Apr 12, 2013

Monster Rookie is killing it!

It's no secret that I'm hugely YG-biased, but I think it's safe to say that their newest family member, K-Pop Star 2nd placer Lee Hi, is just killing it and it comes to me as a shock that it's only been 5 months since the release of her debut single "1,2,3,4."

Lee Hi, at the tender age of 16 (Korean age is 18), has won over the k-pop listening audience worldwide with yet another number 1 hit, "Rose." And she's totally won me over. Every track on her first full-length album is worth listening to, some more than others - but still a brilliant showing for a debut album. 

I have immense love for her debut track "1,2,3,4" and it was shown the same amount of love in South Korea. Believe me when I say that when I was in Seoul in December of last year, that song was blasting quite loudly almost everywhere we went - from convenience stores, restaurants, drug stores, all over Hongdae, all over Myeongdong. I don't know how much airplay her second single "It's Over" got since I wasn't in Korea anymore at the time of its release, but based on her all-kills and many wins on music programs, I bet it was just as overplayed.

And now with her third and newest single "Rose," Lee Hi's album seems to be the gift that keeps on giving. The song, though not my favorite from the album, is pensive yet infectious in a very Enya-meets-electronic-dance-music kind of way. It's a tap your foot, nod your head, dance-y little track that still showcases Lee Hi's amazing vocals and rap skills. Too bad that it doesn't swell to higher notes when you keep expecting it to. Nonetheless, it's a pretty damn awesome song.

Having three very solid tracks in a debut album is noteworthy, but Lee Hi's First Love has more to offer in what some would expect to be "filler" songs, but they're not. Some of my other favorites have got to be her Tablo-penned song "Special" which features YG-trainee Jennie Kim and the soulful ballad "짝사랑 (One-Sided Love)" written by Sunwoo Jungah. Very strong songs, these ones. Another contender for favorite song would be the intro "Turn It Up" - which would rate much higher on my list should it have been a longer, full track. Here's to hoping they decide to release a full version.

I tend to forget that not everyone kept up with or looked through Lee Hi’s performances on K-Pop Star. So when people heard her rapping in "Rose" and were surprised that she can rap, I just keep wanting to refer them all to this video.

During her days as a contestant on the singing competition, she trained at YG for a bit and was mentored by T.O.P when she had to perform Yoon Mi Rae’s "As Time Goes By," changing the second verse into rap. The awkwardly adorable mentoring session with T.O.P starts at the 2:15 mark. Her actual performance starts at the 4:15 mark. 

YG sure did hit the jackpot having signed Lee Hi. At least, I think so. I'm such a Lee Hi fangirl... What are we called? Hi Heel? The fanclub needs a better name.


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