Tree (TVXQ album)

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Tree
Tohoshinki TREE C.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 5, 2014 (2014-03-05)
Recorded2012–13
Genre
Length60:27
LanguageJapanese
LabelAvex Trax
Producer
Tohoshinki chronology
Spellbound
(2014)
Tree
(2014)
Live World Tour: Catch Me in Seoul
(2014)
Singles from Tree
  1. "Ocean"
    Released: June 12, 2013
  2. "Scream"
    Released: September 4, 2013
  3. "Very Merry Xmas"
    Released: November 27, 2013
  4. "Hide & Seek / Something"
    Released: February 5, 2014

Tree (stylized as TREE) is the seventh Japanese studio album (fourteenth overall) by South Korean pop duo Tohoshinki, released by Avex Trax on March 5, 2014. The record was released in four physical versions, each with a seasonal theme cover – Version A (Spring/Summer), a CD+DVD version with music videos; Version B (Autumn), another CD+DVD version with off-shot movies; Version C (Winter), a CD only version with two bonus tracks; and Version D, a fan club limited edition with a CD-Extra.[1] Musically, Tree is a varied pop music album that is influenced by a broad range of musical genres, such as electronic dance music, hip hop, R&B, swing jazz, rock music, power ballads, and reggae. Recording for the album began well before the launch of their sixth Japanese studio album Time in early 2013.

Tree was Tohoshinki's fourth consecutive album to debut at number one on the Oricon Albums Chart and the Billboard Japan Top Albums, selling 225,000 copies on its first week of release. With Tree, Tohoshinki became the first foreign group in Japan to have three consecutive studio albums with first-week sales of over 200,000 copies, breaking Bon Jovi's thirteen-year record.[2] Less than four weeks after release, the album earned a platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) for shipments of over 250,000 copies.[3]

All four of the album's commercially successful singles – "Ocean", "Scream", "Very Merry Xmas", and "Hide & Seek / Something" – debuted at number two on the Oricon Singles Chart and achieved gold certifications by the RIAJ.[4][5][6][7] To promote the album, Tohoshinki embarked on their seventh nationwide tour, Tree: Live Tour 2014 from April to June 2014.

Background and release[edit]

Tree was officially announced on January 10, 2014 through Tohoshinki's official website.[1] It contains a total of fourteen tracks, including two bonus tracks, all which were revealed on January 21, 2014. Following the convention of using the first letter 'T' in their album titles, the duo explained in a January 2014 interview that the name "Tree" was meant to be used as a metaphor for their growth as artists.[8] Tree is also an element of growth in East Asian mythology. Yunho and Changmin added in a later interview that the name was actually inspired by the children's picture book The Giving Tree, and that Tree sends a message about giving.[9]

Recording sessions for Tree coincided with the duo's seventh Korean album, Tense, which was released in January 2014. Similar to the duo's last two Japanese records, Tree delves into the usual electronic landscape in its dance tracks, some with hip hop and rock influences. The duo also experimented with genres they previously have not attempted before, such as swing jazz and reggae.[10] A variety of different power ballads permeate throughout the album; "I Love You", written by Katsuhiko Yamamoto, emphasizes the duo's emotive vocal harmony with minimalist programming. Only 22 people were behind the song's instrumental arrangement, playing the piano, guitar, cello, and strings. However, Yamamoto's other composition in the album, "Ai o Motto" (愛をもっと), uses smooth R&B arrangements. The song was written after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and its lyrical content refers to hope and faith.[11]

On January 28, 2014, the official covers for Tree were revealed on Japanese newspapers, music retailers and Tohoshinki's official website. Each album cover represented a season of the year; Version A, a CD+DVD version with music videos, fell on Spring/Summer; Version B, a CD+DVD version with off-shot movies and live performances, fell on Autumn; and Version C, a CD-only version with two bonus tracks, fell on Winter. Version D, which features bare-shouldered Yunho and Changmin on the cover, was a limited edition that was exclusive for registered members of Bigeast, Tohoshinki's official fanclub in Japan. First press limited editions also included a photo card.

A short version of the music video for the album's promotional single "Tree of Life" premiered on February 4, 2014. Tree was introduced on TV Osaka's Japan Countdown on February 9, 2014.[12] On February 15, the special website for Tree was opened, and the lyrics to seven songs in the album were revealed. In early March 2014, Tohoshinki celebrated the album release with an exhibition opened in Shibuya Tower Records in Tokyo. Pre-orders for Tree were sent out a few days prior to the official March 5 release date.

Promotion[edit]

In August 2013, the duo performed "Ocean" and "Scream" at the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, the last stop of their Time: Live Tour 2013. In November 2013, during their fan-meet concert The Mission II in Saitama, Tohoshinki revealed plans for a new nationwide tour in 2014.[13] Following the duo's unveil, twenty-six dates for their tour were announced,[13] and Tree: Live Tour 2014 was officially announced in January 2014.[14] The tour is set to begin in April 2014 with three shows in the Yokohama Arena.

