13 Years On & On

나더러 인생의 최애곡을 꼽으라면 주저없이 “꿈에”를 택할 것이고 그 외에도 박정현의 음악을 애청하지만, 의외로 나는 박정현의 디스코그라피를 다 들어보지는 않았다. 처음부터 끝까지 들은 정규앨범은 4집, 6집, 7집, 8집이고, 다른 앨범은 대표곡만 몇곡씩 들어본 정도. (싱글은 다 섭렵했던 것 같다.) 예전 음반일수록 일부러 찾아듣는 게 왠지 귀찮기도 하고, 90년대 R&B 발라드를 그렇게까지 좋아하진 않기에.

다만 5집인 <On & On>은 옛날부터 들어왔던 대표곡들(“달”, “미아”, “하비샴의 왈츠”)을 워낙 좋아해서 가끔씩 피지컬로 소장하고픈 마음이 들었다. (게다가 스포티파이엔 딱 5집만 없더라…) 이번에 이달소 음반을 몇 장 주문하던 김에 생각이 나서 끼워넣기로 함.

이달의 리나박 (루나박?)

근데 이거 듣다 보니까 내가 알고 있던 다른 정규들보다 훨씬 좋은 것 같다. 분량도 긴데 거의 모든 곡이 기복 없이 퀄리티가 좋고, 사운드에 신경을 많이 쓴 흔적이 보인다. 여러모로 실험적이기도 하다.

  • 특히 발라드의 화법을 벗어나면서 개성있는 편곡으로 채운 곡들이 흥미롭다. 영롱한 무드의 인트로부터 비범하더니, 곧 팝락 스타일의 “아름다운 너를”에서 청량하게 질주해준다. 김조한이 참여했고 가스펠을 이식해온 듯한 대곡 “미래”는 반복적이고 단촐한 멜로디 구성이지만 점차적으로 사운드를 쌓아올려 어떤 경건함이 느껴질 정도의 경험으로 승화시킨다. “싱글 링” 또한 (바네사 칼튼의 “A Thousand Miles”가 바로 떠오르는 리프와 스트링이긴 하지만) 제법 여운이 남는다.
  • “달”은 그때나 지금이나 정말 빼어나다고 생각한다. 휘몰아치는 오케스트라, 처연과 격정을 넘나들며 토해내는 보컬, “닿을 수 없는 것”을 달로 풀어낸 은유, 그리고 그 속에서 은은하게 빛나는 갈망. “꿈에”가 히트한 후였는데도 뜨지 못했다는게 안타깝다.
  • 윤종신 작사의 “미아” 역시 폭발적인 후반부를 통해 감동을 전하고, “하비샴의 왈츠”는 소위 말하는 박정현 광곡 중에서도 애처로운 광기를 가장 잘 담아낸 트랙이다. 한동안 안 들었던 곡들인데 재생을 멈출수가 없어요…

아무튼 이 아티스트에게 <Parallax>보다도 좋은 음반이 있었다는 걸 뒤늦게나마 알았다. (팬을 자처하면서 고작 8장을 다 안들어봤다는 게 웃기지만.) 마침 올해 20주년을 맞아 9집이 나오고 싱글컷도 두 장 한다는 소식이 며칠 전에 떴다. 이 앨범 같은 스타일을 기대할 수는 없겠지만 작년 “연애중”도 좋게 들었던 나로서는 기대되는 컴백. (심지어 달총 작곡이라니!)


Works discussed in this post:

박정현 (Lena Park) – On & On (2005, K&C Music)
T-Entertainment Co.
1. Ode
2. 아름다운 너를 (Beautiful You)
3. Long Goodbye
4. 달 (Moon)
5. Miracle
6. 알아볼게요 (Will Recognize)
7. 미래 (Future)
8. 그러지 마세요 (Don’t)
9. 오늘이라면 (The Day Will Come)
10. 미아 (迷兒) (Lost Child)
11. 싱글 링 (Single Ring)
12. Very Thought
13. Ghost
14. 하비샴의 왈츠 (Miss Havisham’s Waltz)

Top 100 (Korean) Songs of the Decade: #10~#1

Previous Entry (#20~11):

https://jdbae.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/top-100-korean-songs-of-the-decade-2011/

10. g.o.d. – 길 (The Road)
Album: Chapter 4: 길 (The Road)
Release: 11-12-2001

(Song starts about two minutes in.)

Formerly five-man boy band g.o.d. (stands for Groove Over Dose. Yeah, everyone ignores it.) had talent that remains questionable–a couple of the members were okay at rap, and the four members besides lead vocal Kim Tae-Woo had only so-so singing ability before some went solo. What isn’t questionable is the importance of the social messages that their songs contained, compared to the slightly less concerned idol groups today.

“The Road” was actually not as popular as their former “To Mother” or “Lie”, among others, but to me the song signifies the apex of g.o.d.’s musical achievement. The five members’ easy vocals float over four minutes of minimalist instrumentation, where strings (both soothing and haunting at once) punctuate acoustic guitar and appropriately light percussion; the two lead vocals, Kim and Son Ho-Young, cry out with characteristic emotion. What really makes this song is the lyrics: in a time of uncertainty for many teens and young adults, when a still-recovering-from-crippling-recession left little opportunities, g.o.d. sang of the struggle that they had with their future, of the role of destiny, and of dreams. Large numbers of people still testify to the powerful effect that this song had on them when they were young, and I feel that its message, summed up by the chorus, rings more true than ever today.

Why I am I standing on this road
Is this really the road for me
Will my dreams come true at the end of this road?
What do I dream about
Who is that dream really for
When I achieve that dream, will I be able to smile?

ANY CHARACTER HERE

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Top 100 (Korean) Songs of the Decade: #50~41

Previous Entry (#60~51):

https://jdbae.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/top-100-korean-songs-of-the-decade-6051/

50. 싸이 (Psy) – 챔피언 (Champion)
Album: 3싸이 (3Psy)
Release: 9-19-2002

This tune here probably sounds familiar to you. It’s the famous “Axel F” track from Beverly Hills Cop; Psy was by no means the first artist to sample it, but he probably did put the weirdest spin on it. This reimagining is based on techno, with old-school synthesizer and analog drum machine filling the beat. The familiar melody is used as an intro and background, throughout and up to the chorus; the actual chorus and tune are original.

A majority of Psy’s songs have this in common: they are extremely danceable. That means they’re upbeat, energetic, vibrant, and entertaining, with a bit of the magic ingredient (whatever it may be) that completes the concoction. His greatest hits were all that way–“Bird”, “Celeb”, “We Are The One”, and the most recent “Right Now” all followed that formula. “Champion” is one of those songs as well: the supercharged beat is there, as described, and Psy’s signature entertaining, not-quite-virtuoso-but-good-to-the-ear rapping makes the rest of it. As a club anthem, it fits the bill; as a pick-me-up, it works equally well. But this one’s different from Psy’s other similar successes by way of a message. The lyrics are pretty funny, but this time they have an important empowerment theme. The titular “champion”, as Psy makes very clear about 400 times, is you. It’s you because you shout. It’s you because you rock to music. Because you enjoy life. Because it’s you. Because you’re you. And you’re a champ.

[As an aside,  this is a track perfectly suited to a concert, which Psy knows. Hence the remix of this song, which is breathtaking–full orchestra and band accompaniment, with scale befitting one of his year-end concerts. I almost consider it better than this version, but as far as I know there is only one location on the Internet where it is still publicly available, and it cannot be linked to.]

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