I Am A Singer 2: September Group B

The movies, drama and musicals OST mission on I Am A Singer 2 continues from the week before as it’s time for the second group of skilled singers to compete to get into this month’s Super December qualification. In addition to myself Dahee of Dahee’s Plastic Castle and Fabien of Kimchi Popcorn have contributed their opinions to this post. All performances can be streamed from the official site and if you live in the right country chances are you can watch some of them on YouTube too.



Specially Invited Audience

Anna: KAIST students this time…

Dahee: Are they going to go through all of the universities in Korea one by one or something? Also, did they get a new editor this week? There’s definitely a different touch to the proceedings.

Fabien: I’m wondering how they choose these people… Did these KAIST students have to win a contest, or is it at random? By the way, this group is now called the “Group of the Death”. I’ll keep your word, dear editor.


The One – “그 남자” (Hyun Bin cover)

Anna: This song is so nice! I liked most of Secret Garden so I’m buying this right away. He’s showing so much emotion. And of course he’s singing really well. But if I’m allowed to be picky, since it’s so similar to the original I’m sort of missing Hyun Bin’s voice

Dahee: Whoa, he’s friends with Hyun Bin?? He even sent him flowers from the army! On the other hand, I HATE this song and its extremely idiotic lyrics, and I HATE this stupid drama. Not a great way to get into my good graces. And while he sings extremely well, I find myself completely unmoved. The lyrics do nothing but make my eyes roll, and the fact that he barely rearranged the song did nothing to wash away all of my dislike for it. Also, his body gestures while he’s singing reminds me of Yoon Min Soo, which is not a good thing. All in all, a performance that shows that, while he can sing well, his creative abilities remain in doubt.

Fabien: So here is the thing. Just take the most popular drama of recent years and sing the opening song, which is, well, nothing more than an opening song. Actually I’m not even sure it’s from the opening, since I never tried to approach this drama, but nevertheless I’ve been made hear this song too many times without my consent. And I cannot hear any difference from the original version (but I don’t want to check anyway). By the way, thanks to Dahee, as I now have paid attention to the lyrics, I cannot take it seriously, especially with The One pulling faces. “While I’m looking at you so much more, I’m lonely. A love like the wind, a love like a beggard”….

Han Young Ae – “Sunny” (Boney M cover)

Anna: I thought this was an odd song pick for her, especially in combination with that blonde wig. But as the song gets started I’m feeling more like this maybe exactly what she needs to appeal more to the audience. The arrangement is very good, keeping the feeling of the original while at the same time being very different. Isn’t that The Koxx’s Sooryun offering that guitar solo?

Dahee: YES! I love this song, and I LOVE this movie! And man, do I ever love Han Young Ae. At the first rhythm shift I went, “Huh?”, but then I realized that she’s just experimenting as usual, and that she’s doing it very well, at that. She is so cute, so cool, and so sexy. By the end I was putty in her hands. Let me be yours, unni!

Fabien: So she’s not doing so much differently than The One by picking the main song from 2011’s most successful Korean movie. But this is a much better song, and an ever better rendition. I’m a bit confused about the necessity of these two shifts in the song, but the first and the last arrangements are really powerful, with a reduced pace compared to the original song. The middle part was too close to the original song. Overall a pleasant performance!

Guckkasten – “촛불” (Cho Yong Pil cover)

Anna: I loved that clip of Guckkasten watching Sinawe last week. Wow, the intro for this song is stunning! I’ve missed Guckkasten more than I thought I would. The progression from the intro into a more Guckkasten sounding song didn’t happen at all as I had imagined, which is a really good thing. Shows they can still bring new things to the table. I’m loving this so much. Fantastic performance!

Dahee: Thank god Guckkasten is back! I missed them so. And I love how they’re always choosing older, lesser-known songs. I had a huge, foolish grin on my face during this entire performance. I think it’s their darkest performance yet, and perhaps their hardest, as well. I love the red lighting, and I was very impressed by Ha Hyun Woo‘s vocals this week. Love the extra percussion too! They’re AWESOME!

Fabien: I’m also waiting for a duel of Sinawe vs. Guckkasten, this would be awesome! But now they have another competitor, The One, as they want to beat him on his battlefield, the ballad songs. While The One took a recent success, Guckkasten go back to a drama broadcasted in 1980 called Blessing. Wow, this sounds already promising! The very light layer of music in the beginning with a few percussions is absolutely amazing. It reminded me of some performances of the European legends of rock from the 80’s. I love how it’s impossible to know how their interpretations will end. In the end, they go towards hard rock sound, very different from what they usually do with their own songs, and it sounds and looks epic. Take this in your face, The One, THIS is how to make a moving ballad song!

So Chan Whee – “고래사냥” (Song Chang Sik cover)

Anna: I love this song, but what is this hideous arrangement? So Chan Whee sings it well, but that’s not enough to make me want to listen. It’s as if she wanted to take the electro rock route, but didn’t dare to go all the way out and made some adult contemporary semi-funk rock number out of it instead. That scream towards the end is not enough to save it. I had expected so much more.

Dahee: Agreed, the song is great, but this…BO-RING. It’s fast and dance-y from beginning to end, and since I was already tired when the song began, by the middle I found it hard to stay awake. It’s just another ho-hum arrangement, with the necessary vocal high notes to win over the audience’s favour. Such a fast arrangement should NOT put me to sleep, is all I’m saying.

Fabien: Taken from the 1975 movie The March of Fools, this song is almost as historically charged and significant as the famous “Arirang”. Despite this, I just hate this kind of funky arrangement. It’s just singing the lyrics with emphasis on every syllable, while the musicians desperately try to make it sounds cool, but it’s just bland. The vocals sound kind of tired, she quickly reaches her limits and there is not enough power to serve this song. You cannot be believed when talking about fishing whales with this voice.

