Whang Bo-Ryung seems like a tough grunge rocker with her arresting, hoarse vocals, but the release of her fourth album last month brings a more “light-hearted”offering.
The strong base of Whang’s whispered voice set against the elongated notes of the bass, guitar or synth, create a siren-like magnetic appeal. Each chord, key or beat is perfectly set to maximize its effect; compositional simplicity allowing the rhythms to pulse forward.
From the tribal haunt of the Irish whistle in “Do You” to the strumming of the electric guitar in “100 Yrs,” the classic alternative rock sound of SmackSoft recalls its American counterparts — with a twist.
Whang is able to mix the use of English and Korean, working with wordplay in titles, before countering to show her deft use of instrumentals. Closing number “Horizontal” finishes up with a boom.
Three out of four stars.
SmackSoft ‘Mana Wind’ (WINDMILL MEDIA) by INES MIN for Korea Times