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K-Pop Double Take: Former CSJH The Grace Singer Stephanie Salutes The Classic 1960s Girl Group Sound On 'Prisoner' [VIDEO]

By Jesse Lent | October 08, 2015 07:55 PM EDT


K-Pop Double Take is a weekly review column highlighting recent releases that have yet to receive the attention we feel they deserve.

Of the long list of styles, both new and old, included in the idiomatic grab bag that has become the modern K-pop sound, one musical legacy too often ignored is that of the pioneering girl groups of the 1960s.

From the Supremes to the Ronettes to Martha and the Vandellas, the sound, fashion and very template much of South Korea's mainstream music scene was inspired by these highly influential artists, though few current producers even attempt the deep, earthy groove in the recording studio that was the hallmark of the '60s girl group sound.

That's why it's exciting to hear vocalist Kim Bo Kyung (who records under the name Stephanie) of the all-female K-pop act CSJH The Grace paying tribute to this seminal dance music era in her single "Prisoner," released on August 11.

From the song's hot, live rhythm section to the English hook of "I'm a prisoner of your heart, I'm a prisoner of your eyes," there is a lot linking "Prisoner" to the age when New York City's Brill Building reigned supreme.

There is also an emotional weight to Stephanie's vocal performance that recalls the original girl groups. In the same way that those acts could take a seemingly generic pop lyric and turn it into something unique, heartfelt and personal, Stephanie takes a love song and injects a feeling of something more real.

Perhaps the gifted performer was channeling her own personal struggles, including a debilitating back injury sustained before a 2010 concert that left her bedridden for six months and led in the minds of many fans to the indefinite hiatus of CSJH The Grace.

Though the injury may have limited Stephanie's ability to do the same acrobatic dance moves that characterized the group's early performances, if it was this unfortunate event that led her to refocus on the quality of her music, than the sonic silver lining is one that can be enjoyed by any music fan that places quality over bombast and substance over style.

Watch the music video for the new single "Prisoner" from CSJH The Grace Singer Stephanie RIGHT HERE

Tagged :  CSJH The Grace, CSJH Stephanie, CSJH, The Grace, stephanie the grace comeback, K-Pop, K-Pop Double-Take, review, Reviews, Stephanie


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