I’ve been spiraled way out of the loop as far as Korean releases go this week. I’ve tried keeping track of the mainstream poptarts, but I’m sorry to say that I’ve given everyone else the cold shoulder.
Today, I felt wide awake, however, and willing to sit through a few songs that showed up on my radar.
Lee Jung – “Breaking Up”
Probably the best thing to be released this week, “Breaking Up” by Lee Jung is HOT. It’s got all sorts of soul and fantastic vocals to compliment the lower ended rap that is sprinkled through out this track. What really stands out is how feel-good the melodies are. They’re absolutely beautiful and relate perfectly with the tone of the song.
Lee Jung reportedly wrote this song after being discharged from his military services (which every Korean male citizen is required to serve) and if that is the case, it’s adequately reflected in the style I hear in “Breaking Up“. The man has a beautiful timbre, too and explodes his range near the end. All the pieces were definitely there and Lee Jung knew exactly how to weave them to produce an A+ single. In fact, A++ since I’m feeling generous.
And he has quite the following, by the way, passing idol groups 2PM and SNSD earlier this week on real time music charts. In Korea, those are a big fat deal (or so it seems), so yeah.
Min Kyung Hoon – “Wounded”
This man is after my heart every single time he releases new material, and this week is no different. Min Kyung Hoon (former frontman of Korean band BUZZ, R.I.P. 2008) released yet another beautiful ballad. His ballads always nail my soul to the wall and it just has to be his delicate manner of singing. His music reminds me that I’m listening to Korean music. Generally, Kpop brings to mind a distorted take of Western practices, but it takes singers like Min Kyung Hoon to snap me back to reality.
As always, “Wounded” follows the same form that most of Kyung Hoon’s songs possess; an appropriate orchestration, moving melodies and the timeless explosion at the middle 8. With such a powerful build and climax, I couldn’t have asked for more. Here, here! Some more A+’s!
Hwangbo – “I Am Still Beautiful”
Oh, girl, I know you are. First off, this MV freaked me out. Hwangbo remained on tempo while those makeup artists caked on her makeup so well! And to top it off, the song is engaging and beautiful, just like the video. Flaws do not exist right now.
I love how she never overdid any of the phrasing and kept the entire song subtle and bare. Hwangbo sounds gorgeous and the ominous piano is one of my favorite details in this. I’ll definitely be setting this on replay.