Singles[edit]

"Ocean" was released as the first single from the album, on June 12, 2013. Released three months after their sixth Japanese album Time, the duo promoted "Ocean" in their 2013 Japan-wide concert tour, Time: Live Tour 2013. The duo performed "Ocean" at the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, the last stop of the tour. "Ocean" is the album's best-selling single, with nearly 150,000 copies sold on its first week of release.

"Scream" was released as the album's second single on September 4, 2013. Serving as the theme song for the Japanese horror film Sadako 3D 2,[15] the song was first revealed in July 2013. Like "Ocean", Tohoshinki also promoted "Scream" in their Time Tour, and debuted their first performance of "Scream" at the Nissan Stadium. "Scream" debuted at number two on the Oricon Singles Chart and peaked at number two on Billboard's Japan Hot 100.[16] Also debuting at number two, the album's third single, "Very Merry Xmas", was released on November 27, 2013 as a special Christmas single. Supported by the holiday season, the song charted considerably well in radio airplay charts compared to "Ocean" and "Scream", both which have failed to chart in the top fifteen. "Very Merry Xmas" charted in the top ten in the Billboard Japan Hot Top Airplay,[17] and peaked at number nineteen on the Billboard Japan Adult Contemporary Airplay.[18] Within a week of its release, the single was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) for shipments of over 100,000.[19]

The double A-sided "Hide & Seek / "Something" was released as the album's fourth and final single, on February 5, 2014, one month before the official release date of Tree. "Something", originally recorded in Korean, was first released in South Korea on January 6, 2014 as the lead single of the duo's seventh Korean studio album Tense. "Hide & Seek" was featured as the theme song for the Japanese television drama, Team Batista 4, which premiered on Japan's Fuji TV on January 7, 2014.[20]

Commercial performance[edit]

Debuting atop the daily Oricon Albums Chart and selling 156,491 copies on its first day of release,[21] Tree maintained its number one spot for the next four days, making it Tohoshinki's first studio album and second overall release to top the daily Oricon Albums Chart for five days in a row.

Tree debuted at number one on both the weekly Oricon Albums Chart and the Billboard Japan Top Albums, selling approximately 225,000 copies on its first week of release. It gave Tohoshinki their fourth consecutive number one album in Japan. The album was Tohoshinki's third studio album and fourth record to shift over 200,000 copies on its first week, breaking a record previously set by Bon Jovi thirteen years ago.[22] The album was Tohoshinki's second studio album to top the Oricon's monthly album chart, selling 252,155 copies by March 31, 2014.[23] It was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of Japan less than four weeks after it was released.[3]

Track listing[edit]

Tree (All versions) – Disc 1 (CD)
No.TitleLyricsMusicArrangementLength
1."I Love You -Introduction-"Katsuhiko YamamotoYamamotoYamamoto1:42
2."Champion"H.U.B.
  • Sean Alexander
  • Jeremy Thurber
  • Alexander
  • Thurber
3:51
3."Breeding Poison"H.U.B.
  • Lindorff
  • Rothmann
  • Wilkins
3:34
4."Ai o Motto (愛をもっと)" (More Love)YamamotoYamamoto
  • Yamamoto
  • Daisuke Kadowaki
5:51
5."Cheering"Shinjiroh InoueInoueInoue4:19
6."Something" (Japanese version)H.U.B.
  • Yoo
  • Yoo
4:02
7."Good Days"InoueInoueInoue6:14
8."Hide & Seek"H.U.B.Kaoru KondouInoue5:18
9."Shinjiru Mama (信じるまま)" (As We Believe)H.U.B.
  • Lee
  • Scott
3:14
10."Scream"H.U.B.hitchhikerhitchhiker3:44
11."Crazy Crazy Crazy"H.U.B.
  • Steven Lee
  • Andreas Stone Johansson
  • Fredrik Hult
  • Andreas Öberg
  • Lee
  • Johansson
  • Hult
  • Öberg
3:57
12."Ocean"InoueInoueInoue5:14
13."Tree of Life"Inoue
Inoue5:38
14."Good-bye for Now"Inoue
  • Bramley
  • Mhondera
  • Hawes
3:49
Total length:60:27
Notes
  • Version D is only available on the Bigeast Official Shop, which requires Bigeast membership.

