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New Songs

Posted January. 31, 2007 07:09,   


“I feel like a new man since I changed my singing technique.”

The man who started the so-called “cow calling technique,” which is a vibrato singing technique, has decided to retire that singing method. His decision comes seven years after his debut, at a time when the Korean music scene is dominated by Korean rhythm & blues. What was the reason behind this decision?

“I wanted to sing comfortably. There has been a lot of hype, and I have been overwhelmed by it. I have been wanting to make a soul-based ballad album, and this is my first step toward that goal.”

Looking back on Park Hyo-shin’s career, it’s understandable why he may have been overwhelmed. He debuted in 2000 with his hit song “Things I Cannot Do For You.” He was an immediate hit with his deep voice and ad lib singing. His subsequent hits: “Yearning”; “A Good Person”; and “Standing There” also featured his original singing technique.

Other singers such as SG Wannabe, Vibe, and KCM started emulating his technique, however, and the public started saying that it was too much.

His solution was to make it simple. His fifth album, “The Breeze of Sea,” is easier to listen to and is not at all similar to what has been known as “Park Hyo-shin’s ballad style.”

“It took three years to make this album, which is a long time to prepare an album in the music industry. It took that long to change myself. And I have had problems with my agency. Fortunately, things worked out, and I am releasing my album. But I must say it did take quite a long time.”

The man behind this change is music producer Hwang Seong-je. The album’s single, “Memories Resemble Love” is a joint effort by Park and Hwang. It has a strong acoustic rhythm and traditional sounds.

Park Hyo-shin no longer puts a large amount of force into his voice. To record the song “Echo,” written by songwriter Ryoki Matsumoto (he also wrote theme song, “Flower of the Snow” for the series “Sorry I Love You”), Park put in over 100 hours in the studio. Other songs on the album, the fast-paced “Hate”, and “Etude 1” with Jin Bora on the piano, “Lullaby”, and “A Windy Night in 1991,” which he wrote in the memory of his mother, all reflect Park.

“Writing songs and producing music was never something I paid attention to. I just thought I had to sing, but things are changing. From this album forward, I need to take responsibility for the songs I make. As a pop singer, I had to find my own color while adapting to the tastes of the general public and not just the fans.”

Park Hyo-shin has been compared to an older singer, Lim Jae-beom, for his deep voice and singing technique. It would not be an overstatement to say that Park’s past popularity was from his voice. But by being focused more on his vibrations and techniques, his songs have become less memorable. Maybe he is getting more mature. Maybe it is because he has thought about them over the last three years. Whatever the reason, his voice is getting softer. As his album title, “The Breeze of Sea” says, he himself is changing into a softer breeze.