All of the flavor, none of the fat


I just spent ANOTHER ENTIRE DAY with nothing to do but sit at this desk and stare at this screen.  Today there are no submissions, so I’m just goofing off, and here is the result:

As you know, due to my being isolated in the country and being held hostage from any gainful activity due to my attention-hogging cat, I have become far too much of a couch-potato t.v. watcher, and I have become addicted to competitive reality t.v. shows having to do with artistic expression, such as:  Korea’s Top Model, Project Runway Korea, and Super Star K  and also the American counterparts, including X-factor and Work of Art.

But right now I’m obsessed with the Voice of Korea.  The Voice programs globally are great because we don’t have to suffer through the painful preliminary competition, we don’t have to be exposed to reality t.v. drama, and we don’t have to witness ugly back-biting competitiveness of performers OR their judges.  Instead we get exposed to more of what we tune in to hear: and that is inspired people with skill extending themselves to be and do their best.  And it’s really interesting that the judges in this case make their decisions blind (which is a pleasant change for this country where the superficial is celebrated many times over content) and eventually will have to perform with their coaches as well as demonstrate the ability to perform songs they have written themselves.  I know this Korean version is modeled after the U.S.’s The Voice, but for once I actually prefer the Korean version.  I know the U.S. singers have a home advantage to singing soulfully, and there is a greater diversity of genres, but it’s really interesting to see how well some of the Korean singers are picking it up.  It’s also interesting to me to hear so many soloists singing Korean pop songs and ballads and finding that in the hands of people interested in artistry, they are not making me want to hurl like most Kpop does.  It’s also interesting for me because I get to hear what seem to be iconic pop songs of the past which obviously greatly move all Koreans (as everyone knows the words) and for which I otherwise would have no exposure.

Here is an introduction to the four mentors:

Shin Seung Hoon 신승훈

Here he’s pretty impressive singing some songs you’ll recognize on a Japanese t.v. show

Baek Ji Yeong 백지영

She appears to be the queen of drama soundtracks.  Not a big fan of this breathy, dramatic style.

Gil 길 recently with Leessang 리쌍

Pretty much everything these guys do is great

Kangta 강타 formerly with boy band HOT

He’s very pleasant to my eye and ear, but this song  sounds too sappy for me.  I have yet to check out his work with HOT, but I’ve heard they were to die for back in the day

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If you can’t get it where you live, just type in  Mnet “보이스코리아” in Youtube’s search engine or go to the Mnet.com website and click on Voice of Korea, which is fun to poke around.

Here are some of my favorites (indented is the write-up from Mnet about each artist)

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Geun Suk Bae

This boy blew me away when he came on.  Not for his artistry, which would require a different song, but his voice carries in a super-human way that is like a gift from the Gods or something.  I don’t like Kpop in general, (think it has a very dated, retro sound actually) but admit that it’s catchy, and this guy’s version is, I think, better than the original.  And his timing and delivery are spot on.  I mean, this boy’s voice is money.  Absolutely golden.  I look forward to seeing how flexible he can be and what more he can do with that gift.  But when it comes to being “the Voice” of Korea, I think he could represent well.  And, as you can see everyone was quite taken aback that the voice belonged to a boy.

Geun Suk Bae, the owner of mysterious voice which makes us wonder about his sex! His amazing talent and the fact that he was from England left coaches no chocie but to turn their chairs! Among four coaches, Geun Suk Bae chose post Korean producer, Gang Ta!!

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Shin Choi

Here’s a more contemporary, indie-sounding singer-songwriter who also made some gender-bending waves because she sounds like and dresses like a boy.

There was a transition in the satge of her whose face as well as her voice seemed like a man! The transition was the fact that she was ‘Miss’ Shin Choi!
The appealing androgynous voice of Miss Shin makes us anticipate about her next stage^_^ Shin Choi and Gill, way to go!!

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Woo Hyae Mi

This girl has a really sexy texture to her voice and she has great potential for great versatility if she doesn’t limit herself to the jazzy stylings.

Miss Woo absolutely changed Kwang Seok Kim’s ‘My Song’ with unusual instrument and arrangement. Every coach agreed that she goes well
with hip hop maestro coach Guil so she joined the Coach Guil’s crew. She has unpredictable character and cute face, which keeps us anticipated about her next move!

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Kang Mi Jin

This girl was kind of a surprise, because she’s got a fragile voice but is more rock and roll.  And her sound dynamics were awesome.

Kang Mi Jin, one who debuted as a member of ‘Sprinkler’ in 2007,has a pain of wearing mask while she sang. Maybe that is why all the coaches turned their chairs.
And the chosen coach was sentimental vocalist, Baek Ji Young~!! Congratulations

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Yoo Sung Eun

jazzy, soulful textured voice.

Yoo Sung Eun, the one who turned coaches’ chairs in 10 seconds, not in 10 minutes by newly arranging ‘ ten minutes). Although
she was flattered by Gill who said that she reminds him of Jill Scott, her choice was Coach Baek Ji Young! Sing us more good songs in the futrue!~

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Lee So Jeong

I love the vibrato of this girl, and how effortless she sings.  I keep hitting replay on this one.

Every coach pushed the button for Lee So Jeong who sang completely new version of Gill’s I am not really smiling’
without rap! It’s been also said that she participated in Superstar K~!!
We can’t wait to hear her voice toghether with Coach Shin Seung Hoon’s in the voice of Korea!

Here’s the original (by one of the coaches, Gil and Leessang)

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There’s more I like, but I need to get up out of my chair.  With that I managed to while away the better part of a day.  Hope you enjoyed it.

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4 thoughts on “All of the flavor, none of the fat

  1. My kid is deep into kpop right now, as are many of her friends. I will send her these links. Yoo Sung Eun had a great voice.

  2. My 4 favourites: Kang Mi Jin, Ha Yena, Ee So Jeong, and Jae Ho. But congrats to Son Seong Yeon for winning. It was very annoying though that they kept the show going for 30 minutes with ads and some funny guy (?) before announcing the winner. You could see that the 4 contestants were getting tired waiting for the result as well, which took a bit off the emotional feeling when the winner was announced.

  3. I was actually really happy Son Seong Yeon won: She just consistently stepped up to the plate every time. It would have been nice to see her take on another genre, though.

    That ANNOYING guy. SOOOOOO ANNOYING is the MC from Super Star K. You think the build-up for the winner to this was annoying, EVERY episode of Super Star K did that! I finally had to stop watching it, because it was going to give me an anneurism. I told my students about my hatred of him, and they all agreed. Of course, I don’t know if it’s him liking to talk too much, or if it’s the fault of the people who hire him and tell him to talk too much…As soon as I saw him, I knew I could run to the kitchen, have a snack, go out for a smoke, and hit the bathroom and still come back with plenty of time to get frustrated.

    I must say, though, Voice Korea was really much better than the Voice America. I think a lot of it has to do that there is a narrower range in styles and genres, but the professionalism of the Korean singers (for the most part) really came through.

  4. I was wondering what happened to the format where they were supposed to sing duets with the judges? They even mentioned it in the write-ups early on. I missed one episode, did I miss the duets? I looked on youtube, but only saw the one performance of the four judges combined.

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