Where’s the innovation?

테이 – 새벽 3시
Tei – “Sae byeog sam shi (3am)”
Track 3 / Vol. 5 “The Note” / Released 13 Nov 2008

Live on Mnet MCountdown (15 Jan 2009)

2nd promo song of Tei’s fifth album. Finally, something more interesting than his 1st promo song “기적 같은 이야기“, but unfortunately, it sounds strikingly similar to two great hits of the past. First line of the chorus sounds like that of Fly to the Sky’s “Like a man”. Last line of the chorus copies that of Sung Si Kyung’s “The road to me”. Videos of these two songs are included below for reference.

Fly to the Sky – “남자답게 (Like a man)”
Live on KBS1 Charity Program “Hope Project” (28 Jan 2006)

Sung Si Kyung – “내게 오는 길 (The road to me)”
Live on Mnet F* Concert (18 Jul 2003)

I’m quite disappointed with Tei’s new album, his 5th album worse than 4th. With his solid singing and beautiful voice, he could fare so much better if he has better songs. Frankly speaking, I do think a respected artiste like Tei should have a say on what songs to include in his album and what not. Okay, you pick a happy, soothing ballad like 기적 같은 이야기 which is easy to listen, but certainly not 새벽 3시. I’m surprised that the management is not aware of possible issues with copyright infringement.

There are many good male singers doing ballads.  Lee Ki Chan, Kim Bum Soo, Jo Sung Mo, Tim, Na Yoon Kwon, Choi Jung Chul, just to name a few. They all have pleasant voices, solid singing skills and their hits, but it takes more to be called ‘great’. Like Calvin Klein and Gucci, the trend setters in fashion, true artistes should tell people what to hear, not just the other way round. In this sense, the boy- and girl-groups are doing a good job. TVXQ’s “Mirotic” takes on the reverse beat. Wonder Girls’ “Nobody” plays with the retro concept.

With ballads, a beautiful melody is a must (original, please!). Venturing into different musical styles adds spices. In his 6th album, Sung Si Kyung explored big band jazz (“그대와 춤을“) and bossa nova (“Baby you are beautiful“) while Park Hyo Shin included soft jazz (“사랑을 비우다“) and new age (“메아리“) in his 5th album. It’s definitely their broad listening, developed musical tastes and a high level of musicianship that sets them apart from the rest.

I’m going to conclude this long rant with Park Hyo Shin’s performance of his debut song “해줄 수 없는 일” on Lee Hana’s Peppermint recently on 12 Dec 2008.

You don’t need to re-arrange the song to make it sound different. PHS just did an ad lib, singing it real slow, and pulled off a great performance. And here’s his debut performance.

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One thought on “Where’s the innovation?

  1. Pingback: Tei – “Poisonous Tongue” « Kpop music reviews

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