Standing EGG – Old Song

Hello everyone – Happy New Year!!

I am kick-starting my 2017 post with a song that I belatedly discovered in 2016 but quickly rose to one of my favorites and most repeatedly-played track of the year.

Standing EGG debuted in 2010 and consists of 3 members (Egg 1, Egg 2, Egg 3) – they write, compose and produce all their music and frequently collaborate with other artists. Personally, I discovered this band back in 2013 via ‘We Got Married’ as Park Se Young (who was paired up with Jang Wooyoung) was a massive fan. I like their laid-back and easy-listening music but was never about them…

… Until I stumbled across this particular track via YouTube Autoplay. I am not sure why but this song really drew me in at first hearance – the melody is simple, vocals are very soothing and most importantly, it gives me a really nostalgic feeling.

Just as the title is aptly named – ‘Old Song‘ – I can relate to the lyrics because my memories are often triggered by songs as well, owing to my habit of putting music on repeat, which means that episodes of my life are tagged to particular tracks. This song explores the idea of two people’s memories associating to a certain song, and when the singer coincidentally hears it being played on the street, he stops in his tracks and reminisces.

As a side note, not sure if it is just me, but Mr Egg 1’s voice slightly resembles CN Blue’s Yonghwa when hitting those high notes in the chorus. Also, I am very glad that ‘Old Song’ has been garnering some attention recently from Sungjae’s cover;


OOHYO 우효 – Youth 청춘

I only stumbled upon this Korean female singer-songwriter as one of my friends posted her newly released song on Facebook yesterday.

A lot of my friends struggle to understand the appeal of listening to foreign music when you do not know what they are singing, and this song reminded me once again that singing the melody alone can sufficiently convey feelings and emotions without the use of words.

I did some research on Oohyo to give myself a little context before writing this blog post and found some interesting facts – she has been hailed a ‘musical genius‘ and gained popularity by featuring on Yoo Seung Woo‘s album. She has been mentioned by Hallyu stars such as Rap Monster, Jungkook, Krystal, Jessica etc. and while she posted young photos of herself, her current look remains a mystery!

To me, I can draw similarities between her and Lee Jin Ah – they are both singer-songwriters with a clear and relatively high-pitched voice that brings a breath of fresh air, with Oohyo’s voice probably easier on the ear. Her songs are also more mainstream and pop-sounding, with less quirky chordal arrangements or jazzy feels.

I first listened to this song of hers, Youth, without reading the subtitles. The way she sings the verse as if she is talking to you really appealed to me (JYP reference anyone?!), like a young girl telling a sad story. Once the chorus hits, she sings with a more airy and mellow voice that conveys her desires and wishes. These emotions I received from her singing alone match the lyrics perfectly – still, I strongly encourage you to read them as they are so beautifully written.

The last thing I would like to mention is that this song has an interesting structure (ABC) as it does not repeat its verse (A) or chorus (B), ending on a C section which repeats the riff that opened the song, accompanied by the instrumental. I cannot stop looping this gorgeous song!


P.S. Do check out my latest BTS Medley #2 if you would like! 😀

감사합니다 (Thank you)!

My DoriPianoCovers YouTube Channel has exceeded 10,000 subscribers AND 1 million video views in total! 😀

Wow! I have to say I am so mind-blown by the support you wonderful people have been giving me all this time; I never imagined being able to reach such a massive milestone!

In order to celebrate this, I have been planning a project which I am proud to present – 8 minute BTS Medley featuring 13 songs since our boys’ debut so far.

Songs featured:

  • Born Singer
  • I NEED U
  • Run
  • N.O
  • Moving On 이사
  • So4More / Second Grade 2학년
  • Rain
  • Dope 쩔어
  • Butterfly 
  • Ma City
  • House of Cards
  • Converse High / Lovers High
  • Love Is Not Over

** Special thanks to Yagmur (TUMBLR link; INSTAGRAM link) for the beautiful graphics on this video **

On the same day, I have also launched my Facebook Fanpage (link), where I hope to interact better with you all – please do follow if you would like. 🙂

Thank you and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the Medley!

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—– Instagram |
—– Twitter |
—– Soundcloud |

Seo In Guk – Finding Myself

I was first exposed to this song through the drama ‘High School King of Savvy’ (2014), with Seo In Guk acting as the male lead and singing this beautiful OST. To this date, I still loop it frequently.

In Guk launched his singing career upon winning the talent reality show Superstar K back in 2009, but never quite found his foot in the music industry. It is undoubtedly difficult to be a successful young solo singer in South Korea, as being competent in singing never seems to be enough. Being young, you inevitably get labelled as an ‘idol’ and are compared against other idol groups which, not only can dance and somewhat sing, but also have amazing appearance and physique.

Turning to acting, In Guk made a breakthrough with his 2012 cable drama series ‘Reply 1997’ (he was absolutely amazing in it!!). While the general public may be more familiar with In Guk the actor, rather than singer, he is adamant that music is at least equally important, and continuously works hard to build up his singer image.

‘What can I do? I don’t know how to find myself; can’t move on until I find myself.’

Going back to the song – as demonstrated by this reflective English lyrical line, the singer ponders upon his situation to think of a way forward, and this theme lingers throughout. In Guk’s vocals bring these feelings out really well, and are complemented by an effective selection of instruments: the first verse features a simple electric keyboard accompaniment, with the rest of the band instruments joining in from the chorus onwards. By opting for a simple band structure, rather than the fuller orchestral sound, a blander, thus more mellow and thoughtful mood is brought out.

