They call themselves “timid,” but Sosimhan Boys’ style of music is bold and one-of-a-kind. Of the eight tracks of their new album In a Rainy Day, only two can really be referred to as ballads. Their melody and instrumental lines are quite lyrical and arranged in a common pop style, but the straightforward lyrics without flowery words catch the ears of the listeners. The contrast between the melody and the message casts an alluring magic.
▲ The Cover of the Album in a Rainy Day. Provided by HapperConllins Publishers
The duo refer to themselves as an acoustic dance group. This description sparks curiosity about the style of music they perform, and the album In a Rainy Day provides the answer. The album consists of eight tracks, including a guitar solo, six original songs, and an instrumental version of the title song. The tone of In a Rainy Day , the EP by Sosimhan Boys, is set by the cheery guitar sound of the opening song “Victor Spring.” It leads the listeners to expect a lively track list. However, the following song—the title track—refuses to fulfill these expectations.
Before listening to the title song, it is better to jump to the last track of the album, which is the instrumental version of the title song, for a slight twist. Only listening to the instrumental, many would imagine a peaceful, romantic scene of sitting at a café in Paris, sipping a cup of tea with earphones on. Yet, after listening to their lyrics on the title track, it is hard to hold back the laughter. The lyrics suggest eating Korean pancakes and drinking makgeolli without burping, while ending their sentences with “-eux” to give the impression of French pronunciation. Thus, it could be said that they express very Korean concepts in a most foreign way.
One minute, they are singing about makgeolli and burping, then they suddenly shift tones and start to sing about love; the next three tracks show that Sosimhan Boys are capable of tackling typical romance songs. The third track “That Season” talks about the longing for a former lover. The fourth song “The Night I Feel Like Getting Drunk” features resonant female vocals, and the fifth track “Thanks To” is another love song. Listening to these three consecutive tracks, the first comical impression starts to fade.
However, the next tracks remind the listeners that they are different from other artists. Sosimhan Boys show the peak of their vast wit with the sixth track “When You Get Old.” They compare themselves to the young, implying that they are old, but not that old yet. “We are all asked by the club staff for an identification card. You are objects of regulation by law, while we are the ones being kicked out (because we are old).”
However, it is difficult to call the album a triumph because of its inconsistency. The two different tones the duo pursue have a difficult time coexisting with each other. Three tracks are relatively easy listening, while three others demonstrate Sosimhan Boys’ wittier style of music. To avoid their central theme becoming a gray area, it might have been better if they had clearly stuck to one of the two styles.
Still, the album covers the wide spectrum of what the Sosimhan Boys are capable of as a band. In fact, Sosimhan Boys are able to hit the high notes that typically delight the palate of the general public, but they just refuse to do so. Shining bright among the countless plain songs produced by the music industry, the style of music that the band has so endearingly embraced grabs the audience’s heart like nothing else they have previously experienced. The Sosimhan Boys are true diamonds in the rough.