Review

2014 in Review: Day 9 – Crossover and Other

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The Barberettes

[The 2014 in Review Series]

1. Introduction and Best Album Art
2. R&B and Soul
3. Rock and Alternative
4. Rap and Hip-hop
5. Dance and Electronic
6. Pop and Ballad
7. Folk and Country
8. Jazz and Blues
9. Crossover and Other
10. Best Collaborative Work
11. Rookie Artist of the Year
12. Artist of the Year
13. Song of the Year
14. Album of the Year
15. Staff Picks
16. Storylines and Other Recognition
17. Concluding Remarks

Today we wrap up the first half of the series with the last genre category. True to its namesake, this one contains genre-blending crossover works as well as everything else that isn’t covered by Days 2 through 8. The 2014 rendition features contributions from tango, swing, bossa nova, Korean traditional, world, gypsy, fusion, ska, waltz, disco, samba, and more!

Important: same as the last two years, the Album of the Year and Song of the Year (and their runner-ups) are not included in the genre categories. This means that, for example, there could be a crossover album that isn’t being recognized on this page because it’s the album of the year. Also, note that all “Next Ten Out” and “Honorable Mention” picks are sorted by artist name.

Albums

Best Crossover and Other Album 2014

Koh Sang-ji - Maycgre 1.0

Koh Sang-ji – Maycgre 1.0

Koh Sang-ji is as big of a videogame and anime fan as she is a talented bandoneon player, and she says the former things were the inspiration for the nine compositions in Maycgre 1.0. Perhaps reflecting those works, her songs are filled with incredible color and diversity. Between the energetic opening of “출격” (“Launch”) and the tragic finale of “Envy” and “暗” (“Darkness”), Koh’s bandoneon dazzles with speedy yet rich play, supported by tasteful and elegant string performances. Most of the album is in the language of traditional Argentinian tango, and the fidelity is all there; but not complacent, Koh even ventures out to a little fusion neo-tango (notably “A Los Amantes”). That’s dedication to a style that we don’t get nearly enough of in the Korean industry.

Runner-up Crossover and Other Album 2014

Bom, Roya - 사라의 짐 (The Burden of Sara)

Bom, Roya – 사라의 짐 (The Burden Of Sara)

The Burden of Sara is one of those albums that fall into this category not because it’s actually crossover or one of the minor genres, but because I just had no idea where else to put it – the real definition of “other”. Painter-author-curator-musician extraordinaire Bom, Roya and producer Ninaian borrow from ballad, dream pop, shoegaze, post-rock, waltz, and even a little Gothic in order to put together this exploratory album. It’s not married to any one of those (songs like “아닌데도” (“It’s Not”) and “생일” (“Birthday”) throw in multiple influences at the same time and morph into different styles as they progress), and for good effect. What’s really interesting is the narrative here, supposedly the titular Sara (herself a character formed by a play on the Korean word for “disappearance”) taking a hike into her memories and the loneliness they entail. Even without the companion book, each song sketches absorbing moments. This is a clinic on how to use music as a storytelling tool.

The Next Ten Out

Songs

Best Crossover and Other Song 2014

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Whang Bo-ryung – 마법의 유리병 (Dreamer Of Myths) (Featuring Han Hee-jeong)

“Dreamer of Myths” is ostensibly an acoustic song. Acoustic guitars and strings, a vocalist not unused to austerity in Han Hee-jeong, the works. But this doesn’t sound like any acoustic pop or folk track I’ve heard. Each strum seems to bear down more like percussion than guitar, and the rest of the arrangement is rough and heavy. Han abandons her crystal-clear high tone to sing instead in her lowest key and growl from the throat. If Yaya made a song and cut out all her fancy instrumentation, it might sound like this; the fact that Whang Bo-ryung captures this surreality and madness with so few ingredients is remarkable.

