Haven’t done this in a long time *stretch*
I’ve been thinking about doing this for awhile but I never really got around to it until a reader Sahara commented on my Lucifer review that she was surprised that I “didn’t give Onew and Jonghyun the credit they deserve,” (she’s right of course, because I chose to focus more on the drastic improvement of Minho, Onew and Key instead). In any case, here’s the credit they deserve: a post dedicated to the two of them, plus my six other favorite voices in K-pop! YAY!
I don’t want any butthurt on this blog so I will tell you right now that:
1. This list is composed of idols. Therefore obviously people like K.Will, 8Eight, Alex, and J.ae won’t be on this list. Maybe they’ll be on my other list, but this particular list is for the idols only.
2. This list is in no particular order. I don’t like to rank things. >:[
3. Just because a particular idol isn’t here doesn’t mean that I don’t think they’re any good. It probably means that I don’t pay enough attention to them to be able to judge properly, or that I think they’re good, but not really my cup of tea. Which is why this list is called MY Favorite K-pop Voices, not THE BEST K-pop voices.
1 & 2. Jonghyun and Onew from SHINee – I had the opportunity to watch SHINee live last year because they came to Manila for the Philippine-Korea Friendship Day concert (front row seats, baby! You know who you are 😉 I give you my eternal thanks *hug*) so I have a bit of a soft spot for them – they are every bit as amazing live as you would think. I can’t really separate them from each other because I think each one makes up for what the other lacks. Jonghyun’s got what I like to call a ‘theatrical’ voice: amazing range, really powerful, and overall I like his runs better and falsettos better, but sometimes when he pushes it, it sounds a little grating. Onew on the other hand, has a smoother voice of a generally more pleasing quality, but he is, in my opinion, a notch lower than Jonghyun when it comes to theatricality (which I personally think is more due to a lack of confidence than anything else). I do like them both, however, and I think they’re probably two of the best idol singers in the market today.
3. Jonghyun from CN Blue – I prefer his voice over Yonghwa’s, to be honest, but I don’t think he’s frontman material. Whereas Yonghwa’s voice is really powerful, Jonghyun’s got a really gentle, luscious sort of voice, which is more suited to mellow, acoustic-sounding songs. Plus, he can’t really play with the audience the way Yonghwa can (remember that tie-fixing move he’d do during I’m a Loner promotions? Remember how the girls screamed in bloody murder?); Jonghyun in comparison looks like he’s more content with just singing.
4. Hyorin from Sistar – I think that the good thing about having this blog is that I go beyond my usual fandoms to listen to groups that I would normally ignore (and granted, I did use to ignore groups whose concepts I didn’t like). While their promotional song Push Push isn’t exactly my cup of tea, Hyorin’s voice is the only only reason why I can sit through a performance without wanting to throw my laptop halfway across the room (that and I love my laptop, thank you very much). If you’ve noticed, her strong, distinct voice stands out stark against the cutesy-er tone that the other girls use.
5. Kyuhyun from Super Junior – When I was a n0ob K-pop fan, a naive junior in high school, I tried converting my one of my friend into the fandom. She was a fan of the emo genre so it was difficult, but when she heard this song, she was immediately turned into a Kyuhyun fan. Why? Because it’s Kyuhyun: he whose rich, velvet voice, if not striking good looks, makes all the girls melt. I love his voice, I think it’s really rich and clear, and one of the most consistent idol singers I’ve ever heard.
Everyone and their mother has seen her acoustic covers so I decided to put something different in. This is one of my favorite songs off her first full album Growing Up but I couldn’t find a live 😦
6. IU – She’s got one of the most versatile voices I’ve ever heard (don’t believe me? Listen to her acoustic covers, all light and airy, and then to songs like MIA, where she full-on belts) and the fact that a girl who can acoustically arrange other songs (and I assume write her own music as well) is being made to sing songs like Boo and Marshmallow is a constant source of annoyance for me because her album is actually worth listening to outside the saccharine promotional material. I personally, did not give her album a listen until recently because I was so turned off by the two songs, and I bet that the average K-pop listener wouldn’t try either, which is a shame because she’s sincerely very talented.
7. Jay Kim from The TRAX – I had a huge crush on this man even when The TRAX was going for their weird, visual kei look, and I was in a serious state of “OH MY GOD NO,” when I heard that he had to have surgery on his vocal cords because there was a huge chance that his glorious voice was going to be shot forever. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. It’s his versatility that makes his voice a favorite for me; he can do the typical, rocker-style growly voice, but he can also do the smooth, crooner voice. Of course, his low tone is a plus as well – I rather like low voices.
8. Jae Joong from DBSK – The funny thing about it is that I haven’t been a fan of these guys since…I don’t know, 2007, but when I thought of this list, I immediately thought “Somebody from DBSK has to be on it.” Junsu would have been the obvious choice but I think he’s like Jonghyun in that he sometimes goes a little overboard with the vocal acrobatics and sounds even more grating because his pitch is not something that I’m comfortable with. I’m not exactly sure why I like Jae Joong’s voice so much (or at the very least, I can’t explain as concretely as I could with my other choices) so I’ll just leave this right here.