Last Updated on
For a long time, Lim Kim has been known as the artist with the soft, dreamy voice who sang “Rain” or the one who released the pastel-themed single “Awoo”. Her latest EP Generasian is a shifting point for her musical identity as she gracefully adapts to a bolder sound and concept. Filled with traditional instrumentation and booming confidence, this album is a stand-out, highlighting the individuality of the artist.
01. MINJOKYO (ENTRANCE)
Traditional Korean folk music fused with electronic elements is an experimental recipe for the intro to the EP. The song starts off with the use of Janguu, traces of which are found throughout the entire song and a few ticking, electronic sounds kick in to build up the momentum for the brittle vocals. Some parts of the song are reminiscent of Pansori. A choir joins in, giving a fuller feeling to the song as various elements come together to mesh into one sound
The title of the song is a reference to the skin tone of Asians, making this a musical celebration of her ethnic pride which is also hinted in the M/V and lyrics. Empowering, bold and chaotic, “YELLOW” follows the theme of the EP. The use of traditional Korean string instruments is present throughout the entire song.
The bellicostic chorus is epic sounding with chants of “yellow” surrounded by resonant drums. The hip-hop influenced song develops a more forte dynamic after the second chorus as metallic sounding drums kick in. “Who’s the fucking queen? I, I,I” Lim Kim chants with unapologetic honesty as she uses her powerful voice as an instrument to give the song a more aggressive feel. The off-key “la-la-la”s give off a disorienting and eerie vibe. The song manages to maintain it’s fierce and frenetic energy throughout, coming to an end with a heavy bass-line.
“Mong” is a pleasant break after the first two percussion-heavy and hard hitting tracks of the album. Breezy and calm, the track slowly immerses one into a state of relaxation with the use of a serene flute, fluttering piano and gentle synths. The lyrics further impose the dreamy theme of the song onto the listener’s mind. It is an ethereal piece which sounds like something straight out of a fairy-tale. The instrumental numbs down at the end of the pre-chorus to give the chorus a more distinct and lush sound. Or perhaps, it is done to emphasize the empty feeling of a “cold heart” and “sinking low down”. It is personally my favorite song from this EP.
04. “DIGITAL KHAN”
This is the least eastern sounding song on this EP. Starting off with a light percussion, the song slowly evolves into a rap-heavy banger with a bombastic beat. The combination of Lim Kim’s sassy and whiny rap with the synths and bass drums is marvellous. The pre-chorus is the lightest part of the song that leads up to a surprisingly hard-hitting chorus. Although quite epic sounding, the song can feel a little empty at certain parts. Similar to “YELLOW”, the last few seconds of the song mainly feature a bass-line.
“YO-SOUL” has a brighter sound compared to the other pieces on this EP. The smooth vocals glide over the instrumentals as the song is reminiscent of a bright summery afternoon with its glittery synths, floating piano and floating piano. The nature sounds used in the background – such as the sound of a waterfall – add to the calmer feel of the song. Although it’s not excessive, the use of traditional instrumentation is still found in the song. It is certainly not disappointing although the song can get a little boring at times.
06. “MINJOKYO (EXIT)”
Building up anticipation at the start, the first few verses sadly fail to deliver. All one can hear is a thick bass-line and some generic beats along with high pitched vocals. The song has barely anything exciting happening at first, making it seem like a rushed goodbye. However, the second chorus strikes soul into the song giving it a fuller sound. Nonetheless, this is my least favorite song from this EP.
Overall, I would call this album a success as Lim Kim gracefully delivered her message across and managed to establish herself as a brand of her own. It is simply intriguing, both conceptually and musically. Each song has a distinct sound of its own while sharing a common theme. The album is incredibly diverse and well-crafted as well as showcasing Kim’s artistry and hints at her aim of revolutionizing the Korean music industry.