Happy [Belated] Birthday Tablo!

I gathered that July 22nd was Tablo’s birthday, which I unfortunately missed since I just joined college.

So this post is dedicated to Tablo – rapper/rhymer extraordinaire and member of hip hop legends Epik High!

I know the chances of Tablo himself reading this post are extremely slim (if not zero) but I just want to put it out there for the record that I love Epik High and listen to their music all the time, every day and for hours together… sometime I feel that it’s their music – with its profound lyrics and amazing melodies and beats, that gets me through the day – and that’s no understatement…

So happy [belated] birthday Tablo! and may Epik High go on forever!

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Goodbye, Sung Si Kyung!

NAME : Vol.6 – Here in My Heart

ARTIST : Sung Si Kyung

GENRE : Ballad

LANGUAGE : Korean

TRACK LIST :

01 여기 내 맘속에 (Yeogi Nae Mamsoge – Here In My Heart)
02 어디에도 (Eodiedo – Anywhere)
03 더 아름다워져 (Deo Areumdawojyeo – Comes To Be Beautiful)
04 안녕 나의 사랑 (Annyeong Naui Sarang – Goodbye My Love)
05 잃어버린 것들 (Irheobeorin Geotdeul – Lost Things)
06 그대와 춤을 (Geudaewa Chumeul – A Dance With You)
07 Baby You Are Beautiful
08 눈부신 고백 (Nunbushin Gobaek – Dazzling Proposal)
09 사랑하는 일 (Saranghaneun Il – To Love) [TITLE]
10 소풍 (Sopung – Picnic)
11 당신은 참.. (Dangsineun Cham.. – You Are So..)

credits@sweetxmelodies@blogspot for track list

This is Sung Si Kyung’s last album before he enlists to his mandatory two year service in the army.

I really love this album, though – as Sung Si Kyung puts it himself, the album has a lonely feel, like a winter streetlamp.

I would recommend this one – it sounds rather different compared to his previous albums, and every track is worth listening.

Listening to it just makes me miss him already…

From digital chosunilbo :

A farewell with a promise to meet again can be more heartrending than a permanent goodbye as it must last throughout the waiting period. For Sung Si-kyung (29), who is about to start his military service, his just-released sixth album “Here in My Heart” is just that: it’s bye for now, but we’ll meet again. In an interview with the Chosun Ilbo, he seems tired. “I’ll probably start duty in July, though the date isn’t exact,” he says. On May 12, he quit the MBC FM late night radio show “Blue Night with Sung Si-kyung”, which he had hosted for two years and seven months.

“A late-night radio show brings you close to the listeners but further from the world. I quit it early to prepare for the album and concert and look after my health,” he says. He has a thesis left to submit to complete his master’s at the Korea University Graduate School of Journalism and Mass Communication: it’s about the music selection on FM radio.

“I was never afraid that people would forget me. Believe it or not, I also never wanted to be famous or a superstar. I just worry that I’ll be cut off from society and lose my musical sense during the two years, as I won’t be able to invest in myself.”

“I worked madly on the album sleeping two hours a day, and at times I thought ‘what is all this work for?'” He was clearly feeling nervous and depressed, as most men do before military service.

Big-name composers including Yoo Hee-yeol, Kim Hyun-chul, Jung Jae-hyung, Roh Young-sim and Kim Kwang-jin worked on the new album. He wrote two songs himself, including the title song “Goodbye, My Love”, a collaboration with Yoo. He may be a multitalented entertainer, but his focus has always been on music.

His vocals particularly shine in songs that dispense with too much echo in production. Except for the title song, the album has a lonely feel, like a winter streetlamp. “I have a talent for acting out the lyrics and melody,” he says. “I would be singing but at the same time acting out a 3:30 minute long ballad. The album inevitably includes a lot about departure, reflecting my situation.”

He initially asked not to talk much about his military service, but he always came back to it at the end. It is clearly a sore point. “If I had an audio, keyboard and books, two years in prison would be better,” he says.

He enlists on the 1st of July.

Sung Si Kyung, your fans will really miss you!

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RE : One Week Hiatus

WHAT was I thinking?

I can’t survive without worldly communication for a week.

In other words, I couldn’t get through this week. And I’m happy to make it alive through it.

So, I’m back to blogging…

So, I spent this week watching Korean movies – My Sassy Girl, 100 days with Mr. Arrogant, A Millionaire’s first Love, Le Grand Chef, 200 pound beauty… don’t remember the rest!

I’ll recommend some movies in a later post.

I didn’t know I would be so glad to be back!

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One week hiatus

I won’t be updating this week. Specifically, I’ll try not to update this week.

Why?

