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05 June 2011 @ 05:47 pm

얼음요새 (Ice Fortress)

Artist: Dear Cloud
Album: Dear Cloud (Album)
Genre: Indie/Soft-rock
Release date: 8th November, 2007

mf / support

Rating: ★★★★★
Having listened to Dear Cloud for quite a period of time, they have developed a special place in my heart with their music style and the sense of belonging and satisfaction I get when I listen to them. This song Ice Fortress was their most popular song, even starring the actor Kim Jae Wook in their music video.

The song starts off with a soft continuous electric guitar, and keyboards are added at about 0:14 playing some soft arpeggios-like pattern. Vocals enter in a mellow manner at 0:27, and the keyboard can still be heard in the background, playing the same pattern. The soft electric guitar re-enters at 0:49, and drums are added at 0:52, which adds onto the mood as the verse is repeated, but with a stronger sense of emotion. The soft electric guitar and drums gradually build up and becomes more and more obvious, as if trying to take over the vocalist but not exactly doing so. Guitar strumming can also be heard at this point. Chorus at 1:20, and the emotion and overall atmosphere of the song is very strong and overwhelming. The vocals adds to this by singing at a higher octave, building and reinforcing the mood of the chorus. The atmosphere of the song calms and quiets down at 1:47 as the verse re-enters, leaving only a keyboard and perhaps a soft electric sound in the background, accompanying the vocalist's mellow tone. Drums re-enter at 2:00, slowly building up the atmosphere once again. Chorus again at 2:13, and the mood rises up to a high point again. Chorus is repeated at 2:40, and this time the vocalist does her own changes to it. Instrumental begins at 3:07, and the atmosphere of the song drops slightly again, leaving only the keyboard and soft guitar sound playing. Another electric guitar and the drums enter at 3:19, raising the mood of the song slightly. Vocalist re-enters at 3:33, and the mood of the song is raised again. Vocals fade away at 4:00, leaving behind the electric guitars, keyboard and drums. Change of chord at 4:13, instrumental continues, and then the song finally pulls to an end.
I gave this song a 5 out of 5. I didn't think this was a particularly "good" song at first, and I thought that it didn't really catch my eye (or ears rather) when I first listened to it, but as time passed this song became a memorable song in terms of all the masterpieces that Dear Cloud had produced. This song gives me an extremely soothing and laid-back feeling, especially the music video and where it was filmed. I had mentioned and complimented before about the vocalist's voice and how it has a subtle masculine edge to it, and this song only accentuates this, thus allowing the vocalist develop her own style while singing live. The vocalist's voice is extremely appropriate and fits well with the lyrics of the song, which describes the worship and luminous feelings for what seems like an ice princess, beautiful but cold and difficult to reach.

Overall, I think that this song is a must-listen for all Dear Cloud fans or for those who are willing to try out their music, as this song is their most famous song. The vocalist's voice is very unique and soothing, appropriate for a relaxing afternoon.

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19 March 2011 @ 12:42 pm

가장 아픈 사랑 (The Most Painful Love)

Artist: Fanny Fink
Album: 가장 아픈 사랑 (Single)
Genre: Indie/Soft-rock
Release date: 24th January, 2011

mf / support (all discography)

Rating: ★★★★
This song is an indie/soft-rock song by Fanny Fink, an indie band from Pastel Music. They debuted with the album Mr. Romance, and unfortunately their former member Young Bin left the group in 2010 when they came back with the digital single Snowdrop. This song is a soft, mellow song from their newest single 가장 아픈 사랑, or The Most Painful Love, telling a painful story of reminiscence.

Starting off, we can hear vaguely in the background a soft sound of the outdoors and some water running. The music starts at 0:18, and Myoi's faint, mellow vocals are accompanied by chords played on a piano and more background noises. The clean guitar and drum beats enter at 0:44, and this adds a stronger tint to the verse, contrasting to how soft and calm it was before. Chorus begins at 1:10, and Myoi spells out the soothing melody with her smooth voice, and soft electric guitars also enter. The range clearly widens in the chorus, as high notes start to appear. Chorus ends at 1:58 with an short instrumental, and the verse reappears at 2:04. The song returns to its mellow, relaxing self. Chorus re-enters at 2:59, this time with the backing track slightly stronger and louder to create a high point and to contrast with the verses. Chorus ends at 3:47, and the song returns to a lower point as the volume of the guitar, drums and keyboard decreases slightly. Myoi re-enters at 3:52, concluding the song with her pure and soothing voice. Guitar fades away, and only drums and keyboard can be heard.
I gave this song a 4 out of 5, and this is because I have been looping this song a lot, and that made me a little sick of hearing it, but nonetheless this is a beautiful indie track. The lyrics of this song had been written in a very melancholy and very beautifully, with a theme of reminiscence and the patient lingering of the heart for a lover, and all these feelings and emotions in the lyrics match extremely well with Myoi's mellow, artsy style of singing.

