"사랑이 싫다구요 (I Don't Like Love)"
Released: 10 May 2012 (2012-05-10)
Released: 13 May 2012 (2012-05-13)
Tarantallegra is the first Korean solo studio album by JYJ member Kim Junsu. It was released digitally and physically on May 14, 2012. The album marks Kim's debut as a solo artist under the stage name XIA and become one of the highest selling solo albums in 2012 on Gaon chart, the top album selling chart in South Korea.
On April 16, Xia's current label, C-JeS Entertainment, officially announced the release of "Tarantallegra", Xia's first solo studio album since his debut in 2004. Through a press release, C-Jes stated that the album is scheduled to drop on May 15 and the music video of the title song will be unveiled a day before the album release.
Official teaser images and teaser videos were revealed through YouTube and Facebook, weeks before the release of "Tarantallegra". The first video teaser is titled "Unequaled", representing Xia's unique creativity and identity, penetrating into the overall concept of the album. Preview of title track "Tarantallegra" is used as the background music in the final teaser video.
The album contains 12 tracks in total and Xia directly took part in producing, composing, and writing lyrics for most of the songs. The album is filled by songs with various genres, such as R&B, dance and ballad. Title track "Tarantallegra" was composed and arranged by Xia, while its lyrics were written by Junho, Xia's twin brother. With the strong beat and diverse sounds, the song is described as a magic spell that causes uncontrollable dancing. In an interview, Xia stated that he chose "Tarantallegra" as the title track to break away from the image and the expectation people have on him. He also wanted to try music which requires a well-rounded performance, not only singing. "Tarantallegra" featured rapper Flowsik of Asian-American music group Aziatix. Three other tracks in the album featured South Korea's renowned rappers Bizzy, Double K, and Gaeko of Dynamic Duo. Fellow JYJ member Kim Jaejoong also participates in the album by composing and writing the R&B track "No Gain".
During the making of the album, Xia was substantially influenced by musicals, German musical Elisabeth in particular. At that time, he played the role "Death" in the South Korean production of the musical. He tried to correspond the image of "Death" with the album and set up the music, the concept, style and choreography from there.
On May 10, ahead of the album's release, Xia released "사랑이 싫다구요 (I Don't Like Love)", a single which is used as the soundtrack for Korean drama "Rooftop Prince". The song was made by Jun Hye Sung, who composed the hit ballad "That Woman" from Korean drama "Secret Garden". On May 14, C-JeS published the music video for "Tarantallegra" via its YouTube official channel. In the music video, Xia shows his transformation to an unconventional androgynous image that was inspired by his role as the fantasy and mystical being "Death". The choreography for the song is done by Jeri Slaughter, a well-known American choreographer whom Xia has previously worked with. As Xia can't do any broadcast promotions on television due to a ban by South Korea's broadcasting networks, he decided to promote his album through an Asia tour, titled "XIA 1st Asia Tour Concert". He sets his goal at designing a world-class, high quality solo concert to make up for the limitations in TV promotions. Xia will launch his first solo concert in Seoul on May 19 and 20, and will then continue to tour six cities in Asia, starting with Thailand on May 27. The Asia tour's finale will take place in Hong Kong.
On June 11, Xia released the dance version music video for "Tarantallegra". Unlike the original music video, the new version video focuses on the visuals and the choreography. It also contains previously unseen footage.
Despite being unable to hold any stages on music broadcasting shows, Xia is finding success from the release of his solo album. On May 4, shortly after pre-orders for "Tarantallegra" began on both online and offline stores, the online music market site, Synnara, experienced a server crash due to the sudden, overwhelming response. Xia's agency, C-JeS Entertainment revealed that the album has reached 100,000 copies in pre-orders. It also topped Japan's iTunes' pop albums chart without any promotion. The album is revealed to have had a greater reaction from fans than anticipated, leading to sell-outs. According to Gaon, 122,000 copies of the album has been sold as of the end of May.
On July 16, along with an announcement of a worldwide tour, Xia revealed that he's currently working on a repackaged album which will be aimed for the world market. The repackaged version will include an English single and its music video will be produced in the U.S. C-JeS Entertainment stated that renowned staff members in America will be taking part in the new album and music video. Xia will then embark on a world tour covering North America, South America and Europe with plans to make stops in two or three cities per continent. Instead of a repackaged album, however, Xia released a single album entitled Uncommitted.