Sunday, December 28, 2008

Park Hyo Shin

I haven't done a video introduction to a Korean pop musician in a while, and I still have a few who deserve your attention. This time it is Park Hyo Shin, whom a friend recommended to me a few years ago. I bought his fourth CD, Soul Tree, which at the time was his newest work. Much of it was pretty standard K-pop ballads, but a couple of tracks caught my attention, especially "Hey U Come On":

The distracting sax squeal (probably sampled) is mixed too prominently in this clip, but it's the best version I could find on YouTube; and aside from that cavil, it's a good performance. Park's voice reminds me of various American R&B singers I liked in the 80s, like Jeffrey Osborne or James Ingram.

Park has also performed with other singers, often from outside Korea:

And with other Korean singers. I'm trying to remember where I first heard this song, if it was on a compilation or on one of Park's albums:

The second, of course, is from Disney's Aladdin. (There seem to be a number of versions of this song by K-pop singers on YouTube.)

Park has also been doing some slightly different things, possibly trying to leave his teenybopper idol image behind. (He was only about 20 when he put out his first album, and I was surprised, when I first heard his singing, to learn how young he was.) This clip, for example, shows him improvising and scatting in a radio studio with a keyboard player and drummer, and then singing a trote, an older Korean pop form.

His voice is so distinctive that I doubt he will ever be able to broaden his range very far -- I suppose that's one reason, aside from Show Biz reasons, that he's doing all those duets and collaborations, to participate in some different sounds. I enjoy him enough, though, to want to keep track of his work. There's a lot of clips featuring him on YouTube (including a creepy news item from the time in 2007 he checked into a hospital suffering from stress), so look him up if you find these samples interesting.