Previous Entry (#70~61):
60. Tei – 사랑은… 향기를 남기고 (Love… Left a Scent)
Album: The First Journey
As far as successful debuts go, Tei couldn’t have asked for a much better one. “Love… Left a Scent” topped one music countdown show’s main chart for five consecutive weeks, setting a new record that was only ever tied once (the contender was “겁쟁이” (“Coward”) by Buzz, if you were wondering) before that show got shut down. Tei is a phenomenal singer–not necessarily endowed with the most flashy technique, but instead with an interesting husky tone and emotional control. Listeners were introduced to both in this song. The rather difficult modern-ballad melody has Tei doing vocal acrobatics all over, but it still somehow manages to convey that emotion of melancholy yearning. The song is doubly effective in that the satisfaction of the final chorus’ catharsis is matched only by the intensity of the brooding aftertaste it leaves.
Previous Entry (#90~81)
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.