Music Review: Shayne & BoKyung - 707 Duet

I usually review Korean Albums after I buy them, going over the packaging, marketing, and the music, but that means that I have to wait at least 2 weeks after the release, or more, to get the album and write the review. I wanted to try writing reviews on albums that I listen to, and that you can listen to and buy online as well. These will be a bit shorter (so I may combine albums together), but I hope that you enjoy them as well. I will be doing new ones, and I may do some older ones as well, and they will mainly be the lesser known albums and artists out there. So, here goes the first Short Music Review!

Shayne and Kim BoKyung's "707 Duet" released June 26th 2012!

Both of the artists were on different singing competitions, but have different roots. While Bo Kyung is Korean, Shayne is Canadian! He used YouTube to start his music career, and is an eye cancer surviver (causing him to lose vision in one eye). Although he is new to Korean, and barely spoke any while he was in the competition, he worked with Bo Kyung to release a Korean and English album. Bo Kyung made herself known through the competition, though she did not win, and built a large fan base because of her incredible voice.
They both were signed to Sony Records after they were on their shows, and released this duet album after their solo albums. They may not have won, but they both have become successful in their own right, and caught the attention of agencies in Korea. I really love the combination of Shayne's high voice with Bo Kyun's deeper tone, the harmony of their voices work very well. This really is a duet album because the songs were either written for both of them, originally a solo by one of them, or a song they sung together before.

(I don't know too much about either of them, but that's what I have found out so far. You can watch one of Shayne's performances Here, and Kim Bo Kyung's Here)

Apparently the title track was composed by Bae Jin Ryul, who has composed for BIGBANG, MBLAQ, and Bi Rain! (Info from AllKpop, info about Shayne found Here, info on BoKyung found Here) The instruments are played by the two, Shayne on piano and Bo Kyun on Guitar, showing off their musical skill. This album focuses more on the music than anything else, and I can really appreciate it. It's very simple, with a few great songs, and isn't about photo books or posters (though there's nothing wrong with them), and I love it! I also love the album art, it's very cute and minimalistic.

When you listen to the album you can clearly hear the influences of both Western music and Korean. I really love the feel of the songs, it's both fresh and familiar. If you are new to Kpop this is a great album to ease you into it. Since Shayne's first language in English, the English on the whole album is great, and so is the Korean because of Bo Kyun's roots. Kim Bo Kyun also sang Kelly Clarkson's "Because of You" in her competition, so her English is also very good. Overall, it's really well rounded, and it's definitely a must have album for the summer! It's very light and refreshing, like most YouTube originals are, since that is Shayne's starting place. It's good to have a simple Indie album on hand, where the songs are mainly fun and light hearted.

What Did You Do To Me? - 

This has to be my favorite track from the album, and it should be since it's the title track. If you have read any of my music reviews so far, you would know that I'm a sucker for a good high note or harmony in a song! Since this has both, it was an instant winner for me. I fell in love with the song the moment that I heard it! I love how you can't tell that he isn't Korean right away, since his pronunciation is so great. At the end you can tell, because his English has no accent and is perfect, and Kim's English is also very good. I really like the pace of the song, and the Acoustic and Electric Guitar. It really does sound like and Western song and a Korean Indie song meshed together, and you should be able to tell a persons musical influences in their songs, because that makes it an extension of themselves. The song is about hardships in relationships, and the emotions in the vocals make it easy to tell that.

Without U Duet Version -

This song was originally on Kim Bo Kyun's album, and was turned into a duet for the album. I like both versions, but the duet has more "oomf" to it, I think. It really reminds me of the "Girl Power Rock" albums that I used to listen to, like Kelly Clarkson, Pink, etc. You can tell why they did a duet album, they both are influenced by the same style of music. It's a song about being "Friend-zoned" basically, and has the deep lyrics and hurt/angry tone to it that you would expect from that kind of song. It is far more "rock" than the other tracks, and I like that. Once again, it sound familiar to me, but at the same time new and fresh. I think my only complaint is that Kim Bo Kyung sings, "I'm so sick of love song", at the end. I really wish she would have said "songs", but they were sticking to the original track, even if Shayne knew better, and I can respect that.

Summer Love Duet -

Shayne originally wrote this song in English, before he was signed to the company, and later released it in Korean for his album. After both versions, there is one more on the album! The song is really catchy and sweet, and is about what else than "summer love"! I really like the Korean version better myself, his tone is slightly different. The duet sounds really nice, and Kim Bo Kyun's voice really suits it well. I think that a duet really suits the song, and it reminds me of Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat's duet, but it has more of a rock feel. I really like the tempo and I find the peppy song perfect for the summer!

One Thing Acoustic Version -

I don't really like boy bands/girl bands that are not from Japan, China, or Korea. So One Direction is not on my list of favorite artists, but this cover of their song is really great! I like it as an acoustic version especially! They released this duet cover before, in it's original version, but I like acoustic music better in general. The harmony is fun, and the entire song is in English! I think it would have been fun to do a Korean version, but I still like it. It sounds good with just two singers, and they have a very "full" sound with the two of them. Overall, a very nice song, not my favorite on the album though, but very well done.

The last track is What Did You Do To Me Instrumental, and since they both are talented musicians it's a great track to make the instrumental of the album. It's also a great ending to it.

The album is very simple and sort, and though only one song is technically new, they all have a new sound to them and the duet give it a nice twist, while still sticking to the original. It's currently not available on iTunes, though their solo albums are, so I hope it's released there soon. You can buy the physical album Here as well. I hope you get a chance to listen to the songs and form your own opinion, and that you enjoy the album as much as I did!

See you next time you jump down the Rabbit hole,