CD reviews

LKL Critics’ Choice 2008: Mark Russell

by Mark Russell 16 December 2008
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Mark Russell from Korea Pop Wars and Korea Gig Guide presents his pick of 2008’s CDs

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LKL Critics’ Choice 2008: Anna Lindgren

by Anna Lindgren 12 December 2008
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Anna Lindgren from Indieful ROK provides her list of the top Korean albums of 2008

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LKL Critics’ Choice 2008: Saharial

by Saharial 5 December 2008
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Saharial presents her choices of 2008’s finest Korean albums. And they’re not all by Shinhwa.

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Album review: Dong Bang Shin Ki (TVXQ) #4 — Mirotic

by Jo Wakely 30 October 2008
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(SM Entertainment, September 2008) Review by Jo Wakely After one year and seven months TVXQ’s eagerly awaited 4th Korean album is finally here. The release date was put back by two days because of pre-sales in the region of 330,000. How SME failed to realise that there would be a rush on this long-awaited album […]

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Album review: Lee Soo Young #8 — Set It Down

by Philip Gowman 12 October 2008
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(Manine Media, 2007) There’s something reassuring about a Lee Soo Young album. You try to explore different genres of music, some of which may be exciting and original, and others may be frankly rather tiresome. And then you come to Lee Soo Young and it’s like returning home. It’s a bit like comfort food. It […]

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Rollercoaster #5: Triangle

by Philip Gowman 4 August 2008
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T-Entertainment, March 2006 Rollercoaster’s fifth album was released in 2006, after a gap of 2 years since the almost flawless fourth. Gone is the sense of rhythmic drive, of energy, of joie de vivre. Instead we have something a bit more laid back, less characterful. I had been warned that the fifth album was a […]

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Alex: My Vintage Romance

by Philip Gowman 2 August 2008
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Fluxus Music, June 2008 As a fan of Clazziquai, I wish I could be more enthusiastic about the first solo outing of one of its members, the male vocalist Alex. On the plus side, he has a mellow, well-controlled voice, very pleasant to listen to. And he has a reasonably distinguished line-up of guest stars. […]

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Radio Pyongyang

by Anna Lindgren 28 April 2008
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Anna Lindgren explores some music from north of the DMZ Two years ago, I found myself browsing the homepage of Seattle-based label Sublime Frequencies. They offer some really interesting CDs and DVDs, but with my interest in most things related Korea the CD called “Radio Pyongyang: Commie Funk and Agit Pop from the Hermit Kingdom” […]

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Album review: Bada #3 — Made in Sea

by Philip Gowman 29 December 2007
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(CJ Music, January 2006) After her lively second album, Bada’s third is a big let-down. Gone are the catchy pop tunes which show off her vocal range and bring a smile to the face. Instead we are faced with a run-of-the-mill R&B and dance collection, which could have been put together by anyone. The voice […]

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Two more 2007 album choices

by Philip Gowman 20 December 2007
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As an appendix to the recommendations by the three critics who know Korean pop, rock and indie music much better than me, here are two further choices. I can’t help but sympathise with Jenny when she comments that 2007 was not an outstanding year. My own purchases of Korean music are somewhat random. When I’m […]

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Evan #1: Hard to Breath

by Jenny Wu 17 December 2007
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Jenny Wu reviews her album of the year T-Entertainment, March 2007 It seems as though the recent kpop scene has been increasingly riddled with generic and bland tunes. However, once in a while, I’ll come across something that’s worthy of my time. For every cloud, there’s a silver lining. This is where Evan (Yoo Ho […]

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LKL Critics’ Choice 2007: Saharial

by Saharial 15 December 2007
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Saharial, a moderator in the soompi forums and a self-confessed pop junkie, presents her selection of 2007 releases – and has some words of comfort for a disappointing release which didn’t make her list First up is the King of Ballads — Sung Si Kyung. This sixteen track 5th Album called The Ballads opens with […]

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LKL Critics’ Choice 2007: Anna Lindgren

by Anna Lindgren 10 December 2007
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To me, 2006 was a pretty weak year, music-wise, and it wasn’t really till the very end of November that it began to shape up. That’s when – after a two month delay – adultchild finally released their debut album, B TL B TL. Filled with soft slow paced mellow music, cosy guitar play and […]

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LKL Critics’ Choice 2007: Jenny Wu

by Jenny Wu 5 December 2007
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2007 was not an outstanding year for Korean music to be brutally honest. I found myself liking this song here and that song there, but only a few albums as a whole have commanded my attention this past year. The following are my top 5 picks for best Korean albums of 2007. My criteria for […]

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Yi Sung-yol #2: In exchange

by Philip Gowman 21 November 2007
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Fluxus Records, May 2007. This was one of my gullible speculative purchases foisted on me by Mr Jay Kim at AM Records in Manhattan’s Koreatown. Bless him — he’s getting to know me too well. This one’s a cracker. Yi (이승열) has a gorgeous mellow voice — but with the occasional rough edge to make […]

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Ji-Eun #1: Rain

by Jenny Wu 18 November 2007
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Review by Jenny Wu (Yedang Entertainment, May 2007) YG Entertainment’s Kim Ji Eun has finally debuted. Her debut has been pushed forward for quite some time now, making this album all the more anticipated. As most die-hard YG fans already know, she gained fame through appearances on other artist’s albums (Jinusean, Taebin, Wheesung, and Lexy […]

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Jang Yoon Jung – first album

by Philip Gowman 14 November 2007
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(Sony Music, October 2004) Jang Yoon Jung was the first of the younger generation stars to experiment with Trot. Brought out in late 2004, her first album was a hit with older and younger buyers alike, and encouraged other Trot revivalists to have a go. Those who came after were somehow less successful, let down […]

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