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Tree.[25]

Performers and musicians
Technical personnel

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2014) Peak
position
Japanese Albums Chart (Oricon)[26] 1
Billboard Japan Top Albums[27] 1
South Korean Albums Chart (Gaon)[28] 15
South Korean International Albums Chart (Gaon)[29] 2
Taiwanese Albums Chart (G-Music)[30] 9
Taiwanese East Asian Albums Chart (G-Music)[31] 4

Sales[edit]

Released Oricon chart Peak Debut sales Sales total
March 5, 2014 Daily Albums Chart[21] 1 156,491 265,013
Weekly Albums Chart[26] 1 249,292
Monthly Albums Chart[23] 1 252,155
Yearly Albums Chart 13 265,013

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Japan (RIAJ)[3] Platinum 250,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Japan[1] March 5, 2014 Avex Trax
Taiwan[32][33][34] April 3, 2014
  • CD
  • CD+DVD
Avex Taiwan
South Korea[35] March 19, 2014 Digital download
April 4, 2014
  • CD
  • CD+DVD

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Tohoshinki's Official Website" (in Japanese). Avex Group. Archived from the original on 2014-01-13. Retrieved 2014-01-10.
  2. ^ Jeon, Su Mi (2014-03-11). "TVXQ Sets Record By Selling Over 200,000 Copies of Album 'Tree'". Mwave. Retrieved 2014-03-11.
  3. ^ a b c "Certifications for March 2014". Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-04-09.
  4. ^ "Gold certifications of June 2013". Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved 2013-12-31.
  5. ^ "Gold certifications of September 2013". Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved 2013-12-27.
  6. ^ "Gold certifications of November 2013". Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved 2013-12-27.
  7. ^ "Gold certifications of February 2014". Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  8. ^ "Tohoshinki unveils new jacket covers for new album". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 2014-01-28. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
  9. ^ "Anan Magazine". Anan Magazine (in Japanese) (March 2014). 2014 [2014].
  10. ^ "Ray Magazine". Ray Magazine (in Japanese) (April 2014). 2014 [2014].
  11. ^ "Tohoshinki's Songs". Katsuhiko Yamamoto's Official Blog (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-03-11.
  12. ^ "JAPAN COUTNDOWN" (in Japanese). TV Osaka. Retrieved 2014-02-09.
  13. ^ a b "THE MISSION II IN SAITAMA: BIGEAST FAN CLUB MEETING". We are TVXQ. 2013-11-23. Retrieved 2014-01-10.
  14. ^ "Tohoshinki's Official Website" (in Japanese). Avex Group. Retrieved 2014-01-10.
  15. ^ "TVXQ to 'Scream' for 'Sadako 3D 2' + first trailer". Allkpop. 2013-07-04. Retrieved 2013-12-27.
  16. ^ "TVXQ's 'Scream' Ranks #2 on Billboard Japan Hot 100 Chart this week". About TVXQ. Retrieved 2013-12-27.
  17. ^ "Billboard Japan Hot Top Airplay". Billboard Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved 2013-12-31.
  18. ^ "Billboard Japan Adult Contemporary Airplay". Billboard Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved 2013-12-31.
  19. ^ "Gold certifications of September 2013". Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved 2013-12-27.
  20. ^ "Tohoshinki to sing theme song for 'Team Batista 4'". Sanspo (in Japanese). 2013-12-17. Retrieved 2014-01-02.
  21. ^ a b "Oricon Albums Chart, March 4, 2014" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2014-03-05.
  22. ^ "TVXQ Breaks Bon Jovi's 13-Year Record in Japan". Metro Seoul (in Korean). 2014-03-11. Retrieved 2014-03-11.
  23. ^ a b "Oricon Albums Chart, March 2014" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2014-04-09.
  24. ^ a b c d "Tohoshinki - Tree - Official tracklist" (in Japanese). Avex Group. Archived from the original on 2014-01-13. Retrieved 2014-01-22.
  25. ^ Tree (CD liner notes). Tohoshinki. Avex Trax. 2014. AVCK79193.CS1 maint: others (link)
  26. ^ a b "Oricon Albums Chart, March 3–9, 2014". Oricon (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-03-11.
  27. ^ "Billboard Japan Top Albums, Week of March 17, 2014". Billboard (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-03-11.
  28. ^ "Gaon Albums Chart, March 30–April 5, 2014". Gaon Music Chart (in Korean). Archived from the original on September 26, 2013. Retrieved 2014-04-09.
  29. ^ "Gaon International Albums Chart, March 30–April 5, 2014". Gaon Music Chart (in Korean). Retrieved 2014-04-09.
  30. ^ "G-Music Combo Albums Chart - 2014年—第13週" (in Chinese). G-Music. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
  31. ^ "G-Music J-Pop Albums Chart - 2014年—第13週" (in Chinese). G-Music. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
  32. ^ "神起樹語 (CD+DVD A版)" [Rising Gods, Words of the Tree (CD+DVD A Version)] (in Chinese). Avex Group. Retrieved 2014-04-03.
  33. ^ "神起樹語 (CD+DVD B版)" [Rising Gods, Words of the Tree (CD+DVD B Version)] (in Chinese). Avex Group. Retrieved 2014-04-03.
  34. ^ "神起樹語 (CD ONLY)" [Rising Gods, Words of the Tree (CD ONLY)] (in Chinese). Avex Group. Retrieved 2014-04-03.
  35. ^ "TVXQ UNLEASHES JAPANESE ALBUM 'TREE' IN KOREA". 24/7 Asian Media. 2014-04-03. Retrieved 2014-04-03.

External links[edit]