Sing it, Bling Bling!
If you ever thought that the greatness of Base was either overstated or a fluke, you simply have to listen to She Is to know that Jonghyun Kim has something special. His first, full length album shows the same attention to detail as his much heralded EP, but it also manages to show something that we didn’t expect–growth.
The most obvious growth, and the most inexplicable, is in his vocals. Jonghyun has always had a lovely voice, but he seems to have gained some control over his tone that eluded him at times in the past as his transitions between upper and lower register notes are better and he can make different sounds more palatable.
In terms of production, the growth in his breadth of style ups the ante here as well, allowing the singer to experiment with different sounds and ease, ever so slightly, out of strict R&B without alienating core fans. It also gives this set a little more dance energy than the last, giving you more opportunities to listen and have fun (his last album was a feast for pure listening) while not watering things down too much.
Lyrically (from what we can tell given our limited knowledge of Korean), there seems to be some growth as well, though this is one of the singer’s best categories as an artist, so the shift is a lot more subtle. While Base was the best title he could come up with and only seemed to have a vague connection to the themes discussed, this album seems to flow in terms of subject matter as well, with the relationship escalating from track to track, changing and growing. It feels like he’s talking about one person here instead of several different people that he has been involved with. Good job, Jonghyun!
Our favorite songs are Moon (the Hallelujah of this set for us), Aurora, Red, and Suit Up with the most skippable being White Shirt and Dress Up.
Our friends over at pop!gasa have provided full lyrical translation for the album…we love them.