Kim Bum Soo (김범수) – Vol. 6 “Kim Bum Soo”

01 Intro (725 Days)
02 The Practical Usage of Sadness
03 Smile Again
04 Tug-Of-War (feat. Younha)
05 Love
06 Interlude
07 Callus
08 Do You Know That? (feat. Yoobin of Wondergirls)
09 Easy Breakup (feat. Juseok)
10 Until The End
11 Without Your Love
12 Dear (SGT. Kim)
13 Light
14 With Grace
15 The Practical Usage of Sadness (MR)

Known for his soulful and smooth vocals, R&B singer Kim Bum Soo returned with his sixth album in August 2008. Noted for his song 보고싶다 (I miss you), this and many other songs that were used for OST are quite popular. Now, two years after his last album release, the singer is still able to capture people’s attention with his strikingly gorgeous voice and emotional ballads. With his sixth album, he gives us a strong R&B/ballad album that is perfect for sitting around and relaxing to.

The Practical Usage of Sadness, being the title track, is definitely one of the stronger songs on the album. The sultry ballad stays within the Korean ballad boundaries, but it is Kim’s vocals
that give the song its charm. A mix of strings, piano and harmonica, the song has a strong accompaniment, but still keeps a natural tinge to it, which allows it to be quite friendly-sounding. Although the instruments use as well as the vocal arrangement aren’t anything new to the Korean music industry, it’s still a beautiful ballad that shouldn’t be overlooked. As I said before, though, it’s Kim’s vocals that make the song. His smooth and clear voice are able to work with the song’s natural feel. His high notes are strongly executed and his low notes are subtle, but calm.

The rest of the album is made of mid-tempo R&B tracks and ballads. One of my favourites is Smile Again, which is an R&B track that does wonders with Kim’s vocals. Although the song sounds somewhat simple, it’s that quality that gives emphasis to the vocals. His sweet tone is inviting and his vibrato is subtle, but they bring an edge to the song. Even his riffs are
smooth and work with the song’s slow pace. Another great song is his duet with Younha: Tug-Of-War. Both voices have a smooth quality to them that allows them to match perfectly and it definitely works out in this mid-tempo pop song. The arrangement of the song is quite amusing and brings a lighthearted quality to the somewhat darker album.

Although it is an album that many might overlook, Kim Bum Soo’s new release is definitely a great piece of work. His vocals are definitely the highlight of the album and despite being mainly filled with ballads and mid-tempo tracks, everything works with his voice quite well. The only downside I can see with this album is the fact that with little variety (as there are a few upbeat songs), the album does drag around a bit by the end. However, I would say this is a strong album vocally.


5/5 – Even if you’re not a fan of this artist/group this album is a must buy.
4/5 – If you’re a fan of this artist/group, you must buy this album.
3/5 – If you’re a fan of this artist/group, you might want to add this one to your collection.
2/5 – I don’t think a fan would even buy this.
1/5 – You might as well just flush your money down the toilet.