he’d stay from trying to do runs and melismas he doesn’t wish or isn’t able to do, due to him being a rock singer rather than an R&B embellisher.

Overall analysis

Jaejoong, former TVXQ! main vocalist, current solo singer and JYJ member is one of Korea’s most famous singers due to the recognition and fame he gained throughout the years of his careers as a TVXQ! member, as well as his solo career and his years as part of JYJ. As such, he’s very respected and regarded very highly amongst fans and the general public. His voice is one that’s very light, angelic and unique, possessing a very clean quality of sound and being rather feminine at times with a soft androgynous quality. He’s a somewhat versatile vocalist when it comes to his own song choices, staying in a genres and styles he’s more confident and capable of singing. He’s found more musical freedom and was able to explore himself as an artist and as a vocalist more after the disbandment.

His voice is that of a lyric tenor, generally feeling more comfortable on the third and fourth octave up to the beginning of the fifth octave on the piano. His lower range is one that’s slightly more developed than the average tenor vocalist would have, being able to comfortably project and have a fuller tone down to D3 and at times slightly lower. Usually though, his range below D3 starts becoming unstable and he starts losing cord connection when he reaches notes like C#3 and lower. He’s been able to produce fuller and audible A2’s, such as in “Now is Good”, however so they still lack stability and cord connection, being more airy than necessary and not showing true breath support. He’s generally able to project his range however and support D3’s and above decently. His chest voice isn’t too developed, retaining a lighter tone throughout his range.

His mixed range is one that’s very well controlled in terms of balance between mix and chest, showing that he’s able to softly sing up until F#4/G4 with a light soft mix without losing his support, pitch and tone production. He’s able to fully control his dynamics in that given range where he’s comfortable singing in. He’s also able to make it fuller, adding more chest resonance and more muscle coordination control to create a resonant sound found in his voice, more recently than earlier in his career, often within his mixed range up until F#4’s, G4’s and occasionally G#4, where he’s still able to at times keep a supported sound. Although able to keep a supported sound up until G#4, at times Jaejoong will let the resonance be brought back inside his throat, producing shallower tones and sacrificing projection for a rockier edge in sound. That often happens while a resonant note is being sustained, where the sound will suddenly tense up, often caused by a throaty vibrato. Examples of resonance happen in studio on G4 in “One Kiss“, and some lives of “Love In The Ice” on F#4’s and occasionally G#4, and his recent performances of “I Have Nothing” on C#4’s, F4’s, F#4’s and G4’s. Also A4’s in the performance of “One Kiss” were impressively improved, with good placement even if pushed with the throat, although lacking consistency in this register, this performance shows an impressive improvement in that range. Although good placement may be present on A4’s, the throat closes quite quickly and strain can happen due to lack of consistency in breath support and relaxation while sustaining the note.

Although Jaejoong is able to produce and control his mix well in terms of chest and head balance, volume and stylistic choices, when he gets higher in his range he tends to just let his larynx raise, his sound go into his nose and his support to go away. He tends to strain considerably and the biggest problem with that is that, although he’s aware of his preference in song choices and genre, he seems not to be aware of where his voice is able to stay supported, choosing often a repertoire of songs that stays and goes up above A4 quite often. Examples include his D5 in “Maze”, C#5’s and Eb5 in “Been So Long”, Eb5 in “Get Ready”, Bb4’s, B4’s, C5’s, C#5’s and D5’s in “I Have Nothing”, and Bb4’s, B4’s and C#5’s in “Why Did I End Up Falling In Love With You?”. Generally anytime he hits A4, and anywhere above, his larynx will raise. However so, he’s still able to mix up quite high, up until F#5. Earlier in his career his sound used to be fuller and more resonant more consistently than around the middle of his time as a TVXQ! member, his busy schedule along with his interest for rock music caused many bad habits to influence his singing. He’s been able to show an improvement in control within his supported range, but he’s unable to keep himself from straining notes on A4 and above.

