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[Editor’s Pick] Delicate voice of the Korean music scene

If you are a fan of K-Dramas, you’ve probably heard his dulcet voice before. From Secret Garden to My Love From The Star, ballad singer Sung Si Kyung has sung numerous soundtrack songs for hit dramas and movies. Known as Korea’s “King of Ballads,” he expresses every song in his uniquely velvety and sweet voice. In recent years, the singer has shone as a host of various entertainment programs like Non-Summit and Battle Trip. I have been a super fangirl of Sung Si Kyung since I heard his remake of Seo Tai Ji and Boys’ To You in the Reply 1994 drama OST. Among all the singles and albums he has released, his sixth full-length album Here In My Heart tops my list.

Here In My Heart was the last album Sung Si Kyung released before his military enlistment in 2008. Composed by famous producer and singer You Hee Yeol, the album’s title track “Goodbye My Love” (Track 4) shares the sorrowful and complicated thoughts of a desolate man who is dumped by his girlfriend. Unlike the usual breakup songs, “Goodbye My Love” expresses the most heartbreaking lyrics in a totally rhythmic and catchy tune. Sung Si Kyung personally described this uptempo number as a song that allows him no time to breathe while he sings.

“Luminous Confession” (Track 8) is one of the songs I put on replay in my random playlist. The pop ballad is about a man who has been hiding his feelings and finally decides to confess to his crush. The powerful vocals in the bridge and chorus emphasize his desperate feelings of rushing to tell the girl how he feels.

The above two songs are among Sung Si Kyung’s classics, so it would not be surprising if you have heard them before. My other best-loved song is known as the hidden gem of the album among fans. “You’re Really…” (Track 11) is a melodic soft ballad about showing heartfelt gratitude to a lover and hoping that she will never leave. This beautifully written song sounds more like a lullaby to me than merely a ballad piece. It doesn’t have much background instrumental sounds or supporting vocals so Sung Si Kyung’s voice stands out throughout the whole song. Try putting on an earphone and listening to the lyrical song at night; it truly feels like he is softly reading a poem beside you. “You’re Really…” was later featured in KBS’s hit drama The Producers and received a lot of compliments from the public.

Similar to “You’re Really,” “Picnic” (Track 10) is also a soft ballad that shows off Sung Si Kyung’s honey-like vocal qualities in a soothing melody. His distinctively gentle and mellow voice is definitely the highlight of these songs.

“A Dance With You” (Track 6) creates a jazzy and exotic atmosphere that makes you want to chill out and dance right away. I could honestly imagine this song in a Disney movie scene where the princess and her love are dancing in the moonlight. Following this atmospheric tune, “Baby You Are Beautiful” (Track 7) is a joyous and melodious track with lyrics written solely by the singer himself.

Sung Si Kyung has not released a Korean album since Winter Wonderland in 2014, though he recently made a successful debut in Japan with DRAMA and the single Shiawase Nara Soba Ni Aru. With the singer busily promoting in Japan and hosting entertainment shows, there seems to be no end in sight waiting for his eighth album. While longing for a new album, we’ll just have to keep on listening to his heartmelting classics from the past 17 years.

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