London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Bada #2: Aurora

(Released: September 2004) A ridiculously good album. Pop perfection. This is the sort of unpretentious music which has me bopping around the kitchen as I cook. If I were to have a criticism, there’s rather too much synthesizer and computer-generated beats – particularly in the numbers produced by the Japanese team – and not enough … [Read More]

Clazziquai Project #1: Instant Pig

(May 2004) A combination of Acid Jazz, electronica and chill-out lounge, with sometimes a flavour of Latin (the fifth track, novabossa, could almost come from an Astrud Gilberto album). The instrumental emphasis is very much on electronic sounds, though some tracks benefit from acoustic guitar. The vocals are always pleasant and relaxed. There’s nothing terribly … [Read More]

Kangta #3: Persona

(March 2005) This album is a winner. Some might dismiss it as pure kitsch, standard Korean ballad / R&B fayre, but it’s always just within the bounds of good taste. For those unfamiliar with K-pop stars, Kangta is a solo act which spun off from the now defunct boy band H.O.T. (Highfive of Teenagers) and … [Read More]

Lee Soo Young #6: The Colors of my Life

(YIGA Entertainment, 2004) A great ballad album. From the big ballad 휠릴리 (track 4) via the more intimate 너도 그런지.. and Sam Lee’s funk-inspired “You want me” (featuring Eric) to a more R&B 겁쟁이 (track 7), Lee Soo Young shows how it should be done. She has a good team of song-writers — showing that … [Read More]

Rollercoaster # 1: Come Closer

Roller Coaster – first album: 내게로 와 (1999) Rollercoaster, according to KBS, were the first Korean band to turn to Acid Jazz. Certainly one of the western bands which comes to mind when listening to this album is the Brand New Heavies. But the use of horn effects and guitar rhythms in some of the … [Read More]

Yoon Do Hyun: Difference

I often find myself puzzled by the blurb at YesAsia. The editorial commentary on Yoon Do Hyun’s second solo project, Difference, is stranger than usual. If you haven’t listened to the album, it might seem quite informative if you edit out the superlatives: Yoon Do Hyun, head and vocalist of the K-pop formation Yoon Do … [Read More]

Baek Ji-young: Smile again

(Loen Entertainment, April 2006) It shouldn’t take six playthroughs to enable me to say anything constructive about this album. On first playthrough it made no impression on me whatsoever. Some generic ballad / R&B songs which could come from any of a wide range of Korean artists, and some songs with a Flamenco / Latin … [Read More]

Vibe 3rd album: Re-feel

(Doremi media, March 2006) I think I’ve been overdosing on Korean R&B and ballads recently. Included in my recent YesAsia delivery was Vibe’s third album – another speculative purchase because I was under the mistaken impression that they were going to be playing in London so I thought I would see what I would be … [Read More]

SG Wannabe 3rd album

I know I’m not going to make myself popular with some of the visitors to this site, but I’m not going to give this CD a rave review. If I say that it’s the sort of music a teenager could put on the CD player and not have her father say “what are you listening … [Read More]

Crying Nut: Best — Wild Wild Live

I’m doing my preparatory work for the Korean festival, and put this on my CD player last night when I should have been going to bed. The resulting explosion from the speakers can’t have endeared me to my neighbours. The sound of Crying Nut reminds me a bit of the Kaiser Chiefs in I predict … [Read More]