I have seen his name bandied around before but did not check Park Hyo Shin out until middle of this year. My initiation to Park Hyo Shin then? His wildly popular song from 2014, Wild Flower.
Fast forward to last week. His song, Wild Flower, was performed by yet another singer on “King of Mask Singer”. That reminded me of his recent single, 숨 (or ‘Breath’), which then led me to his latest album, “I Am a Dreamer”.
“I Am a Dreamer”, released on 3 October 2016, is Park Hyo Shin’s 7th studio album and his first in over 6 years. Produced by Park Hyo Shin himself, he has a hand in all the songs on the album, writing the music and/or the lyrics.
These few days, I’ve had the album on repeat play. I’m so drawn to it – and not just on a musical level.
The songs are good individually but what elevate the songs, are Park Hyo Shin’s voice and his ability to build an emotional connection between the listener and the song – whether it is hopeful (in ‘Home’), heart wrenching (in ‘Beautiful Tomorrow’), or sensuous (in ‘Wonderland’).
No wonder he is acknowledged as one of the top 4 singers in Korea, whom Koreans refer to as “Kim Na Park Lee” for Kim Bum Soo, Naul, Park Hyo Shin and Lee Soo.
It’s hard to put into words how good Park Hyo Shin is. I recommend checking out episode 339 of the music program “Yu Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook” which aired on 30 October 2016. It’s a whole episode of Park Hyo Shin, with him performing tracks new and old, interspersed with interviews.
Back to the album, all the tracks are worth checking out and the songs that speak most to me are:
- Beautiful Tomorrow – When Park Hyo Shin sings “because of you, I’m still hurting so much”, one can feel the regret and pain in his voice.
- The Dreamer (I Am a Dreamer) – A song with a dreamlike, yet uplifting vibe.
- 야생화 Wild Flower – I’ve not heard a better version than the original. The build-up and intensity of the emotions are done just right.
- Happy Together – An uplifting song that makes one feel he has someone to lean on.
- Li-La – Song that makes one move to the groove. Oh, how can lalala’s sound so good?
- I’m Your Friend – Love the delicateness in Park Hyo Shin’s voice and his falsetto.
- 꿈 Dream – A calming and comfortable song good for listening at night.
All in all, “I Am a Dreamer” is an album that is very comfortable to listen to.
Some of the songs are previous digital single releases, so there are music videos for them already – which I’ve put together in this playlist:
02. Shine Your Light
04. Beautiful Tomorrow
05. The Dreamer (I Am a Dreamer)
06. 야생화 Wild Flower
07. Happy Together
09. 숨 Breath
10. I’m Your Friend
11. 꿈 Dream
12. 숨 Breath (Instrumental)