LeeSsang AsuRa BalBalTa

My interest in Korean rap has increased so much this year! I absolutely love LeeSsang because they just really get music and how to make a really great collaboration. When I heard they were working with 10cm and Tasha I almost started crying ( tears of joy); I was so excited and that was only on their single.나란 놈은 답은 너다 (Prologue) is a short piano interlude that leads into 나란 놈은 답은 너다 [The Answer To Me Is You] (feat. 하림) that has the same piano in the intro.

TV를 껐네… [Turned Off the TV](feat. t윤미래, 권정열Kwon Jung-yul Of 10cm) is like the epitome perfect rap song I wanted this year. There’s 10cm’s Jung Yul for my indie side and Yoon Mi Rae for my female rapper combined with LeeSsang. This song is like a good mix of the two genre’s over a chill beat.
Serenade (feat. 개코 Of Dynamic Duo, Windy City) is so chill. I love the arrangement of this song. Gaeko (Dynamic Duo) lends his singing voice; his voice fits with this lounge/jazz style. In my opinion, Gil didn’t need to sing as much as he did because sometimes his raspy voice doesn’t go well with the rest of the song. The lyrics are pretty funny, Gaeko’s part is sweet and Gary’s rap adds a nice break between the chorus.
회상 (feat. 백지영) picks up the tempo slighty and adds Baek Ji Young. She sings the chorus; the clarinet during the bridge is gorgeous and gives the song a special feel. I love songs like this that tell about what struggles the artist had to overcome like Epik High’s FAQ. 나 그대에게 모두 드리리[ I Shall Give All To Thee] (feat. 정인) is another collaboration with Jung-In! I love her individually as an artist and I love all her collabo’s with LeeSsang, this song is no different. While it follows that mellow, laid back sound like the majority of the album, it has a nice mix of old school sound and gospel with the organ. There is a lot of call and response between Gil and Jung-In, but I don’t even care, as long as these two are working together it’s always great. Jung-In takes over during the middle-8 to sing a beautiful, opera-like melody.

죽기 전까지 날아야 하는 새 [The Bird That Must Fly Before Death](To.Bizzy) (feat.강산에) stays with the chill vibe, but Kang San Ae works really well. The intro adds a masculine scream from Gil and the song is more rap based. AsuRa BalBalTa acts as an interlude with various sounds; not really needed and I certainly thought as the title track it would be more of an actual track.
격산타우[Gyuksantau (feat. 국카스텐 Guckkasten) gets into indie-rock genre which is a definite change of pace. Guckkasten add a creepy vibe, but for this song it really works; not my favorite track on the album, but it’s different.강남 사짜[Kangnam Con Man] (feat. PoBi) has a dream like intro with a harp and violin that sounds like a music box. The rap is slightly harder and the violins go from sweet music box to stuccato.
Am I? (feat. Bizzy, B-Free) gets down to Leessang’s root with that raw, underground sound. Gil chimes in during the chorus and the rest of the song reverts back to Bizzy and B-Free’s raps. 독기[Grim Determination] is all about the lyrics; the lyrics tell about how hard life is and including bits of personal life. The album concludes with  Grand Final (Planet Shiver Mix) goes for a Latin vibe that features bits and pieces of every song on the album; pretty fitting for an ending. I rate this 4/5.

This is an album that I had been anticipating since I heard of their comeback preparations. When Turned off the TV was released I knew this album would not disappoint. There were a few tracks that could’ve been better, but the lyricism was perfect and the collaborations were solid; I loved it.

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