written by: MystifiedBulb
Artist and Album: Lim Kim – ‘Her Voice’
Release Date: September 09, 2013
How does one describe an act like Lim Kim? Is she pop? Is she indie? Or even is she an offshoot from jazz? Regardless, her debut mini-album ‘A Voice‘ caused a bit of a stir this year, headed by the unique and the rather surprisingly popular “All Right” – all of which solidified Lim Kim as an artist in the Korean music scene. The real question is whether this initial shot of success can be converted to long term prosperity?
The remarkable thing about this collection is the sheer scope of the music. Within each song there are licks of different genres combining to form unique tracks – “Rain” is essentially a jazz piece performed by an indie ensemble, for example. Splices of genres such as this blended with Lim Kim’s husky tones combine to form a quaint and pleasant listening experience.
Unfortunately, there are moments where the quality does slip slightly. “Say Love” moves away from the soothing, relaxed tones of the rest of the album to a jarring effect. The brash brass stabs mixed with funky guitars cover up Lim Kim’s voice, which is definitely the star attraction of this record. The production also sounds a bit dated and, dare I say, tacky? Something just doesn’t sound quite right there.
Enough bitching though, this record is rather good. Highlights of the collection must be “Rain”, “Voice (feat. Swings)” and “Urban Green”. There’s something of a consistent tone that travels throughout the songs – one could call it an essence of gentility and effortlessness that really transports the listener into a state of calm. I believe this is where Lim Kim’s prowess as an artist shines strongest and if she continues to develop her indie-jazz-folk niche, then she will be releasing some exciting stuff in the future.
Back to this release however; there are a few tracks which are okay. Not bad, but not brilliant either. “Drunken Shrimp” and “Truth Never Matters” sort of meander more into a Latin genre but end up sounding a bit half-arsed and confused. Both of the tracks are pleasant enough, but the overall direction is a bit lacking. Perhaps, if the sound was to be refined and the production was livened up slightly, then these tunes would be knockouts, too.
As mentioned before, ‘Her Voice’ is a rather delightful album. What makes this a brilliant collection is the subtlety involved and the understated perfection of the breezy and easygoing sound created by Lim Kim. After this lovely mini-album, the bar is set rather high for this rising star, but a feeling emanates from this release that she will fulfill the expectations set for her in the future.
|Urban Green (Korean Version)||
|Voice (ft. Swings)||
0 – could do without
0.5 – mediocre/filler
0.75 – pretty good/grew on me
1 – liked immediately
|Truth Never Matters||
Points to stars conversion: [(5/6) x 5] + 0.25*
*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.