Byun Jin Sub – “잊지 말아요” (Baek Ji Young cover)

Anna: I thought that was a girl singing at first! When he starts sounding more like himself Byun Jin Sub sounds as wonderful as ever. This was a good song pick for him and the arrangement in all its simplicity is very pretty. Once it gets to the refrain a second time Byun Jin Sub manages to create this really warm and nice feeling. His voice makes me feel so comfortable I can’t help but really enjoy this.

Dahee: I’m always impressed by Byun Jin Sub’s arrangements, and he’s managed to make this rather ordinary drama OST song into something more interesting. I love that beginning with the chorus. And he has great emotion, as always. Still, I felt like he was holding back a little this week, like he was nervous and was scared that his voice would give out. If he’d just shown a little more confidence, this could have been a really special performance.

Fabien: This time it’s a song coming from the drama called Iris, another one I’ve never tried to watch, so I’m completely lost.This performance is not bad at all. The lyrics are not really better than the ones for Secret Garden, but Byun Jin Sub manages to make them more moving. He also has a pretty voice, and the arrangement is quite good. But nothing really appeals to me, nothing that makes me tell it’s any different from the usual performances on I Am A Singer.


Park Sang Min – “가슴 아파도” (Fly To The Sky cover)

Anna: That was pretty dull. The song is nice, but I don’t feel like Park Sang Min really brought anything extra to it.

Dahee: Finally, a song from a drama that I actually liked! (More or less.) I used to be a bit of a closet Fly To The Sky fan, and as this song plays like five million times in the drama, I’ve heard it plenty of times. That being said…Dear Park Sang Min: Please stop doing the same thing EVERY SINGLE TIME. I’m tired of it, we’re tired of it, you should be tired of it too. Do something new, PLEASE. This was just another boring ballad, with not much rearranging going on. I want to root for you, I do! So let me!

Fabien: Aaaaaaand… another song from a drama ! I don’t know Fashion 70’s, but it’s a bit older drama as it has been broadcasted in 2005. So I’m ready to think that Park Sang Min chosed this song based on his personal taste instead of popularity. But I don’t feel like he put a lot of himself in singing this. I cannot find any proof that he or the arranger put effort into preparing this performance. It’s another bland ballad song that will get lost among the other ones already performed today.


Personal Picks

Anna: 1) Guckkasten, 2) Byun Jin Sub, 3) Han Young Ae, 4) The One, 5) Park Sang Min, 6) So Chan Whee.

Guckkasten were clearly number one to me this week. Byun Jin Sub was really good as well, but not at the same level. Han Young Ae was a lot of fun and quite inspiring to watch, trying something we haven’t seen before from her, so she gets third. The One and Park Sang Min both did pretty much the same thing, but The One was far more convincing in his performance thus places ahead. Finally, So Chan Whee’s arrangement was so awful she can’t be saved from the bottom placement no matter how well she sung.

Dahee: 1) Guckkasten 2) Han Young Ae 3) Byun Jin Sub 4) The One 5) So Chan Whee 6) Park Sang Min

What is with the song selections? Why all the bad drama OST songs? There are so many good ones to choose from! What a waste of a mission. ANYWAY. Guckkasten was obviously number one again. I enjoyed Han Young Ae and Byun Jin Sub’s performances at pretty much equal levels, but Han Young Ae’s arrangement was more interesting and she showed more stage presence, so she gets second. The One, So Chan Whee, and Park Sang Min all had performances that I felt zero interest in, but I gave The One props for his great vocal abilities, even if he did cover a song that makes my ears bleed. And while So Chan Whee’s performance was boring, she gets the upper hand over Park Sang Min for the simple fact that she hasn’t been on the show that long and thus I’m still willing to forgive her mistakes, while Park really should know better by now.

Fabien: 1) Guckkasten 2) Han Young Ae 3) Byun Jin Sub 4) So Chan Whee 5) The One 6) Park Sang Min

Why do they keep insisting in doing all these drama’s ballad song, I don’t understand. Most of them didn’t change anything and kept them as dull as possible. It’s then not so surprising I have so much hardship deciding who was better among them, as it’s more like who was less awful than the other ones. Guckkasten clearly took the lead, as it was an original pick of song, and an amazing rendition that really moved me. Han Young Ae was also good, but not as much as I would have expected from her. But she has good taste in cinema^^. As for the other ones, I just didn’t really care about their performances and all made this episode very boring. The One’s song was more like a parody of a drama’s song, and Park Sang Min was just the straw that broke the camel’s back

The Results

Top 3: Guckkasten, The One, So Chan Whee

Anna: Ok, by now I’ve gotten used to the I Am A Singer audience not being able to appreciate Han Young Ae, but where is Byun Jin Sub? And how could So Chan Whee make the top 3 after that?

Dahee: Disgraceful. Completely disgraceful. Guckkasten is the only choice that makes any sense.

Fabien: It would have been stupid if Guckkasten hadn’t been in the top 3. As for the two others…

No.1: The One

Anna: At least it wasn’t So Chan Whee. And look how overwhelmed he is!

Dahee: Ehhh. I really don’t get why he got first, but seeing how emotional he is about it, I can accept this choice.

Fabien: I can’t understand why The One is first against all odds. He performed first, it was boring… Oh, right, he’s famous and covered a song from a famous drama. It really pisses me off when the audience is so obviously voting not for the actual performances but for the singer and because they like the original song.


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