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K-Pop Beyond The Charts: Relax Your Mind With ELO's Sparse And Soulful 'F.W.B (Friends With Benefits)' Featuring Hoody [AUDIO]

By Jesse Lent | February 22, 2016 05:54 PM EST


K-Pop Beyond The Charts is a weekly review column highlighting Korea's modern day musical innovators who have yet to find mainstream success.

If you've ever been friends with benefits with someone, you know the avalanche of various emotions it can cause.

But at best or (at least) at first, there is a certain exultant peacefulness that comes with becoming romantically entangled with someone that you already feel a connection with, minus the confines of a serious relationship.

The more intoxicating elements of a fling with a formerly plutonic friend appear to be the ones explored on "F.W.B (Friends With Benefits)," released on Friday by South Korean R&B vocalist ELO and featuring Kim Hoody.

Both signed a little over a year ago to Jay Park and Simon D's AOMG record label, ELO and Hoody share the focus of the former on dialing in a vibe and holding the audience's attention with more tripped out, stripped down sonic textures normally reserved for Western pop minimalists like Frank Ocean or James Blake.

On "F.W.B" and the accompanying track "Wax Mannequeen" ELO's proficient retro synth playing provides much of the fire. The fact he favors a more 1970s DIY keyboard sound sets the musician's work apart from other minimalists of the genre, like the ones mentioned above, who tend to channel synthesizer patches from the 1980s and above.

And atop of this stripped-down mass of both dry and reverb-drenched keyboard layers and wound-up drum programming, ELO and Hoody deliver the common goal of not breaking the song's spell. Their commitment to the composition and the feeling it communicates drives their delivery all the way home. Even vocal parts that would be showy in other contexts are perfectly suited to that particular moment.

It's fitting, considering how most friends-with-benefits arrangements are all about timing.

Listen to the new single "F.W.B (Friends With Benefits)" from South Korean R&B artist ELO and featuring singer Kim Hoody RIGHT HERE

Tagged :  Hoody, Elo, Jay Park, AOMG, FWB, Kim Hoody, K-Pop Beyond The Charts, K-Pop, kpop, review, Reviews, k-pop new releases


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