The Korea Herald



By Shin Hae-in

Published : Nov. 18, 2011 - 20:22

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A touch of sentimental Christmas

Kim Dong-Ryul
(Loen Entertainment) 

He’s finally back. After four years of silence -- which felt like forever for his faithful fans -- singer-songwriter Kim Dong-ryul has returned with a Christmas album that feels happy, sad, lonely and fulfilling all at the same time.

Skillfully matching his English name with “Yule,” Kim has created his album with songs he wrote as far back as 13 years ago.

Title track “Replay,” written in 2000, shows off what fans would call “Kim’s typical style and tune” with a refined arrangement of instrumental sound and his own voice. Reminiscing a now-dead love story with his ex, the singer realizes how his memories change with time.

In track No. 8, Kim sings alongside his close friends Park Jung-hyun, Sweet Sorrow, John Park, Lee Jeok, Yoo Hee-yeol and many others, exchanging lyrics in a conversation-like manner.

Track No. 5 is Kim’s first duet with a female vocal in more than seven years. The song shares the anticipation and thrill of newly-starting lovers.


’Breaking Dawn’ romantic but melancholy

Various artists
“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 Original Soundtrack”
(Atlantic Records)

Just about everyone is familiar with the “Twilight” tale of romantic woe between a vampire and a human. The soundtrack brings about a vibe of a love that has finally settled into something coherent. But along with fulfillment, the lyrics are touched by a strange sadness.

Bruno Mars, the most prominent name on the soundtrack, wails with torment on “It Will Rain.” The various artists give voice to the two lovers and their need to reassure themselves that their love, which demands some sort of sacrifice, is worth fighting for.

However, for a film where most of the hype is about Bella and Edward finally getting it on, the soundtrack is almost devoid of any sexy or sensual songs.

Iron and Wine’s “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” is a perhaps the album’s sweetest, most enchanting track. It stands a high chance of becoming a first dance song at the wedding of many young girls who have made “Twilight” the phenomenon of their generation. (AP)

Ndegeocello conjures brooding ‘Weather’

Meshell Ndegeocello

With singer/songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello’s signature smoky voice, and instrumentation that feels lush even at its most spare, the aptly named “Weather” is a brooding, atmospheric album perfect for a lazy late autumn afternoon.

“Weather” is the versatile Ndegeocello’s ninth release in 20 years, a body of work punctuated by her unmistakable bass playing, smooth voice and lyrics that range from uplifting to heart-wrenching.

“Weather” is an unpredictable blend of beautifully melancholy meanderings like “Feeling for the Wall,” “Oysters” and “Don‘t Take My Kindness for Weakness,” and smart bouncy tunes like “Chance” and “Rapid Fire.”

On tracks like the deliciously moody “Crazy and Wild,” Ndegeocello uses sparse but powerful vocals, piano and drums to evoke the rawest of emotions, producing songs you both hear and feel.

“Dirty World” brings the bass in a way only Ndegeocello with just the right amount of in-your-face bravado. (AP)