The Forgotten #8 – Kim Woo Joo ‘Before You Sleep’

Kim Woo Joo It’s pretty bad when I have no recollection of purchasing albums. I think I bought Kim Woo Joo’s Before You Sleep when I was just learning about Korean music. I have this habit when exploring music. where I check out related items, give one or two songs a listen and decide then and there if I’d like to have that album as well. A very bad idea (money-wise). I’ve listened to the songs from this album, Kim Woo Joo’s first, multiple times. Not sure if I ever actually listened to the album all the way through in a single sitting, though.

Kim Woo Joo’s single “사랑해 Love You (Acoustic Ver.)” is what I really loved him for even though his first album is good. And then he came back after a rather long hiatus and his new songs are amazing. Since it’s been a long time, I guess that’s why I’ve kind of forgotten this album. Should it have been? Well…I guess the problem comes with the fact Before You Sleep is ballads. Nothing but ballads. R&B ballads, pop ballads, ballads mixed with hip hop. Even though it’s a variety of ballad genres…nothing but a smorgasbord of ballads could possibly be underwhelming and leave a person feeling slightly bored, especially if there isn’t much variation in tempo or tone. Just like an album of straight up dance music could eventually get old fast for the same reasons. Thankfully, this album is not one straight type of ballad and does offer differing temps and styles. Am I in love with this entire album and all of the songs? The album overall is very good and Kim Woo Joo has an amazing voice. I don’t love all the songs as some do seem rather similar to one another, but that doesn’t stop this from being a great album and a great debut.

Kim Woo Joo - Before You SleepBefore You Sleep
김우주 [Kim Woo Joo]
Released: 10 May 2005
Buy on Amazon | iTunes | YesAsia

01. 난 지금 헤어진다 (Nan Jigeum Haeojinda)
I really enjoy the opening song. It’s great with a very beautiful, almost choral-like chorus. Or…should I say that this song seems reminiscent of one of the tracks from the kdrama My Girl OST to me.
02. 편지 (Pyeonji; Letter)
03. I`ll Wait For You
04. DEL.
I love the music box opening. And Kim Woo Joo’s voice sends shivers down the spine in this song when hi soft voice picks up volume on certain words. I also enjoy the guitar sound throughout the song which is quite different from the music box start. There’s parts towards the end where Woo Joo gets a bit of a rock edge to his voice. It’s hard to believe, but this ballad really is a dynamic song.
05. 독 (Dok; Poison) Feat.은지원 [Eun Ji Won]
This is one of the songs on the album that is more of a dance song and helps break the ballad diet this album serves.
06. 일년 되는 날 (Ilneyon Doeneun Nal; When A Day Became One Year) Feat. 수지 [Suji]
This is a great duet. Again, the chorus had more of that choral feel to it.
07. The End (Feat. 벼 리)
This is like my favorite song on the entire album. It’s highly addictive and I just like how Kim Woo Joo sings the different parts of the song.
08. 이별은 없다 (Ibyeoleun Oepsda; There Is No Separation)
09. 토 (To)
10. Without You (Interlude)
Is it weird to say you like an interlude? I don’t know, but I like this song!
11. 어떻게 (Eotteohge; How) Remake
This must mean there is an original somewhere…right? Don’t think I’ve heard it, but I do like this remake.
12. 하얀손 (Hayanson; White Hand)
Doesn’t it sound like he’s practically crying in this song? Add in that harder rock edge to when he’s really enunciating and his volume goes up and it’s delicious.
13. 선물 (Outro) (Seonmul)
Again…is it weird to like an outro? Love the piano music and Kim Woo Joo’s beautiful voice.
14. 편지 (Inst.)
15. 독 (Inst.)

I am sorry that I haven’t given this album the love it deserves. It is a strong debut and a surprising debut in the fact that it consists of a whopping 15 songs. Kim Woo Joo is definitely very talented. You should really check out all of his albums and singles. I am particularly enamored when he chooses to do acoustic versions of his songs.

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