Various Artists – I Am Melody
01 O Perfect Love – Naul
02 There Shall Be Showers of Blessing – Seo Young Eun
03 Great Is Thy Faithfulness – Jang Yun Ju
04 We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations – Lisa
05 Dying With Jesus – Park Ki Young
06 I Am a Stranger Here – Tim
07 The Bright, Heavenly Way – Honey Lee
08 When the Trumpet of the Lord Shall Sound – Jung Hun Hee
09 The God of Abraham Praise – Jung Yup
10 Amazing Grace – Gwak Yun Chan
This past April, world renowned jazz pianist, Gwak Yun Chan had released a special Gospel compilation album titled, I Am Melody. The pianist had invited nine recognized singers in Korea, who all have the common interest of Gospel music, to participate in this album which he personally produced and arranged. Notable musicians include Naul (Brown Eyes), ballad singers Seo Young Eun and Tim, R&B artist Lisa, and Miss Korea winner, Honey Lee. In addition, two-time Grammy winner Paul Brown has helped out with the recording and mixing portions of the songs, upgrading this album to the next level.
The ten songs included in this album are famous hymns familiar to many, I myself included. However, Gwak gives these songs a twist, bringing out smooth jazz rhythms through the use of piano, horns, and strings. The instrumentals themselves were on spot, and I can definitely find myself listening to its richness on repeat. The addition of vocals, however gave me mixed feelings with the songs as some artists such as Seo Young Eun did a great job livening up the jazz through her vocals, while others like Honey Lee, did not do so well.
Seo Young Eun’s rendition of “There Shall Be Showers of Blessing” in my opinion was one of the highlights in the album. Her husky, yet smooth vocals flowed beautifully with the soft keyboard and percussion accompaniment for this medium tempo track. I also enjoyed Lisa’s “We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations.” As a fan of her singing, I was ecstatic to see her take part in the album. Lisa does a great job showcasing her wide vocal range and her English pronunciation is up to par. Gwak’s version of “Amazing Grace” is also a must listen. Unlike the other tracks, this is pure instrumental and the piano melody blended with the other musical instruments perfectly.
Overall, the album had a mixture of great and not so great songs, as I felt that not all the artists mastered the jazz genre (though they are great in their own styles, respectively). I must praise Gwak Yun Chan, however, for his beautiful piano arrangements which I thoroughly enjoyed. Fans of Christian music or jazz might get a kick out of this special compilation disc.
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