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Unique acid pop carried in five voices

VOY

“VOY meet Girl”

(Mirrorball Music)

Lee Byung-hoon, well-known for directing music for the movies “Sunny” and “The Happy Life,” introduces unique acid pop on his new album through the voices of five female vocalists ― Gyepi, Han Hee-jung, Oh Ji-eun, Ahn Sin-ae and Kim Jin-a.

The three-member band’s second album “VOY meet Girl” is clearly “Lee’s album” with the musician taking care of not just the composition, but the arrangement, keyboard and mixing.

While “Closed Room” is sung in a dreamy, girly voice by Kim Jin-a, “Writing Down Memory,” by Han Hee-jung is full of tearful emotion. Ahn Sin-ae, an up-and-coming singer and relatively little-known among the five musicians, sings the last track “Last Wishes” in a deep, husky voice.

The music videos for the album were shot by six different filmmakers who are close to Lee. Director Lee Jun-ik of “The King and the Clown” and “Radio Star” shot scenes for the first track “The Song of the Wind,” while director Kim Hyeon-seok of “Cyrano Agency” took care of the second track “Writing down Memory.”

(hayney@heraldcorp.com)

Norah Jones’ band returns

The Little Willies

“For The Good Times”

(Milking Bull/EMI)

Norah Jones has never hid her affection for country music. Her Grammy-winning 2002 debut album “Come Away with Me” ― which has sold 23 million units worldwide ― featured a compelling cover of Hank Williams’ “Cold Cold Heart.” She’s also been nominated for Grammys for duets with Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson ― the latter of whom inspired the name for the long-running country band Jones has been performing in for more than 10 years.

The Little Willies’ second album, “For the Good Times” ― a Kris Kristofferson composition made into a country standard by Ray Price ― once again puts a loose-yet-sophisticated spin on several old-school classics.

Truly a group project, the Little Willies focus on individual musicianship and ensemble interaction. Guitarist Jim Campilongo especially, is single-note-style treasure; bassist Lee Alexander, guitarist-singer Richard Julian, and drummer Dan Rieser also return and make important contributions.

Julian occasionally takes lead vocals, sounding especially effective on the great, rarely covered Willie Nelson ballad, “Permanently Lonely.” (AP)

Norah Jones’ band returns

The Little Willies

“For The Good Times”

(Milking Bull/EMI)

Norah Jones has never hid her affection for country music. Her Grammy-winning 2002 debut album “Come Away with Me” ― which has sold 23 million units worldwide ― featured a compelling cover of Hank Williams’ “Cold Cold Heart.” She’s also been nominated for Grammys for duets with Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson ― the latter of whom inspired the name for the long-running country band Jones has been performing in for more than 10 years.

The Little Willies’ second album, “For the Good Times” ― a Kris Kristofferson composition made into a country standard by Ray Price ― once again puts a loose-yet-sophisticated spin on several old-school classics.

Truly a group project, the Little Willies focus on individual musicianship and ensemble interaction. Guitarist Jim Campilongo especially, is single-note-style treasure; bassist Lee Alexander, guitarist-singer Richard Julian, and drummer Dan Rieser also return and make important contributions.

Julian occasionally takes lead vocals, sounding especially effective on the great, rarely covered Willie Nelson ballad, “Permanently Lonely.” (AP)


Blues legend compiled in two CDs

Robert Johnson

“The Complete Original Masters Centennial Edition’’

(Columbia/Legacy)

Pulling together a box set of recordings by Mississippi Delta blues legend Robert Johnson should not be that tough a task. Johnson only released a handful of songs from two recording sessions in 1936 and 1937, in the Texas cities San Antonio and Dallas, respectively.

But Johnson was no ordinary musician, and justly, Sony’s Legacy division has treated his work with respect and detail. In the box set titled “Robert Johnson: The Complete Original Masters, Centennial Edition,” homage is paid on the 100th anniversary year of Johnson’s birth with a dozen 78 rpm replicas of each of his released songs.

The set also contains two CDs of 42 master and alternate takes. For a retrospective of the times in which Johnson made his music, one of the CDs contains 10 songs from various artists recorded on the same days as the Robert Johnson sessions all those decades ago. There is a DVD documentary as well which takes a look at Johnson’s short 27 years on Earth. (AP)
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