Hello, everyone. refresh_daemon here. I’m back after a life-mandated hiatus. As we’ve missed three weeks worth of episodes of “I Am a Singer”, instead of providing a full recaps, instead we will provide a summary of the past weeks, with our commentary, until we catch up to the current episode. This episode, we are joined by Anna, back from her globetrotting nuptial adventures. So let’s dig into the 13 November episode, the second part of the ninth round, where the singers received their assigned cover songs!
Click behind the jump to see what we have to say about the show and leave your thoughts and picks in the comments!
All performances can be watched from Bugs Music’s special 나는 가수다 site. Click the tab saying “11월 13일 방송” to find the performances discussed below.
This round mirrors the final song assignment in the original incarnation of “I Am a Singer” before its hiatus as the singers will be randomly performing each other’s original songs! They spin the wheel and where the wheel stops, they will perform that singer’s music. Under each name, three options are listen, of which the assigned singer may choose one. They do not have to pick at the moment they receive the assignment, but may choose later.
rd: I think this is a fun opportunity both to hear more of the original work of the singers on the show while still providing a challenge and opportunities to hear songs like we haven’t heard before.
The artist swap assignments:
Bobby Kim performs Yoon Minsoo
Bobby Kim gets to choose from “미워도 다시 한번”, “사진을 보다가”, and “오래오래”.
rd: Although Bobby Kim worries about whether or not he’ll be able to handle the duet songs as a solo artist, I actually think that Vibe’s music won’t be too difficult for him to adapt, being rather straightforward R&B or pop ballads while giving it his particular flavor. The only concern I have for Bobby Kim is that he hasn’t had much success with slow songs and whether Bobby will have to match the upper volume and emotional explosiveness that Vibe/Yoon Minsoo manages to spill out, due to his more laid back performance nature.
Anna: I’m not really familiar with Vibe’s music, but I’m definitely looking forward to hear Bobby Kim do something not quite as energetic as we’ve been hearing him lately.
Yoon Minsoo performs Gummy
Yoon Minsoo gets to choose from “그대 돌아오면”, “기억상실”, and “친구라도 될 걸 그랬어”.
rd: After last week’s performance, I think this swap will be the easiest as even with the gender swap, Gummy is a fairly straightforward R&B-style singer and that fits in perfectly with Yoon Minsoo’s own styles. In fact, I had the same criticism for Gummy that I did for Yoon Minsoo, so I doubt he’ll have any problems interpreting her music as long as he picks a more traditional ballad.
Gummy performs Insooni
Gummy gets to choose from “또…”, “아버지”, and “밤이면 밤마다”.
rd: Gummy has a bit of a task in front of her, not just because she’s performing a living legend’s music, but her options include two fast songs and I don’t know if Gummy has proven up to the task for faster songs yet. The remaining ballad is the song that Insooni knocked down doors with in her debut on the show and might still be out of Gummy’s emotional range as it’s quite a mature perspective.
Insooni performs Kim Kyungho
Insooni gets to choose from “나를 슬프게 하는 사람들”, “금지된 사랑”, and “나의 사랑 천상에서도”.
rd: While everyone was afraid of getting Kim’s songs, I think Insooni was one of two performers on the show that I think could adapt his music, in part because of her massive pipes and diversity of styles. Just as Kim Kyungho successfully spun a dance song into metal, I think Insooni will be able to take a faster song and turn it into a dance song or take on a rock ballad well as long as she is careful about the vocal performance. Insooni has proven to be quite a careful thinker when it comes to how she adapts music and I expect that will serve her well here.
Kim Kyungho performs Jaurim
Kim Kyungho gets to choose from “미안해 널 미워해”, “Hey Hey Hey”, and “Carnival Amour”.
rd: I think Kim also has a challenge in front him because Jaurim is a wildly diverse band whose output is in no way straightforward, despite their self-professed pop moniker. That and Kim has not proven himself to have great musical range. However, I do hold great hope that he’ll be able to find something that works for him.
Jaurim performs Jang Hyejin
Jaurim gets to choose from “1994년 어느 늦은 밤”, “내게로”, and “키 작은 하늘”.
rd: While Jaurim’s done some impressive covers, they definitely don’t have a lot of straightforward pop ballad work under their belt as a band. Even Kim Yuna as a solo singer tends to go with more genre brushed songs, so these rather unadorned ballads might not give the band much to work with. The one straightforward ballad they approached in the past, even with its romantic approach, put them in seventh for that round, but I do hope they find some way to give one of these songs a Jaurim-styled kick.
Jang Hyejin performs Bobby Kim
Jang Hyejin gets to choose from “사랑.. 그놈”, “고래의 꿈”, and “남자답게”.
rd: Although Bobby Kim does have some more flavorful songs, two of which are listed here, many of his songs are rather straightforward and given the Bobby Kim style in the singing performance, like in the ballad “사랑.. 그놈”, which I think would be a rather straightforward adaptation for Jang and mostly up to her vocal performance. However, Jang has proven a taste for challenge and she might pick the more reggae-flavored “고래의 꿈” simply because she loves the song. That’s something I’d like to see.
Kim Kyungho selects “Hey Hey Hey”
rd: I’m actually a little surprised since this is such a bouncy number and I thought Kim Kyungho would get more mileage out of the more drawn out and emotional “미안해 널 미워해” or maybe find a metal chord in “Carnival Amour”, so I’m really curious as to what he comes up with.
Anna: I had been hoping for a chance to hear him do “미안해 널 미워해”, but was curious to know what he’d do with “Carnival Amour” as well. “Hey Hey Hey” is one of those Jaurim songs that doesn’t really fit my taste and I’m not sure Kim Kyungho can do much to change that.
