I recently went through and typed up a summary of my favorite Korean singers. Albeit a bit limited in scope, these are my favorite artists. Enjoy!
originally posted here
I was a choir boy. I sung in middle, high school and then in college. I can't carry a tune but I appreciate a good vocalist in any genre. People who are genuinely skilled at their craft and who can demonstrate a superb sense of control and expression...well, that makes me smile. I like Korean pop music. There are a few singers that I really like and I'd like to share them. So, from top to bottom:
알렉스 (Alex) - the male vocalist of one of my absolute favorite groups 클래지콰이 (Clazziquai). He's simply a brilliantly talented singer. I love how composed he is; never overdone and completely in control of his range and timbre. A smooth singer by all standards. Notable samples include:
알렉스 - 너무 아픈 이말 (w/ 지선)
알렉스 - 화분 (originally by 러브홀릭)
알렉스 - 데이지
클래지콰이 - Again..
클래지콰이 - Tell yourself
클래지콰이 - Color Your Soul
클래지콰이 - Gentle Giant
클래지콰이 - Be My Love
비즈니즈 - 너의 소식 (So Sick) (Feat. 알렉스)
지선 (formerly of 러브홀릭) - when Jisun departed Loveholic, I about fainted. How come someone with this beautifully crafted voice leave a perfect place to hone her creativity? Thankfully, life continued when she released a solo project which did not disappoint. Jisun has a vocal presence that is both relaxing and exciting. Her composition skills are more than enough to be a successful artist but she has to go all out and be an amazing singer, too. I'm a big fan of her work.
지선 - 롤러코스터러브 (Roller Coaster)
지선 - Windflower (featuring Alex)
지선 - 그는 널 사랑하지 않아
지선 - 어떡하죠
러브홀릭 - Maria (live)
러브홀릭 - 녹슨열쇠 (Rusty Key)
러브홀릭 - Butterfly
러브홀릭 - Sad Story
러브홀릭 - 그대만 있다면 (어느 멋진 날)
러브홀릭 - 이별 못한 이별 (내 이름은 김삼순)
러브홀릭 - Want You Hear (하나와 앨리스)
러브홀릭 - Rainy Day (기동무투전G건담)
러브홀릭 - 일요일 맑음 (가족의 탄생)
러브홀릭 - 나의 태양은 지고..
빅뱅 (Big Bang) - Easily one of the most popular groups in Korea, this handpicked and groomed boy band has a unique appeal that isn't found in other pop groups. Their focus is on bubblegum hip hop. Two of the members G-Dragon and TOP are respectable rappers in their own right which balances nicely against 승리 and 대성's versatile voices; not to mention 태양's smooth R & B voice. All are decent dancers are have put on some incredibly entertaining shows. in addition, just about all of them have solo careers and acting gigs on the side. Combine that with a great sense of humor about themselves and you have a very entertaining pop group.
빅뱅 - 하루하루 (Acoustic)
빅뱅 - How Gee
빅뱅 - GARA GARA GO (Korean version)
빅뱅 - 뷹은 노을 (Sunset Glow)
빅뱅 - 반짝반짝 (Sparkling Sparkling)
빅뱅 - Hallelujah (IRIS OST)
빅뱅 - Strong Baby
빅뱅 - Always
TOP & 태양 - 친구
태양 - 나만 바라봐
태양 - Make Love (featuring Kush)
G-Dragon - Heartbreaker
G-Dragon - Korean Dream
호란 (Horan) and Christina of Clazziquai - 호란's style is enough for me to mention. A beautiful women in her own right, her fashion and creative style are quite dynamic without going too over-the-top. Her voice is one sugary sweet sound after another. Like her counterpart in Clazziquai, her English is passable for a singer and as such, she's recorded some beautiful English language music. I must confess though that I have trouble distinguishing her voice from Alex's little sister Christina, whom frequently guest sings for Clazziquai. Therefore, possibly some of the credit goes to Christina, too.
클래지콰이 - Loverboy
클래지콰이 - Love Mode (featuring Tablo)
클래지콰이 - Tell Yourself
클래지콰이 - Take a Walk
클래지콰이 - Wizard of Oz
클래지콰이 - I will you give you everything
클래지콰이 - Cry out loud
클래지콰이 - Sweety
클래지콰이 - I will never cry
클래지콰이 - Cat Bossa
클래지콰이 - Fiesta (DAISHI DANCE remix)
클래지콰이 - After Love (Female version)
슈퍼주니어 (Super Junior) - A boy band. Sorry guys but I dig them. A thirteen member boy band, each member has their own unique talent that serves the group in some way. One guy is a comedian, another guy rap, a couple can dance well, and some are talented singers. There's not much to say other than they are typically only liked by teeny boppers but for me, the production value of their songs, dance choreography and overall stage presence is more than enough for me to get their songs stuck in my head.