I’m trying to experiment, by avoiding TV, the internet, and all other forms of worldly communication (phone included).

Has never worked before, but I hope it will.

I hope I will gain a greater sense of appreciation for these after this week (if I live through it).

See you in a week!

Stay healthy!

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It’s raining girl groups!

The original four members of Kara

After the exit of Kim Sung Hee in February this year, Kara is set to make their comeback with two new members plus an entirely new image this July.

According to DSP Entertainment, “The change from a 4 to five members group will see a change in their image. The two new members together with existing members, Park Gyu Ri, Han Seung Yeon and Jung Nicole will ditch their cute image of the past with something new. They will give their fans a new and refreshing feel and becoming a new shining light in the industry.”

So now they not only have to compete with YG’s planned girl group dubbed ‘Female Big Bang’, SNSD, and Wonder Girls, Jewelry but also DSP Entertainment’s tentative 7-member girl group named ‘DSP7’.

As far as Female Big Bang is concerned, four members are tentatively planned by YG – Park Bom, Gong Minji, CL, and Sandara Park.

The Wonder Girls have already released their third single entitles ‘So Hot’ – clad in an abundance of leopard print. Similarly, Jewelry have released their fifth album ‘Kitchi Island’, and a subsequent repackage with the single ‘Everybody Shh!’.

Meanwhile, SNSD, who has recently gained a lot of attention – though for all the wrong reasons, is planning to release a second album soon.

Lastly, DSP Ent. (Same company overseeing the promotion of Kara, SS501, A’ST1, Sunha) is planning to release a new 7-membered girl group a month after Kara’s comeback. Tentative members (handpicked from SS501’s music videos) include Kim Jae Kyung, Lee Joo Bin, No Eul, Jang Ji Soo, Min Ji Hye, Oh Se Mi and Jung Yoon Hye. The group’s tentative name is DSP7.

Hope it’s not another group which values quantity over quality.

Looks like all girl groups are much in demand. Let’s hope we live through the inundation…

On a different note, where is Sunha anyway? Didn’t see her much after her debut…

credits: Kara-online & DC Kara for news on DSP7

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Hallyu Word of the Day #3

Bob the Builder – he’s Bob Ahjussi (아저씨) in Korea!

Today’s word – 아저씨 pronounced Ah-jeo-sshi – can be found in the script of almost every K-drama there is, was and will be (with the exception of sageuks – historical dramas, I guess).

Often translated as Mister or sir, 아저씨 refers to an older gentleman, but colloquially, an ahjusshi is an middle-aged man, and more often than not has a terrible sense of style (if any at all). Case in point – plastic slippers worn with socks…

The female counterpart to ahjusshi is 아줌마 (ah-ju-mma), which will be tomorrow’s word of the day!

Read more about ahjussi at Wikipedia.

While on the topic of 아저씨, I’ve been watching a movie on youtube (yes, that’s actually possible – I didn’t know one could). It’s called 키다리 아저씨 – or ‘Daddy-Long-Legs’ internationally. Starring Ha Ji-Won, Yeon Jeong Hun, Shin Yi, Jeong Jun Ha, Hyun Bin and Park Eun Hye, the film is a romantic comedy which gained much popularity in Korea and the world over.

From callalilly @youtube :

In her new movie Daddy-Long-Legs that borrowed its name from the famous novel by Jean Webster, famous Korean star Ha Ji-won portrays the naïve but good-hearted high school girl Cha Young-mi. Left to her own devices after the tragic loss of her parents, Young-mi is determined to overcome whatever hardships the future may bring in order to complete her education. Through the help of an invisible benefactor who pays for her tuition fees and other necessary expenses, Young-mi is able to finish her studies and is offered her dream job as program writer for a radio station. It is there that she meets and falls in love with her colleague Kim Joon-hoo (Yeon Jeong-hoon). After Young-mi discovers a desperate message left behind by the former owner of her computer she decides to do something to help this heartbroken person.

Watch the trailer here.

If you’re interested in watching the whole movie, watch it here.

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Review : Alex (Clazziquai) – Vol.1 – My Vintage Romance

NAME : Vol.1 – My Vintage Romance

ARTIST : Alex (Clazziquai)

RELEASE DATE : 12th June, 2008

GENRE : Ballads, mostly…

LANGUAGE : Korean

Long-anticipated by fans of Clazziquai and ‘We Got Married’ (a Korean TV show where (random) celebrities pretend to be married to each other) alike, this album marks Alex’s solo debut.

