Park Hyo-shin's Second Album Is Now OutPark Hyo-shin, 20, is not a flashy dancer, nor is he one of those singers whose speciality is the accompanying comedy act rather than the vocal performance. What he offers listeners is plain old unadorned music.
Nonetheless, Mr. Park stands out in the Korean music community currently dominated by glittery singers who paper over weak musical talent with showy dance sequences.
Mr. Park made his debut last year with a first album that included the smash hits "Fool" and "What I Can't Do For You." The album was a surprise success, selling 450,000 copies in Korea.
The achievement was especially significant because media promotion of the album was minimal: The record sold itself.
On Jan. 20, this talented musician released his second album, titled "Second Story." Several well-known musicians participated on it, such as producer Yoon Sang, and contributors You Hee-Yeol and Kim Dong-ryul.
The album's leading track, "From Faraway," is a lyrically sophisticated song in a style similar to "Fool." Another song on the new release, "Longing," has become a favorite with radio DJs.
"Show Your Love," an amusing song with a funky rhythm, is another of the album's high points.
Mr. Park is often compared to Michael Bolton, because their deep, throaty voices sound similar.
Mr. Park said, "Many people ask me whether it is unpleasant to be compared to other singers. Not at all. Michael Bolton is such a good singer, and everybody knows that.
"If I can learn from him, but retain my own strong points and originality at the same time, I'm hoping that one day I can be an even better singer than him."
Mr. Park's powerful voice, which rings out from his beefy throat, is inspiring － hear him and you are unlikely to forget him. He manages to combine guttural delivery with a clear tone, making other singers like Yim Jae-beum sound hoarse.
He puts this voice to excellent work in his soul tracks based on rhythm and blues sounds. This soul style further distinguishes him from his musical peers such as Yoo Seung-jun, a glitzy dancer, and Jo Sung-mo, a ballad singer.
"The genres of soul music and R&B seemed perfectly to fit my artistic strengths and the feelings I wanted to express," he said.
But, despite the good press he has received so far, he said he was not yet satisfied with his musical prowess. "I must work on my ability to express and deliver emotive music. I want to be a musician who improves slowly but surely, rather than hoping to reach my peak in an instant."
by Choe Jae-hee