Runner-up Crossover and Other Song 2014

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The Barberettes – 가시내들 (Little Gals)

The Barberettes might be the Andrews Sisters, 60 years later and in the Korean peninsula. That last part is meaningful: while the swing and jazz trio faithfully recreates the vocal harmony of the Sisters and successors, right down to the mic-sharing and intentional lo-fi production, they also perform music that is unmistakably Korean. “Little Gals” has lyrical content and vocabulary straight out of postwar Korea and a fascinating East-West blend of a melody. The harmonies, crafted through trial and error, are beautiful and would hold their own a capella, but you’ll also want to stay for the tasteful bossa-nova piano-snare accompaniment. What a throwback, what a treat.

The Next Ten Out

Jung Min-ah - Moment of Humanity

Jung Min-ah – 가난한 아가씨 (Destitute Young Lady)

Jung Min-ah & Twomyung - Dear Sun, Please Don't Set

Jung Min-ah & Twomyung – 해여, 지지말아요 (Dear Sun, Please Don’t Set) Remix

Ladybird, Croque Note, SellinSelliSelline - Hansel And Gretel

Ladybird, Croque Note, SellinSelliSelline – 헨젤과 그레텔 (Hansel And Gretel)

Linus' Blanket - Magic Moments

Linus’ Blanket – Love Me (Featuring Kim Tae-chun)

Ludistelo - Experience

Ludistelo – Play The Earth

Mood Schula - My Fxxxxx

Mood Schula – My Fxxxxx

Park Joon-myun - Empty Room

Park Joon-myun – 우산은 하나 (One Umbrella)

Park Ki-young & Acoustic Blanc - Bella Waltz

Park Ki-young & Acoustic Blanc – 벨라왈츠 (Bella Waltz)

Sultan of the Disco - Bouncy Ball

Sultan Of The Disco – 탱탱볼 (Tang Tang Ball)

TAN+EMOTION - TAN+EMOTION

TAN+EMOTION – 안 할 거면서 (Her Lies)

Honorable Mentions

Albums

Johnson Johnson – 그리고.. (And..)
Jun Je-duk – Dancing Bird
Kwon Ji-young- 롸잇나우! (Right Now!)
Le MeryMos – 언제부턴가 (Since Some Time)
Mapukiki – Shall We Hula?
Mimi Sisters – 어머, 사람 잘못 보셨어요 (My, You’ve Got The Wrong Person)
Na M – Janus
Park Jong-ho – About Love
Park Ki-young & Acoustic Blanc – Acoustic Blanc Part. 1
Ska 4 Ensemble – Ska 4 Ensemble
Ska Wakers – Riddim Of Revolt

Songs

ALi – What Is LUV (Featuring Loco)
Coreyah & Harim – 넘어갔네 (Fell)
Han Seung-seok & Jung Jae-il – 바리abandoned (Bari, Abandoned)
Johnson Johnson – 소년의 집시 (The Boy’s Gypsy) (Featuring Baek Jung-eun)
JPower – In The Storm
Jun Je-duk – 봄의 왈츠 (Spring Waltz)
Kang Min-woo & Won Ji-hye – Bounce Walk
Kwon Ji-young – 조아 (ZOA)
Lee’s – Purple Man
Le MeryMos – 언제부턴가 (Since Some Time)
Mimi Sisters – 나랑 오늘 (With Me Today)
Na M – 바람의 걸음 (Walk Of The Wind)
Park Jong-ho – Little Hero (Featuring Lee Woo-jin)
Park Ju-won – 캡틴 (Captain) No. 7
Party Street – 퇴근길 쌈바 (Home Commute Samba)
Seo Hyeon-jin – 정읍사 (Jungeupsa) (Featuring Kim Nani)
Shinchon Blues – 붉은노을 (Red Sunset)
Seenroot – 캡송 (Capsong)
Ska Wakers – 어화둥둥 내 사랑 (Uhwa Dungdung My Love)
Song Daye – The Water Is Wide (Featuring Sam Lee)
Tafka Buddah – 춤 (Dance) (Featuring Lee Jung-shin from Microkid)
Zion Luz Project – 힘들어 (Difficult)
Zion.T – 미스 김 (Miss Kim)

Sources: Photos – The Barberettes from YouTube thumbnail and album covers from Daum Music; Videos – YouTube

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