슈퍼주니어 - Sorry Sorry
슈퍼주니어 - So I
슈퍼주니어 - 행복
슈퍼주니어 - You are the one
슈퍼주니어 - 니가 좋은 이유 (Why I like you)
슈퍼주니어 - 갈증 A man in love (Remix version)
슈퍼주니어 - Reset
슈퍼주니어 - You're my endless love (말하자면)
슈퍼주니어 - 아주 먼 옛날 (Song for you)
슈퍼주니어 엠 - SuperGirl (Chinese version)
슈퍼주니어 엠 - Me (Korean version)
슈퍼주니어 해피 - 요리황
슈퍼주니어 트러트 - 첫차
Tablo & Mithra of 에픽하이 (Epik High) - I'm normally not a huge fan of rap or hip hop but because of my interest in the korean language and pop music in general, I can appreciate a few hip hop artists. They tend to be a bit more commercial and less "real" hip hop but I really don't care that much. This three piece group is fronted by two exceptionally talented artists Tablo and Mithra. Both of them are talented
에픽하이 - Fan
에픽하이 - Love Love Love
에픽하이 - Mithra's Word
에픽하이 - Breakdown
에픽하이 - One
에픽하이 - 우산 (Umbrella) (featuring 윤하)
에픽하이 - the entire album of Remixing the Human Soul
클래지콰이 - Love Mode (featuring Tablo)
캐스커 (Casker) - a relatively obscure electronica group, although they have produced some notable commercial tracks, they are largely unknown outside (and inside for that matter) Korea. I really get into the jazz influenced electronic fusion style that they do so well. Some of the best ambient music available in my opinion.
캐스커 - Sweet
캐스커 - Tango toy
캐스커 - 7월의 이파네마소녀
캐스커 - Soul:Free
캐스커 - 정전기
캐스커 - Night People
캐스커 - 나비부인
캐스커 - 모든 토요일
캐스커 - 가면
윤하 (Yoonha) - as a struggling artist she tried desperately to debut in the always competitive Korean pop scene but after countless rejections, she honed her Japanese language skills and debuted in Japan. She would then later receive a sizeable fan base back in Korea after which she returned and remains a Korean pop star. Her hook is the fact that she writes most of her music and plays the piano. Oh and she's cute as a button, too.
윤하 - Gossip Boy
윤하 - 기억 (feat.타블로) - Rap Mix ver.
윤하 - Strawberry Days
윤하 - Houki Boshi (Japanese version)
윤하 - Peace, Love & Ice Cream
윤하 - 비밀번호 486 (Password 486)
윤하 - Delete
윤하 - 어린욕심 feat. 휘성
소녀시대 (Girl's Generation) - a nine girl member girl group, 소녀시대 has the same basic appeal as Super Junior - but instead of different talents to differentiate each member, the girls have their own style. One is cute, another is ***CENSORED***, another is tall, another is pretty and all have had plastic surgery. Despite this, I like some of their music and even a few of them can actually sing. More than that though, their songs and dance choreography are infectious.
소녀시대 - 소원을 말해봐 (Genie)
소녀시대 - Gee
소녀시대 - Kissing You
소녀시대 - 다시 만난 세계 (Into the New World)
소녀시대 - 힘내
소녀시대 - Hahaha (Long Version)
2NE1 - This recently debuted girl group was designed to be the female Big Bang. The title is deserving as their debut was widely hyped and worth the wait. They have an all-too-unique style and strikingly dynamic personalities that complement each other well. It goes without saying that their music is well-written and entirely too catchy. All members have had a least one or two solo songs and endorsements that seem to be doing well. All in all, they are fun to listen to.
빅뱅 & 2NE1 - Lollipop
박봄 - You and I
2NE1 - I don't care (reggae version)
2NE1 - Fire
2NE1 - Let's Go Party
티맥스 (T-max) - They aren't the most popular group but they have certainly made a few songs that are catchy. Their call to fame was one of the three members (and promptly returned) after filming 꽃보다남자 (Boys Over Flowers) one of the most popular Korean dramas to date.
나쁜 마음을 먹게해 (Bad Heart) [Ballad ver.]
나쁜 마음을 먹게해 (Bad Heart) [Dance ver.]
이승천 (Lee Seung Chul) - A great singer with a distinctive Korean folk ballad style about him. One of the few ballad singers that has enjoyed success by both younger and older audiences.
사랑 참 어렵다
브라운 아이드 걸스 (Brown Eyed Girls) - a veteran girl group in the laughingly short term of only five years after debut but in Korea that's a dynasty for pop groups. Two of their recent songs are especially catchy.
여자가 있어도 (Although You Have A Girl)
허밍 어반 스테레오 (Humming Urban Stereo) - another electronica group, much like Casker they are easy on the ears and always a pleasant choice when relaxing. The singer sounds three times cuter than a human being should sound.