Eyelike: ‘Mr. Gae’ takes Korean hip-hop to the edge

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jan 24, 2014 - 19:37
  • Updated : Jan 24, 2014 - 19:55


Mr. Gae’ takes Korean hip-hop to the edge

“Mr. Gae”
(LOEN Entertainment)

Gary’s first solo album “Mr. Gae” is best described as R-rated. Although the title track “Shower Later” has hit the number one spot on Korea’s major music charts, the song and its accompanying music video were deemed “inappropriate” for public airing.

Indeed, the songs on Gary’s new album are filled with vulgar lyrics that are questionable even by Korean hip-hop standards. The listening becomes pleasant only through the mild vocals of Gary and the featured artists.

“Zotto Molla” translates roughly into “You don’t know s―” in English. This phrase is repeated several times throughout the song to the point of discomfort. “Drunken Night Tune” depicts today’s “hungry youth” but also includes “horny males” while “Mr. Gae” goes overboard with a hyper-macho, dub-step chorus that repeats: “I become a dog tonight. I am piss drunk again under the neon sign of the deepening night.”

The main track “Shower Later” describes sex with one’s lover in the least-raunchy way, aside from the abundance of cleavage featured in the music video: “We are naked lovers who have nothing to hide anymore ... please shower later and let us cuddle more.” Despite all the sex talk, the tune itself is catchy, which may be why the song has been so popular.


Ramshackle R&B from Cebar on new album

Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound 
“Fine Rude Thing” 
(Groovesburg Joys)

Within the narrow confines of 1960s R&B, Paul Cebar throws a lot at the wall. And most of his shtick sticks.

“Fine Rude Thing” lives up to its title from the pickup to the first measure, with Cebar screaming something unintelligible before the baritone sax joins in. The tune quickly settles into a satisfying groove, and that’s where Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound remains for the rest of the 11-song set, ramshackle yet super-tight.

Most of the tunes recall hitmakers of the distant past ― Dion on “Baby Shake,” Al Green on “You Owe It to You,” Sly Stone on “Might Be Smiling” and the Shangri-Las on “Not Necessarily True.” There’s some ska, a taste of the Caribbean and the closing “Like Loving People Do,” which sounds like a New Orleans traffic jam.

Almost everything swings, including “Shack & Shambles,” which manages to overcome Cebar’s worst singing. His two-pack-a-day vocals are sometimes an asset, however, and he can make a roadhouse seem like home. (AP)


Nettles strips down sound on solo debut

Jennifer Nettles 
“That Girl”
 (Mercury Nashville)

As lead singer in the contemporary country duo Sugarland, Jennifer Nettles and partner Kristian Bush kept growing increasingly experimental over four albums. For her first solo album, “That Girl,” Nettles takes a different tact, stripping her songs to their basics ― both sonically and emotionally.

Nettles is blessed with a voice that features a wide range and a distinct, vinegary tone. But it’s her ability to connect with a song’s emotional content that makes her stand out most. “That Girl” shows off that quality remarkably well, whether she’s singing an open-hearted ballad like “This Angel,” a playful yet meaningful bopper like “Moneyball” or a complicated confessional like the title cut.

Producer Rick Rubin balances spare acoustic arrangements with inventive rhythms and orchestrations. Even the most dramatic moments shine because of a deft, light touch, from the Latin rhythms of “Jealousy” to the way horns come in on “This One’s For You” to how drums and strings are introduced in “Me Without You.” (AP)