Being a member of Clazziquai – a group whose music can be best described as versatile – ranging between the genres of electronic, jazz, house, lounge, retro and several more – Alex’s solo venture was expected to a bit more… versatile (in terms of genres) itself. However, it was unfortunately not so, and as predicted by a few – this album is mostly ballads. As a fan of Clazziquai, and of Alex, I felt quite disappointed about this myself…

But on a brighter note, Alex’s smooth voice almost makes up for it (almost, because the album would have sounded so(oooooo) much better if there had been a greater variety in the songs). And the theme of the album, I’m guessing is romance – right from the title, cover, themes in the songs etc. – which makes for a great publicity pitch, especially owing to the success of ‘AlShin’ (Alex and Shinae (an actress), who are a couple in WGM). In fact, Alex had even admitted in an interview to be reminded of Shinae during the production of ‘My Vintage Romance’.

TRACK LIST :

01 어느새
02 그대라면 [If it’s you] (Title)
03 넌 언제나 [You Always] (feat. Thomas Cook)
04 기다리게 해서 미안해요 [Sorry for Making You Wait]
05 발끝을 적시는 눈물 [Tears that wet the tip of my toes]
06 Feel Like Making Sunshine
07 깍지껴요 [Empty Shell] (feat. Gaeko from Dynamic Duo)
08 Waltz lesson (feat. whale)
09 연인 [Lover]
10 사랑하오 [I Love You]
11 기분 좋은 날 [A Good Day]
12 Daydreaming
13 Miss. Understand (feat. Simon Dominic)
14 데이지 [Daisy]
15 화분 [Flower Pot] (Bonus track)

Track by track:

Track 1 : (9/10) Slow-tempo ballad. I really like this song, because it really brings out the romantic in Alex (people who watch WGM know what I’m talking about).

Track 2 : (7/10) This is the title track for the album, but oddly enough, it doesn’t stand out so much as compared to some other tracks on the album.It tends to grow on you, though…

Track 3 : (9/10) Mid-tempo ballad – one of the best songs on the album, definitely. I can’t get it out of my head!

Track 4 : (7.5/10) Romantic ballad – reminiscent of ‘Very Hurtful Words‘ (his duet with JiSun). This is a beautiful song, with an easy melody – nice to listen to on a sleepy afternoon (it’s nice to hear most of his songs like this)…

Track 5 : (8.5/10) I like the violins playing in the background. This sounds like a typical 90’s ballad. Really grows on you, too…

Track 6 : (8/10) Alex’s vocals sound really really good on this upbeat, melodic song. Reminiscent of times gone by… actually, many of Alex’s songs give a feel of the old classics, maybe because of his voice quality – a breath of fresh air in the industry where pretty faces matter more than singing talents…

Track 7 : (6.5/10) Repetitive ‘Come with me’ – don’t really like it. Track is okay – midtempo, peppered with hip-hop sounds.

Track 8 : (7/10) Whale, don’t really know who she is – she has a really small part here – towards the end. Sounds okay, this track.

Track 9 : (7/10) Trademark Alex ballad, but by now, I want to listen to something different… All the songs are really great, if you listen to them individually – but sweet love songs can be just too much if you listen to them all together.

Track 10 : (6.5/10) I don’t know how many honey-covered/sugar-coated/saccharine love songs I can take anymore…

Track 11 : (9/10) This starts with the ticking of a clock… my first thoughts – Time is tickin’, T-Time is tickin’ away… lol… too much Epik High in my system. Anyway, this song is really a breath of fresh air – upbeat, fresh poppish music. I love this, especially the part where he whistles. This song is so… alive!

Track 12 : (8/10) Jazz – a genre Clazziquai is more than experienced with. A really relaxing track to listen to.

Track 13 : (7/10) This one has stronger beats, and Simon Dominic’s rapping is pretty good.

Track 14 : (8.5/10) Mid-tempo ballad – I like it for the beautiful musical arrangement, and of course Alex’s heavenly voice.

Track 15 : (9.5/10) This song has so been stuck in my head – even though I don’t really watch WGM – and I’ve been in love with it ever since I heard it. He performed this song for Shinae on the show, and I remember reading about how fans cried while watching it. This song is actually a cover of the Loveholic original (sung by JiSun), and despite being a fan of Loveholic, I would say that I enjoyed Alex’s version better – maybe because he sings it with so much emotion. Undoubtedly, the best song on the album!

VERDICT : Overall, I would give this album a 7.5/10. But again, as I said before – each of the tracks on this album is beautiful individually, but if you listen to the album all at once, it may be too saccharine to bear. Also, I didn’t like the choice of the title track…

TRACKS TO WATCH OUT FOR : Tracks 1,3,5,11,14,15.

Watch the video for 그대라면 (If It’s You) here:

Loving the MV, all done in dark blue tones, and having a simple storyline…

Oh, and watch him perform 화분 for Shinae here :

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