Max, otherwise known as Changmin, debuted as part of TVXQ back in 2003. And while he has been an experienced KPOP artist, he has yet to officially make his solo debut. That is, until today through the song, Chocolate. He may be a familiar face to some fans who have been listening to KPOP for some time, however he may be quite unfamiliar to any new fans to the industry. Come to the think of it, it has been a while since we have heard from Changmin. To be precise, the last we saw Changmin (in Korea) was through the TVXQ’s Truth back in 2018 (He and fellow member Yunho have been slightly more busy in Japan – their last comeback being in 2019).
The one issue I find when it comes to artists who have been around for some time is that their solo release ends up being something tacky in an effort to fit in when it. Other times, they release something too typical. Chocolate is neither of these things. Right off the bat, Changmin grabs your attention with the flawless vocals and the pretty random line ‘I ain’t scared of electricity’. The flawless vocals continue throughout the song. It sounds like he is shouting during the pre-chorus but it feels very controlled and grounded. The verses sounded like he was whispering in comparison and I enjoyed the sing-speak for the actual chorus. I also like the rap-speak that he brings, adding texture to the song. The instrumental is full of other different textures thanks to the use of various synths. It is definitely a funky mix, overall and one that undoubtedly keeps you captivated. I also find it interesting that the producers kept the chorus very short and sweet. The repetition of the ‘Chocolate‘ does not feel overwhelming or overly repetitive. Like the food item, this song is definitely one to take in moderately. Or else, you would just be replaying the song all the time.
The music video shows a failed heist. We open up with the ending. Changmin is holding on to the edge of a building and subsequently dropping down to the bottom. The thrill of this probably compliments the same feeling we got from the start of the song. The story then goes to Changmin being interrogated (which I believe is the start of the story). He then escapes, plans the heist, fails are getting the fancy marble-like structure (his hands hover near it, but he never touches it) and then proceeds to go on the run. At the end of the video, he is seen on the roof, which re-links the story back to the start of the video. I think the video wraps up nicely. I am just not sure about the other sections. Unless, I am missing key details or misinterpreting it entirely (which seems to be the case most of the time). Let me know what you think about the storyline in the comment section below.
The choreography is quite good. It may not be as ground-breaking (from what I could see in the music video) in comparison to what TVXQ is commonly known for. But it still does the job. There seems to be a flirtatious facial expression that Changmin puts on during the chorus, which I am sure fans will enjoy.
Song – 10/10
Music Video – 7.5/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.9/10