I sometimes try to imagine what this countdown series would have been like had I only filled it with Vocal Virtuosity moments. Then again, every song, video or the like shared here throughout this entire countdown has actually been that kind of moment. Early on in one of the blog posts here, I labeled G.O a virtuoso at his craft. And initially when the word synced up in my mind to describe G.O, it was because of his music. But as it turns out, a virtuoso can also be someone who is skilled in any artistic pursuit. And although music may be the auto default for G.O (for good reason), I think it can apply to him across many of his artistic endeavors. For the purpose of this countdown series however, I chose to single out his virtuosity as a vocalist. Today I want to fall into G.O’s incredibly smooth and sensual vocal stylings as captured in the opening track of Ty Project No. 1, Intro, because it is exactly what some of us can use right now to soothe our souls, and heat up these cold winter days.
Ever since acquainting myself with G.O and learning a little bit about his artistic journey, I have been on a quest to find as many copies of Tykeys’ Ty Project No. 1, literally the first full studio album he recorded (to my knowledge any way). When I find a copy, I buy it. This past week, I found another copy so that always seems to ignite my desire to revisit Tykeys’ performances and it occurred to me that 연상연하 [Old & Young], one of the two singles released from the album was a perfect candidate for a Vocal Virtuosity moment. Specifically, the live performance from the Tykeys showcase way back in February or March 2007. The studio version is great. But my favorite live version, vocally speaking, is the showcase performance. Continue reading →
I am sorry but lately Tykeys have commandeered my playlists and when that happens, I invariably want to share the greatness of G.O’s work. Even though I recently shared an I’m Sorry clip, I am traveling down that road once more here today as there can never be too much vocal virtuosity in an eight day span. I think G.O’s recent (and nostalgic) update where he posted a picture of himself from his Tykeys’ days has triggered my desire to revisit the memories and the music. Today a short clip of I’m Sorry (yes, again) from Tykey’s visit to the SBS Power FM Cultwo Show back on 2 August 2007.
Just tell me how . . . how I can rid my heart of this pain? Just tell me how, how did I not see the love right here in front of me? Just tell me how, how it is that I have only seen you as a friend? Just tell me how, how is it that I love you now? This seems to be the running theme of Tykeys’ gospel-infused R&B song, 말해버려 [Just Tell Me], one of my absolute favorite cuts on the incredibly rich and neo-soulifric Ty Project No. 1. Every song on this wonderful album that features G.O’s expressive and impassioned vocals is a Vocal Virtuosity moment and I am thrilled to have the time to expose all of them before he concludes his military service.
If you have been following this series (or even my blog in general), you know how very sentimental I am and how I enjoy commemorating special dates, milestones, and memorable moments. Today happens to be one of those days as one year ago today, G.O stepped upon the stage and sang for us one more time before entering military training camp four short days thereafter. It is silly, but for some reason remembering that snowy Valentine’s Day is making me tremendously emotional as I sit down to write. I write through my tears often so it is ok that they fall today. I chose to write a Vocal Virtuosity moment for today as the time is actually quite perfect to revisit G.O’s performance of his incredibly smooth and sweet Play That Song from the I.Callist Vocal Idol Show on 14 February 2016.
Every moment G.O has the opportunity to sing will always have a place here in this countdown series and will generally find its way into the Vocal Virtuosity archives. Every single one. But I admit there will always be some moments that stand out much like the one I share today where G.O turns a ballad into a tender lullaby in his rendition of Hurricane during a January 2010 visit to the Volume Up radio show.
It takes a lot of courage for me to listen to G.O’s cover of Javier Colón’s Song For Your Tears but it has been staring at me from the shelf in The RetroRoom for some time now. I knew that sooner or later I was going to want pull it down, dust it off, listen to it, and subsequently feel my heart shatter into a million pieces. G.O being away and missing him compounds the aching but this song is just too good and his performance of it during the Zepp and Sensation tours of 2013, a master vocal class with every note.
When I sat down to write this post, it was midnight and I had had a glass of wine. For those reasons (and probably others) I found G.O’s saunter through Gimpo Airport on 4 December 2011 rather sensuous. Maybe it was the beanie/hoodie combination with the dark glasses. Or perhaps it was just the way he seemed to be gliding as he walked. Or, how about the soft smile on his perfect lips? Whatever the reason, G.O makes a simple walk through the airport a seismic event for the senses and the perfect choice for a Fan-Camming day here on the blog.
Although a classic break up song, there was still something very sweet about G.O singing a little bit of the chorus to Ne-yo’s So Sick at the SBS Tenten Club Public Broadcast on 14 February 2011, even if it was Valentine’s Day! I would be hard pressed to be sick of any love song on that day and even more reluctant to turn away from a song (break up or otherwise) sung by G.O. Just sayin’. I love that G.O revived a little of the song at the Tenten broadcast since it has most likely been a song on his personal playlist for some time. He covered it way back in his Tykeys days. So on this 181st day of his service, I am setting the dial to the Retro Room station to revisit G.O’s cover of So Sick.
When you wake one morning and realize all you want to do is sing, you hear music in everything. I have a feeling this is exactly what G.O felt when that realization hit. From that point on, he most likely became an ardent student of music. And although it was no doubt he was hearing his own compositions in his head and perhaps keeping a journal of poetry that would transform into lyrics, the first songs he sang were probably the songs of other artists. For G.O, I suspect the songs he sang in those early days were his guide and his lessons, and the artists themselves, his mentors and his teachers. It is no wonder then he would ultimately pay homage to them by covering those songs that guided him to become the incredible vocalist he is today. The beauty of his education, however, is that he did not limit himself to the songs of Korean artists. His deep respect for music (all music) and his choice to cover many songs that were sung in a language foreign to him (English) are valid and honorable reasons to continue to love this amazing man.