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80. 김태우 (Kim Tae-Woo) – 사랑비 (Love Rain)
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.