I know that MBLAQ’s heart-wrenching break up song 녹 [Rust] is an absolute group effort but I cannot help but single out G.O’s haunting vocals in the unplugged version that was the closing song on the group’s last recorded album as a five-man group, Winter. The level of sorrow heard in his voice is palatable. Admittedly, I could not listen to the song for a long time. I found it to be extremely telling with regard to circumstances the group was facing at the time the album was released. For me, there will always be sadness connected to Rust, but I cannot deny the absolute beauty of G.O’s voice which among the five, carries the most honesty in interpreting the heartache of a break up. I am biased indeed – but if you listen closely, you will hear it as well, and agree. In all of its sadness, it is another amazing G.O Vocal Virtuosity moment.
There was much sadness surrounding the recording and subsequent release of MBLAQ’s 7th mini album, Winter. This is undeniably true. That sadness however does not overshadow the absolute beauty of the four original tracks on the album and, in particular, the poignancy in the quiet and tender ballads contained therein. I love this album. Even when it breaks me with every listen. Even when I cannot hold back my tears. It is exquisite for it contains my favorite G.O-written and composed song 봄여 름 가을 그리고 . . . [Spring Summer Autumn And . . .]. For Day 279 however, I want to focus attention on another song from Winter, the Cheondung-penned 괜찮을 거란 그 말 [Words That Make It Okay]. I am on a Vocal Virtuosity tirade as of late because frankly, G.O needs more and continued recognition for his talent and artistry as a vocalist. Inasmuch as G.O’s voice is at its premier emotional best on all of the Winter tracks, his verse work, improvs and ad libs in 괜찮을 거란 그 말 are particularly noteworthy.
Sometimes it is impossible to single out a favorite MBLAQ song. But when I start to focus on specific criteria, like written and composed by G.O, for example, it narrows the selection. And even though I love each and every one of his songs in and of themselves that he has written and composed, it is 봄여름가을 그리고. . . [Spring Summer Autumn and . . .] that I must single out as my absolute favorite.
There are many reasons for a native Chicagoan to dislike (and often detest and incessantly complain about) the most brutal of all seasons, winter. Winter often denotes the transition of everything in nature that was once warm, light, lush, in bloom and alive into something that is cold, brittle, barren and dying. Winter is a time of hibernation, and also a time to leave.
When I discovered that the new MBLAQ mini album being released on November 25th was to be entitled Winter and was to be an album of ballads, my heart felt heavy and somewhat sad. At the same time, however, hearing that this album would feature self-composed songs by the men, and G.O would be producing, I immediately became impatient to hear it. Now, after having it on repeat and listening to it non-stop, I have only one complaint: there are simply not enough songs.