As much as I like Seo In Guk and his singing, I have to admit that the electric guitar is the star here for me. The way it frequently repeats notes/chords in an echoing manner (e.g. at 1.56, 2.04) effectively mimics how our minds sometimes drift into their own trail of thoughts. Often in these moments, it is as if your surroundings have stood still and faded into the background, with only your mind running (echoing chords represent the stopping of time / fading away of reality). The last instrumental part of the song is my favorite, with the electric guitar playing a contemplative and gradually fading melody. All in all, this is a song that I always put on when I need to focus on what is on hand. It calms me down really well!

Super Junior – Sorry Sorry Remix (Answer)

Most people should be familiar with Super Junior‘s 2009 hit ‘Sorry Sorry‘, which marked the beginning of Hallyu (Korean) wave taking international stage. It is a dance song underlined by heavy electronic beats, with a trance-like chorus featuring repeated, monotonous notes (very minimalistic here!). Not as well known is this R&B remix version of the famous dance track, released in late 2009.

Sorry Sorry – Answer‘ is vocally led by the 3 most competent singers of the group (known as the K.R.Y unit), as well as Yoo Young Jin, singer-songwriter and producer for various famous KPOP groups. Sadly, Yoo only participated in the Studio Version but never performed it live with the boys.

There are not many similarities that one can draw between the remix and the original, apart from its iconic chorus. The verses and bridges have been replaced by soulful melodies, challenging adlibs, and high notes. I love everything about this remix, not only because I am a high notes fanatic, but also it showcases the members’ vocal ranges and styles very well. Yesung (pink hair)’s husky and emotional voice suits R&B better, but his control is not as good as the other two.

Although this remix is meant to step away from the original, there are repeated, trance-like elements in the song (not including the chorus) which stand out to me – e.g. first line of the pre-chorus at 1.36, the instrumental bridge at 2.35, etc. I feel that these were deliberately added to preserve some of the original feels of the song.

If you enjoyed this, you might want to check out a Trot version made by a fan, or their dance remix version.

Oh, and for those who claim that Super Junior cannot sing – you better think twice before making that kind of sweeping statement again. 😉

SHINee – In My Room

I’d like to think that I have quite flexible taste in music – I enjoy listening to a range: rock, jazz, ballad, instrumental, pop, hiphop, easy listening, R&B, etc. It is especially pleasant to the ears when you mix different genres together to bring unexpected results – SHINee‘s ‘In My Room‘, an R&B ballad, is one such examples.

SHINee debuted 7 years ago in 2008 with their ‘Replay‘ EP, which featured ‘In My Room’ as the second song out of five. The group has been widely considered as one of SM Entertainment’s most successful boybands, with some noting that they have almost filled the void left by the split of KPOP sensation 동방신기 (TVXQ). Personally, I have never been a religious follower of SHINee’s music – although I have found their many hits very catchy (Replay, Ring Ding Dong, Sherlock..), I prefer their ballads which allow their unique voices to really shine through.

Since ‘In My Room’ primarily depicts a man reminiscing about the woman he misses, a resigned sense of loneliness permeates the song, underscored by the frequent use of minor/diminished chords and emotional singing. This song attracts me in multiple ways: Firstly, it has an atypical melody and chordal progressions – it is not one of those songs that you can easily hum along to or guess what the next melodic line would be, yet the whole piece stitches well together and holds the listener’s attention. Secondly, I love the layers of harmonies used in the choruses – the way the vocal lines intertwine with each other accentuate the emotional element of the song really well. Thirdly, the R&B singing style adds a sense of soulful-ness to the song, which matches its theme. As vocally led by Onew and Jonghyun with Key shadowing, the song is not an easy one for male singers to challenge, as both are known to have wide vocal ranges. The highest note sung in chest voice is Bb at 3m26s mark.

The boys have performed this a couple of times, although nowhere near as many as I’d like: here they keep the subgroup formation, and here they re-distribute lines between all five members at an SM Town performance. I prefer the former performance as it is executed better and so full of emotions, not to mention that the singing is much clearer (the latter link is a fancam afterall).

They have also re-released an unplugged remix in their ‘The SHINee World‘ album, where guitars have been replaced by strings. While the feel of the song is still there despite the slight changes in chords, I am not a massive fan of the way they mixed in the drumset in this version, as it seems to have unnecessarily brightened up the mood of the track.

If you enjoyed listening to ‘In My Room’, I’d strongly recommend SHINee’s ‘Selene 6.23‘, which is another soulful ballad by the talented boys.

Sarah Vaughan – A Lover’s Concerto

I’d imagine that no one would be unfamiliar with this beautiful tune – based on Bach/Petzold’s Minuet in G Major’, Sarah Vaughan’s ‘A Lover’s Concerto’ (1966) is one of many covers that popularized this classical piece.

The song begins with a melancholic violin and piano line which journeys you through 5 unexpected choral progressions, to a set of rhythmic drumbeats that then bridge into the verse. In a mere 15 seconds, you find yourself lost in the cheeky manoeuvre of the skilled arranger, which is what captured my attention initially.

Sarah carries strength in her voice throughout the song and her trademark jazzy / operatic style really shines through. One might argue that her deep and rich vocals are too heavy and somewhat unfitting for the lyrics, and I have indeed come across covers which take a much sweeter and gentler approach (example here by Kelly Chen). However, for me, Sarah’s voice brings such emotional depth and maturity to the song that other versions become lacking in comparison.

Another point worth mentioning is that the original Minuet is written in 3/4 time (1 2 3, 1 2 3), similar to that of the Waltz, whereas ‘A Lover’s Concerto’ is in 4/4 time (1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4). This is a fundamental shift in rhythmic style and is achieved by prolonging the first note of each phrase (i.e. howwwwwww gentle is the rain, that faaallssssss softly on the meadow). This effectively slows down the piece, which complements Sarah’s heavier take on the song.

All in all – a brilliant masterpiece that I can listen to for hours on end!