Tohoshinki’s 18th single, Runaway / My Girlfriend, was released on 02.13.08. The song TRICK, from their latest album T, is a mash-up of five different songs. Quickly following that album was the TRICK Project in which five singles were to be released each with a solo song from each member on the single. This single features My Girlfriend, a solo song by Yoochun, as the B-side and therefore is dubbed “his single.”
The opening song on the album, Runaway, opens up with a hot techno beat and that looms alongside slight rock-influences. The rock-influence comes from strong “rock-guitar” sounds that manage to not clash with the dance atmosphere. The first verse is nice but the vocals are a bit screechy as the guitar plays a more central role in the instrumentation . The hook comes in with more hushed vocals and mixes well with the music. The repeating “try again” in the chorus is addictive and proves that the strength in the song is the predominant dance element. In the second verse, the vocals are more controlled, proving that it can work very well if the vocal performance is right. The instrumental section is extremely interesting as they play with the sounds, blending well into the hook and chorus (which begins with distorted vocals). This song is a great dance song and although it doesn’t compare to some of their other dance songs, it’s enjoyable and interesting.
My Girlfriend, Yoochun’s solo, is a wonderful poppy midtempo track that returns to the more mature side of the group. This is really seen in the vocals during the verses, which use more of breathy technique to present that sexiness. The rap in the second verse is kind of awkward since it seems to come out of nowhere and it would have been better taking it out. The chorus is pretty enjoyable despite its simplicity and really brings the great instrumental to the forefront. The third verse gives a “dream-like” atmosphere and keeps the song fresh. One note about the song is that the English is pretty good and doesn’t detract from the overall feel of the song. Yoochun did a great job on his solo song with a great melody, a stunning vocal performance and an emotional capture. The only part that could have been improved was the rap, which should have been removed.
Single Ranking: A –
The second single of the TRICK project, Runaway / My Girlfriend, gives a sign of hope for the campaign. Both songs on this single are a large improvement from the ones of the last single. Runaway uses a dance beat with somewhat rock and techno influences and is a successful experiment. The vocals are great and the chorus is addictive. My Girlfriend, Yoochun’s solo, is extremely strong as a poppish midtempo track. The breathy vocals play a key role in expressing the playful sexuality behind the words while the lyrics and music still have a cute element to them. Hopefully the next single will have the same caliber as these songs.