K-POP / REVIEWS

[Review] [Mini-Album] Eric Nam – ‘Cloud 9’

2013_eric nam_cloud 9

written by: McRoth
Artist/Album: Eric Nam – ‘Cloud 9’
Genre: Ballad
Release Date: January 23, 2013

Korean music is infested with great singers. In turn, each one must find ways of standing out, and a distinguishing factor among them, especially with idols, is a unique timbre. K.Will, SISTAR‘s Hyorin and Girls’ Generation‘s Taeyeon are just a few whose tonalities are instantly recognizable, making their music easy to remember.

Newcomer soloist and American YouTube sensation Eric Nam, who released his debut mini-album ‘Cloud 9‘ in January, can easily be added to this list, all thanks to his timbre.


 
A bit heady and generating mostly from his throat, Eric Nam’s singing isn’t big at all and is slightly unstable, especially when he attempts to bridge his softs and his louds (heard in excess on “Erase“; audio clip above). But it’s also this fragile and airy quality to his voice that brings out a very beautiful quality in his songs. Like the brightness and breathy details of lead single “Heaven’s Door” or the fluidity between the chill synths and layered vocals in “Mirage” — if these songs were belted from the chest and by a broader voice, they’d lose a lot of their vulnerability.

Yet, Eric Nam intuitively balances the thinness of his vocals with the lightness of this album’s arrangements, and pieces together a rather enjoyable collection of songs.

==

Scorecard

Travel – Prologue
.5
Heaven’s Door
.75
Erase
1
Points scale
0 – could do without
0.5 – mediocre/filler
0.75 – pretty good/grew on me
1 – liked immediately
Mirage
.75
Love Song
.5
Total Points
3.5

Points to stars conversion: [(3.5/5) x 5] + 0.25*

3.75/5


*there is a 0.25 bonus for every album. The logic is that, if every song were “pretty good”, it’s a 4-star album.

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