The Korea Herald


Eyelike: Sunmi brings back ‘sexy’ with ‘Full Moon’

By Korea Herald

Published : Feb. 21, 2014 - 19:42

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Sunmi brings back ‘sexy’ with ‘Full Moon’

“Full Moon” 
KT Music

K-pop female acts today are increasingly partaking in a race to become “the sexiest,” as new song releases draw heightened attention with erotic music videos and provocative performances.

The latest contender is Sunmi, who released her first solo EP “Full Moon” on Monday. Although the music video for the title track “Full Moon” does feature Sunmi’s sexy squats and grinds, the song is seductive simply by virtue of its sound, delivering a more classy rendition of “sexy.”

“Full Moon,” a collaborative effort by JYP and producers Brave Brothers, delivers a fresh sound, gladly moving away from the typical musical style found on many recent JYP releases. The groovy brass and guitar riffs alongside sensual drumbeats blend in well with Sunmi’s husky vocals. The hypnotic repetition of the chorus, “eh eh eh,” is addictive and adds to the seductive mood of the song.

Another notable song, “Who Am I,” mixes retro melodies with soul. Sunmi sings as if she is speaking softly to listeners before blasting away with high notes.

A low-key rap by Yubin of Wonder Girls creates a fitting contrast in the song.

“Burn” meshes an electronic dance sound with Sunmi’s vocals, deviating from the rest of the album yet staying in line with its theme.


Phantogram reaches next level on ‘Voices’

(Republic Records)

The so-called “sophomore slump” is something most artists want to avoid but somehow hit with precision.

Not so with Phantogram. The New York-based duo, whose songs blend deep and defined throbbing foundations with swirling but dirgelike grooves that float and careen around in a whirl of melody, has safely hopped over that trap with “Voices,” its new 11-track album. It’s the follow-up to the electronic rockers’ 2009 debut, “Eyelid Movies,” and the new album comes after Phantogram’s well-received collaborations with Big Boi of Outkast.

There’s no slumping on “Voices” to be found anywhere except for the heavy-handed lyrics and layer upon layer of heavy tones that wrap listeners in a mummy’s bandages of longing and regret as is experienced on “Never Going Home.”

But it’s not all melancholy. Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter have found an equilibrium that pulls the very best of each other’s talents to the forefront and blends it for songs that have a stunning heft.

This isn’t music for jubilant parties. This is music for listening, parsing for meaning, for introspection and for making bold declarations that, as the song “Howling at the Moon” proclaims, “Let the shooting stars, let the crashing cars, let the future pass, wasn’t made to last.”

Phantogram has crafted an epochal album, a generational capstone that will reside in playlists for a generation to come and be returned to in times of heady joy and nostalgic reminiscence, too. (AP)


Glover shows promise on post-‘Idol’ debut

Candice Glover
“Music Speaks”
 (Interscope/19 Recordings)

Candice Glover originally planned to release her debut two months after she won “American Idol” last May. She postponed it ― twice.

Time is definitely on her side though: “Music Speaks” is one of the better “Idol” debuts.

She kicks off the album with the top-notch “Cried,” co-written by one of her contemporary influences, Jazmine Sullivan. “Die Without You” echoes Brandy ― but with stronger vocals ― while “Same Kind of Man” and the powerful “Forever That Man” mirror Fantasia.

The 24-year-old hasn’t found her voice entirely, and not all of the songs are complete winners (like the Mike WiLL Made-It-produced “Passenger”), but Glover demonstrates promise as she shows she’s more than a balladeer: She coos beautifully on “Kiss Me,” which sounds like a future radio hit; she shines on the beat-driven, Southern hip-hop-flavored “Coulda Been Me,” co-written by Ester Dean; and “In the Middle” surprisingly interpolates Shabba Ranks’ “Ting-A-Ling” in a good way.

On the piano tune “Damn,” she nails the song when she sings of falling in love with another woman’s lover in a calm tone.

Glover stole the show on “Idol” when she adapted her voice to a wide range of songs, from Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” to the Cure’s “Lovesong,” which she includes on the new album. Her debut is similar ― it proves just how much potential she has. (AP)