Insooni selects “금지된 사랑”
rd: Insooni picks a power-packed rock ballad and I certainly believe she could pull a good performance out of this.
Anna: Yes! This song was part of my early introduction to K-pop and I still love it. With Insooni’s powerful vocals it’s sure to be a hit.
Gummy selects “또”
rd: This is a fast dance song. I haven’t seen Gummy pull out some dance moves and I wonder if she will or perhaps she’ll adapt the song in the arrangement to another genre. Again, another one I’m curious about.
Yoon Minsoo selects “기억상실”
rd: This is a good fit for Yoon, although I haven’t really seen Yoon work with a groove, so I wonder how he’ll perform with the deeper R&B genre elements or if he’ll pull the song back out into pop territory. Either way, I think he should do what he does best with this song.
Bobby Kim selects “미워도 다시 한 번”
rd: I think Bobby should do fine here as long as he overcomes his slow song curse and gives the song a good Bobby Kim style punch. That’s the punch I look forward to every time he gets up on stage.
Jang Hyejin selects “사랑.. 그 놈”
rd: This is really the only safe choice for Jang so I think it’s her best shot. However, I also note that when Jang plays it too safe, her performances can fall flat, so I hope she give it a little something unique.
Jaurim selects “1994년 어느 늦은 밤”
rd: Well, it was going to be a ballad and this is as good as any and it’s a spare arrangement to build upon. Since it’s Jaurim, I’m really looking forward to seeing how they manage to change it up and find their unique style in the song (and I hope they do).
Before each performance, the original singer gets up and performs their own song first.
Bobby Kim’s “미워도 다시 한 번”
rd: It’s a pretty straightforward performance and Bobby’s voice works the song well, but it’s not a particularly special performance and aside from Bobby’s unique vocal style, it doesn’t hint at anything more.
Anna: Since he has Gummy singing it with him I’ll be curious to see who he’ll add for the real performance.
Yoon Minsoo’s “기억상실”
rd: Yoon pulls the sound out of its groove and gives it his usual soft touch start and gives the song his usual take and, well, it works pretty well for it, I think. The play with Kim Shinyoung as a dancer was really amusing although perhaps cutting against the drama.
Anna: Amusing indeed, but even more so is Kim Kyungho’s reaction. By now he’s become my favorite on the show.
Jaurim’s “1994년 어느 늦은 밤”
rd: This is really a lovely little pop ballad and Jaurim plays it surprisingly straight, just adding in a little acoustic instrumentation from the band. Perhaps the most straightforward cover from the band yet, but sung well.
Anna: It’s pretty, but they will need to do something more to avoid that final spot.
Jang Hyejin’s “사랑.. 그 놈”
rd: Jang Hyejin performs the song just fine and gives it a little warmth, giving it a touch of interpretation, albeit, like the other performances in this episode, played straight.
Anna: The performance, albeit simple, suits her well. I hope the audience won’t judge her to harshly for going back to the ballads.
Insooni’s “금지된 사랑”
rd: Insooni shows the most immediate color, giving it a warm acoustic flavor and swing in the chorus, although I think the vocal range of the song is definitely challenging her.
Anna: I do not like this one bit. The rhythm of the refrain is messed up and ruins everything I liked about the acoustic take she had going.
rd: Gummy’s interpretation is immediately a switch up, giving it a rock-metal arrangement, which did work, but I don’t really find her voice up to the task as much as she tries to vamp the verse and blow up the chorus. Sorry, Gummy, this didn’t work for me.
Anna: This is even worse than Insooni. What could she have been thinking?
Kim Kyungho’s “Hey Hey Hey”
rd: I really love the original song and Kim gives it a bit of a rock edge and he does seem to have some fun with it, especially the deeper it goes, but it started a touch rough and I think he needs to perfect the transition to his song.
Anna: I’m not convinced yet, but if anyone can make this song work it’s him.
rd: 1) Jang Hyejin, 2) Kim Kyungho, 3) Insooni, 4) Jaurim, 5) Yoon Minsoo, 6) Bobby Kim, 7) Gummy
These performances are less fun to really judge because the arrangements aren’t often complete and even more often, the respective singers hide their bag of tricks in the second verse and beyond. Gummy’s voice didn’t hold up to her arrangement for me, putting her last and Bobby didn’t bring anything in the performance this time either, making his interpretation a little flat. Yoon, surprisingly pulls out ahead of his usual spot on my list because he livened it up with the dance performance with Kim Shinyoung. My soft spot for Jaurim puts them in fourth as even though the song was played straight, I thought it was sung quite well. Insooni gets props for giving her song some intensity and character right at the top and “Hey Hey Hey” is a favorite of mine, so while Kim’s version is rough, it’s hard for me not to like it. Jang wins first for me just because of her subtlety–even as the song was performed straight, her interpretation added a little nuance anyway and I liked that.
Anna: 1) Jaurim, 2) Jang Hyejin, 3) Bobby Kim 4) Yoon Minsoo, 5) Kim Kyungho, 6) Insooni, 7) Gummy
Putting Gummy in the bottom is the only reasonable place for her this time, and after what Insooni did to “금지된 사랑” I couldn’t score her higher. I have a feeling I’m punishing Kim Kyungho for his song pick rather than performance, but he didn’t do much to appeal to me yet. The first three were all pleasant enough performances so their individual positions depend more on my general preferences than anything they did in particular this time. Which leaves Yoon Minsoo the middle slot.
- Kim Kyungho
- Jang Hyejin
- Yoon Minsoo
- Bobby Kim
rd: I don’t think that this is all that meaningful result for the reason I outlined above, but I still managed to mostly enjoy these mostly vanilla takes on the songs anyway.
That’s it for this episode. Join us tomorrow to catch up with the 20 November episode!