Top 100 (Korean) Songs of the Decade: #70~61

Previous Entry (#80~71):

70. Crash – Crashday
Album: The Paragon of Animals
Release: 8-9-2010

Thrash metal band Crash have always been innovators in their field–at one point, they even attempted a techno-based metal sound. Returning after nearly a decade of hiatus, it appears that Crash decided to return to its roots. “Crashday” is more than a little thrash–it goes somewhat heavier, but the influence is there nonetheless. The immediately noticeable element is the technical excellence of the sound being offered here. The intricate guitars are equally richly placed in both the melody and the riff, and the explosive drums never rest for a beat in their tremolo. The song’s plethora of melodies and solos seamlessly merge, its wildly varying acts and sections flowing naturally. Vocalist and guitarist Ahn Heung-Chan growls, shouts and sings equally effectively, the latter as well-placed oases in the barrage of sound, and guitarist Yun Du-Byoung contributes ear-popping solos. The quality of the work speaks for itself: this took a lot of effort and careful composition. It took a return of the masters at the top of their form for the first truly satisfying metal track in years to emerge.

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Top 100 (Korean) Songs of the Decade: #80~71

Previous Entry (#90~81)

80. 김태우 (Kim Tae-Woo) – 사랑비 (Love Rain)
Album: T-Virus
Release: 9-3-2009

It’s always an exciting prospect when an established artist can find a firm, new direction to take his or her music. After a decade as the lead vocal of boy band g.o.d., a moderately successful solo ballad album, and two years of military service, Kim Tae-Woo returned in 2009 with a winning formula. “기억과 추억” (“Memories and Reminiscence”), an upbeat electronic-pop piece featuring the entire old g.o.d. crew with the exception of Yun Gye-Sang, was released early that year, a total departure from the man’s former music. T-Virus and its lead single “Love Rain” then hit in autumn, and perfected the approach attempted in the previous outing. The song is, quite simply, refreshing. In addition to the continual imagery of cleansing rain and the torrent of instrumentation, the uplifting and bursting rhythm knows not where to stop, the hook and chorus are instantly addictive, and the lyrics are so optimistically beautiful that it verges on idealism. Kim’s vocal ability hasn’t gone anywhere, and the artist’s clean highs and impeccable groove make “Love Rain” one of the most memorable pop songs of the decade.

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Top 100 (Korean) Songs of the Decade: #90~81

Previous entry (#100~91):

90. 성시경 (Sung Si-Kyung) – 처음처럼 (Like At First)
Album: 처음처럼 (Like at First)
Release: April 2001. Believe it or not, I was not able to find the actual release date of this album. If anyone else can, please let me know! (This video is unembeddable, unfortunately.)

Sung Si-Kyung’s debut album is pretty much the only working cassette tape that still exists in my household right now. Remember what those were? Cassettes? But anyway, this soft-spoken ballad artist came onto the scene while still in college with this phenomenal album, and launched himself into stardom instantly with “Like At First”. Sung possesses an extremely tender voice, but true to his figure (6’3″ and 173, if you were wondering), he can put tons of breath behind it when needed as in this case. This expressive vocalist, when paired up with an expansive, soothing melody line and one of the most romantic set of lyrics in ballad history, can make things happen. Like a berth in this Top 100.

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