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Friday, January 16, 2015

N.EX.T - Thee

This song is not remotely new, but I can't not post it because it really represents the exact kind of music this blog was designed to spotlight. N.EX.T was a Korean rock band most prominent in the 90's. Its frontman (and mastermind), Shin Hae Chul, tragically and suddenly passed away last October. Though I don't know all that much about him, it's clear that he was a very influential and important artist in his homeland. I do know that he dabbled in almost every genre imaginable, and seemed to have a strong penchant for epic, theatrical rock. To honor his legacy, his songs have been performed by many of my favorite K-Pop idols during the annual end-of-the-year song festivals. That's how I was introduced to this music, and thank god I was. There aren't a lot of translations available for this track, but I've heard it called both "You" and "Thee." I've been teaching myself Korean for a few weeks now, with the goal to be semi-fluent eventually. I believe that the Korean title uses honorifics, hence the reason I went with "Thee." Doesn't matter, though, because a song this triumphant and galvanizing breaks all language barriers. Some might call the epic opening minute cheesy. I would describe it as everything I love in music. I you like Queen or the Ark or any rock opera, you have to listen right now. It's transcendent stuff.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. Buy the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Josef Johansson - Du Tror Du Är

Josef Johansson had two singles in my top fifty last year, both very near the top. That means I'm going to keep featuring his music until he enjoys the kind of success he deserves. His most recent pair of songs have both been covers. Of course, I'd prefer original material, but this Swedish-language version of an old track called Moviestar might as well be original because I've never heard any version of it before. Unsurprisingly, the song doesn't sound all that much like Johansson's other releases. It's more of a downtempo affair with a dreamlike female vocal delivering the hook. I can't quite tell what I think about it yet. It's certainly interesting, though. And I'm still highly anticipating a debut album from him.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. Buy his music here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Jonghyun - Crazy (Guilty Pleasure)

The first major K-Pop release of the year was one that I highly anticipated. I'm a big fan of Shinee, the group that Jonghyun is a part of, and his fellow member Taemin's solo debut last year was one of my favorites. Initially when I heard this song, I've got to admit that I was a little underwhelmed. I felt like the track (its production, specifically), felt underdeveloped. This kind of surprised me, especially since I feel like Jonghyun is the more experimental, songwriting member in the group. Luckily, my enthusiasm nudged me to give the song more listens, and it's grown on me immensely. I particularly like the middle eight, which has a kind of rock/pop melody in the midst of all this spare funk. After this, it feels like solo mini-albums from each Shinee member are inevitable, and I can't wait to hear what the other three have to bring.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. Buy the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Teddybears - Shimmy Shimmy Style

"We keep it up all night"

I don't know how I missed out on this song last year. Well, actually... I guess I do. I'm such a K-Pop devotee nowadays that I haven't had my feelers up as persistently in other regions of the world. And, even though Sweden's Teddybears have quite a pedigree under their belt, I don't feel like there was a lot of buzz when this single was released last September. I'm here to do what I can to change that, because Shimmy Shimmy Style is freaking amazing. For those who don't know, one third of Teddybears is Klas Åhlund, who has done extensive production work with Robyn and (I think) Swingfly. So, if you like music by those two artists (and who wouldn't?), you're going to LOVE this. I'm not sure if that's a "Boys Of Summer" sample I hear in the hook, but either way I think it's tremendously catchy.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. Buy the single here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.