Overall, I think this song is a must listen for people who want to try out Korean indie, and also for people who are new to Fanny Fink. This song is a light listen that conveys strong emotion with a mellow style.
05 February 2011 @ 04:25 pm

손가락 걸고 (feat. 서영은 & 김현중 & 제이스)

Artist: 윈터프로젝트 (Winter Project)
Album: Winter & Color Story Two
Genre: Ballad/Rap
Release date: 24th January, 2011

mf / 4shared

Rating: ★★★★
This song is a pop ballad/rap song sung by Suh Young Eun, Kim Hyeon Joong & Jace. This song consists of ballad sounds and rap, which I personally love listening to. It is not an average ballad song because it has strong beats, which suit with the rap parts as well. This song consists of both female and male vocals, and a female rapper. Unfortunately I couldn't find the English translation of the title, so if anyone knows what it is please leave me a comment below.

The song starts off without an intro; the female vocalist's voice enters softly with an electric vibe accompanying her. The rap enters at 0:24, and a drum kit can be heard as well. The rap is very well structured, keeping a consistent tone and following the accompanying beat in the background. Rap ends at 0:46, and the male vocals enter. Powerful, but still with a soft, mellow tone. Female vocals re-enters at 1:09, and repetition of her original melody can be heard, but this time a guitar, tambourine and more drum kits are added in the background. Rap at 1:33, but this time with a slightly softer tone as the drum kit has been cancelled out. Drum kits re-enter at 1:38, and the rapper picks up volume slightly, thus energizing the mood once again. You can also vaguely hear a keyboard in the background, and some background vocals. Female vocalist re-enters at 1:55, repeating her line yet again, with background vocals vaguely accompanying her. Mood drop at 2:20, as the atmosphere of the music becomes dream-like and a little melancholy. Mood picks itself up again at 2:30, as the male vocalist joins in, and creates the high point of the song and a sustained high note at 2:37. Male vocalist enters with a modulation change at 2:41 with only a keyboard accompanying him in the background, but a slight drum kit enters at 2:44, together with guitars and mellow background voices. Female vocalist takes over at 3:03, and male vocalist adds adlibs while accompanying her. Change of tempo at 3:19 and a slight pause at 3:23, and then the female vocalist re-enters softly with a piano accompanying her, bringing the song to a satisfying ending.
I gave this song a 4 out of 5, and this is partly because I couldn't find a lot of information /in English/ about it (there were Korean sites talking about this song but I couldn't understand a word) which irked me. It is a beautiful song with a lot to review about, but there wasn't enough literal information about the artist and the like. The different parts in this song highlighted the contrasted between the male and female vocalist, and the rapper, but it wasn't strong. I especially liked the rap sequence in this song because it added a powerful tint to a beautiful ballad number. The vocals are of high quality as well; soft but yet strong at the same time.

Overall I think this ballad/rap song is an uplifting one, I like to listen to this song when I'm down, or need a boost of energy. It can soothing but upbeat at the same time, which I think is a good balance for casual listening.

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29 January 2011 @ 12:50 pm

하루하루 (Day By Day)

Artist: 김보경 (Kim Bo Kyung)
Album: the FIRST DAY
Genre: Pop-rock/ballad
Release date: 24th January, 2011

mf / 4shared

Rating: ★★★★★
'Superstar K2' contestant Kim Bo Kyung recently released her debut EP 'the FIRST DAY' consisting of 5 beautiful pop-rock/ballad style tracks. 하루하루, or Day By Day is her title track; an ear-warming song full of expression and soul. The music video is also a very beautiful one, as a light story between Kim Bo Kyung and a boxer-in-training traces their only connection to this world - a forged ambition and a mysterious ring.

The song starts off with light sounds of a clean guitar and keyboard playing a riff, followed by drums and vocals coming in at about 0:15-0:16. Kim starts off rather softly, and then when proceeding into the first chorus, raises her volume a little, creating a slight high point. Electric guitars and a bass appears at 0:44 with the chorus, and her first high note is at 1:06 when she sings 'I can't let it go'. Chorus ends immediately after that at 1:13, and back into a second verse where the mood is lowered down again. The chorus after the second verse brings a slightly higher point compared to the first chorus, but the overall tone and speed of the chorus is the same. High note at 2:06, followed by an extra line "Haru haru" and the bridge at 2:14, which is the overall high point of the song with Kim's impressing vocals. A sudden dip of mood at 2:35 when the first bit of the chorus is repeated, vocals are effected, and the overall tone is much more softer, but the mood suddenly picks itself up once again at 2:41 with a slight modulation and adlibs, creating another high point, but nothing else is changed in terms of structure of the chorus. Mood drops back down at 3:12 as the song proceeds, and ends.
I gave this song a 5 out of 5, not just because that this song is my favorite out of the five Kim has released, but it is also a must-loop song on my playlist. I absolutely adore the highs and lows of this song, as they can have such overwhelming contrast. Kim's vocals is extraordinarily smooth and gives the song an overall flow and completion. She knows how to use her voice well to create contrast and mood between parts of the song. Voice effects are used well in this song as it is not used too much, but just slightly to compare with the rest of the song.

Overall, I would say this song is a masterpiece for a rookie, and it could definitely win over the hearts of many people. It is a title track that I would say has been chosen wisely, so please support Kim Bo Kyung's debut.

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