[NEW RELEASES]Sound Track and Debut CDs

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[NEW RELEASES]Sound Track and Debut CDs

New releases this week include the original sound track of the movie "Chin-gu" ("Friends"), new group Natural's appropriately titled "The First," and Emilia's second album, "Emilia."

Original Sound Track: "Chin-gu" ("Friends")

The domestic movie, "Friends," released last Saturday, is likely to break all records in the Korean film industry. The movie, featuring stars such as Jang Dong-gun and Yoo O-sung, attracted 200,000 moviegoers in Seoul and 500,000 nationwide over last weekend. This record smashes that of past blockbuster "Joint Security Area."

Its original sound track must have played a crucial role in this success. Songs such as "After the Drama Is Over," a good old ballad, and "Bad Case of Loving You," sung by Robert Palmer, add extra interest to the gangster drama.

Natural: "The 1st"

Natural, composed of Woo Hyung-yoon and Park Tae-soo, released its debut album. Though Mr. Woo and Mr. Park are not yet familiar to the public, they are established figures on the Korean music scene, in fact. Mr. Woo is a bassist in the popular musician Lee Seung-hwan's band, while Mr. Park was a former member of the group Kona.

They say that it was "natural" that they would pursue a musical career together. They write songs, produce and even perform. The only area in which they don't demonstrate outstanding talent is singing. They've made up for this deficiency by inviting their fellow musicians to perform, including the big names You Hee-yeol and Lee Seung-hwan.

Natural pursues ballad-type music that is familiar, but not unadorned. In this debut album, the main track "Wish I Were Yours Only" sung by Kim Yeon-woo, is a typical enough ballad, but they have expertise in other areas as well. The song "Would You Be My Girlfriend?" featuring Lee Seung-hwan and Lee So-eun, is worthy of attention, with rhythmic sounds and an easy-listening melody.

Mr. Woo and Mr. Park say that they will bring some more accomplished and elaborate sounds to the Korean stage. Can we look forward to a second and third release? We'll see.

Emilia: "Emilia"

Here is a second contribution from Emilia, whose previous ballad song "Big Big World" struck it big around the world.

Born of an Ethiopian jazz musician father and a Swedish mother, Emilia started her musical career in a band with her friends. Then she was lucky enough to be picked up by Lars "Yogi" Anderson, a renowned Swedish musician. Since then, she has been writing her own songs. In this latest release she continues to experiment with different musical styles.

In this new release, this 23-year-old singer's sweet yet strong voice sounds rather more sophisticated than the naive sound of 1998's "Big Big World."

"Sorry I'm in Love," the first track in the new release, suggests a typical Swedish sound, easy listening spiced with an up-tempo rhythm.

by Chun Su-jin

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