Jaejoong’s falsetto register is one that’s very well switched into and controlled. He’s able to control his mixing and therefore switch softly and smoothly into falsetto in his lower range. He tends to sing well in this range below C5 with a controlled sound. His notes above in the fifth octave will at times be very relaxed and soft, keeping a stable larynx up until D5/Eb5 at times. However so, many times in the past he used to use his throat to sing in his higher falsetto, adding a lot of pushed tension and strain to his voice.  His falsetto however still shows impressive extension, being able to hit notes up until D6, even if with tension.

One of Jaejoong’s biggest assets is his control and understanding of dynamics in music, with a very smooth control of his mixing usually. However so, his biggest weaknesses include his nasality, which with time he was able to improve considerably and can switch on and off more at will than before. Another one is his vibrato that’s usually very throaty and instead of allowing his throat to relax, creates a more closed sound. He has the tendency to also raise his neck when singing which adds tension to his throat. He also seems to have a small tendency to lose the key center of songs when there’s a modulation within a song, meaning when a song changes key, he will sound slightly off and pitchy until he settles in the new key and becomes more stable in pitch.

Jaejoong’s voice was always one that stood out from the group for its lightness and femininity, where he, as a member of TVXQ!, was able to shine by blending in well with the other members’ harmonies in their acapella arrangements. Jaejoong, as a soloist and as a member of JYJ, has been able to show good vocal improvement in his consistency and supported range, through understanding and perceiving his own musical choices, styles, genres and composing his own songs. However so, he still has many areas where he lacks a true understanding of where his voice is able to stretch and control the extremes of his range. Areas for him to improve mostly include the upper parts of his range where his rock-edge takes over and he generally tends to strain, which can damage his voice in the long run. Nevertheless he shows good confidence in his singing ability and in himself as an artist.

Musicianship

Jaejoong has shown improvement and more confidence as a vocalist after going solo, allowing for more musical ideas and interpretation of songs to expand in his performing repertoire. He does not generally change songs too much, but will at times add different melodic changes when covering songs. Examples include different performances of “I Have Nothing”, where he’ll change the melody at times but still such changes mostly come accompanied by strained high notes and at times flat unsupported notes, showing that although the ideas are there, there needs to be work done on his execution of such ideas.

Label (Type of Vocalist)

MB Vocalists: Mid-Range Belters

Vocal Range Video(s)

Video by: Edgar Cárdenas

Video by: Suji Mun

Best Vocal Performance(s)

Re-Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)
(Originally analyzed by Chung)

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364 thoughts on “JYJ’s Vocal Analysis: Jaejoong [Newly Updated]

  1. Oh I see, fair point. I understand why you would take down the rating system, I would have totally done the same (cuz who knows what fans will do lol)

    I feel like Junsu strains more than Jaejoong cuz I can always see him popping his veins in his neck in his musicals which always makes me so worried. I really hope he doesn’t hurt his voice in the long run, but again don’t blame him for doing musicals cuz he has no other choice…(never gonna forgive SM on that one)

    I am not a KPOP fan as I listen to mostly JPOPs, and it was actually TVXQ 1.0, a korean group that got me into JPOP due to their Japanese songs lol. Then I became addicted to Jaejoong and followed him all along. I am still not a kpop fan but I do really like Jaejoong’s korean rock songs cuz they sound like nothing kpop, there is no awkward rap or adrenaline-popping beats or random background music…no offense to kpop fans but just not my thing…
    I like JYJ’s songs as well, which is also not very kpop. Was shocked to learn that they wrote most of their songs and even choreographed. I am just overall really resentful that SM banned them, like it’s in no way justified or even lawful… Besides JYJ the only other kpop group that I follow sometime is SHINEE cuz I think they have great talent.

    I discovered your website because of Jaejoong and what great initiative out there! Really nice idea and really appreciative of all your hard work on making these analysis. Is there anyway that small viewers like us can support the website?

    Also just a random question, are you guys planning to make more analysis on other type of music and singers? like American singers, Chinese singers, etc?

    Like

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