Lee Sun-hee, one of South Korea’s iconic veteran singer-songwriters, has released her 15th studio album in celebration of the 30th anniversary of her debut.
The 11-track album titled “Serendipity” features Lee’s mature and distinct vocals which have raised her to the peerage of local ballad legends since her debut in 1984. The album covers diverse genres from pop, rock, orchestral and acoustic to gypsy jazz, proving her versatility.
Although now 50 years old, Lee has managed to produce a strong album that appeals to all age groups, a testimony to her musical talent and efforts. Lee wrote 9 of the 11 tracks on the album and worked with diverse renowned producers and artists, both young and old, from home and abroad.
The title track “Meet him among them,” which currently remains at the top of the nation’s music charts, is a pop-ballad melody about longing for one’s love. It accentuates Lee Sun-hee’s moving vocals with limited instrumentals.
“Road Watching” is an acoustic score with gypsy jazz-like guitar sounds and beats while “Pretty, pretty” delivers a light acoustic melody accompanied by soothing piano and bass. In every song, Lee’s distinct vocals blend well with the instrumentals, creating a relaxing listening experience.
“Serendipity” speaks for itself, for only pleasant musical surprises seem to greet listeners throughout the album.
Minogue’s album goes way past 1st base
“Kiss Me Once”
The latest offering from pop goddess Kylie Minogue is like a narcotic disco dream, slightly confused about the time-space continuum, yet very delightful. With her 12th studio album -- her first after signing with Jay Z’s Roc Nation management -- Minogue attempts to keep her crown in the dance kingdom -- and succeeds -- when she’s not trying too hard to upgrade to today’s trends.
Australian wunderkind Sia, who has written for Rihanna, Beyonce and Britney Spears, co-executive produced this tiny gem of dance floor anthems and sex-crazed tunes. When three out of 11 tracks have the word “sex” in their titles, you know what the album is going for -- the antechamber to the bedroom of music.
Minogue excels on songs that are pure bubblegum fun. The Pharrell-penned spring-in-one’s-step “I Was Gonna Cancel,” the vaguely familiar “Sexy Love,” the casually dance-inducing “Feels So Good” and the beguilingly ‘80s throwback title track bring back a rash of dance memories from Minogue’s golden days circa 2001 with the addictive hits “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” and “Love at First Sight.”
Sia’s writing contribution to the fun is the aggressively erotic “Sexercize,” a bass-heavy baller of a song that slithers all over your ears and proves that Minogue can deftly rap. Another laidback come-on is the enjoyable “Les Sex.”
The bug in this sextra intoxicating party cocktail is the misguided attempt at a ballad: an irritating duet with Enrique Iglesias’ computer-flavored vocals on “Beautiful.” Just stick to what you do best, kids, separately. You can’t force love on a player of an album. (AP)
Don Williams continues solid second act
Don Williams is on a roll, once again. After talk of retirement -- he even embarked on a farewell tour in 2006 -- the Country Music Hall of Fame member suddenly is busy again, releasing his second album in the last two years with “Reflections.” If anything, the new collection is an even better reminder of Williams’ special gifts than 2012’s comeback album, “And So It Goes.”
Sounding as lively and engaging as the laid-back 74-year-old is likely to get, Williams picks out an outstanding collection of songs, including those by his old favorite Townes Van Zandt (“I’ll Be Here In The Morning”), Guy Clark (“Talk Is Cheap,” co-written with Chris Stapleton and Morgane Hayes), Merle Haggard (the classic “Sing Me Back Home”) and Jesse Winchester (“If I Were Free”).
“Reflections” was co-produced with a deft touch by Williams’ longtime studio partner Garth Fundis. He captures the veteran singer’s rich voice -- sounding as smooth and subtly emotional as ever -- and backs him with the tasteful, restrained contributions of a stellar studio band.
As often has been the case, Williams displays a great ability to string together songs that make a statement about living a simple, humble life tied to family, love and the land. “Reflections” is a perfect title from a man who continues to represent the timeless strengths of good country music. (AP)