Music Review

Review: ‘h’ by Lee Haeri

Lee Haeri impresses with lead single "Pattern," but does the rest of the album deliver?

h

Lee Haeri makes her solo debut with mini-album h.

After 9 years in vocal duo Davichi and countless collaborations, Lee Haeri has made it abundantly clear what she is capable of, vocally. So for this solo debut she needed to show something more than ballads, and more than just skill. Despite my hopes for her to experiment with her sound, I didn’t expect Haeri to do that at all. But then she released “Pattern,” the first of two lead singles.

Davichi fans are most accustom to hearing Haeri belt out high notes and expressing deep emotion; we already know she can do that and excel at it. For “Pattern,” she dazzles and amazes by opting for sultry vocals and visuals, and for the first time we see true versatility from Haeri.

The song is not at all about being flashy and breaking your good wine glasses, but instead, all that takes a back seat for a deeper register and a breathy delivery we haven’t heard before which is all enhanced by a wonderfully bass heavy instrumental injected with a delicate use of the piano.

Unfortunately, the buck stops here. As opposed to going full force with this never-before-seen or heard side of her, Lee Haeri chooses to revert right back to the ballads she has always done as one half of Davichi.

“Paper Star’s Dream” is most unique among this batch of ballads, as it is whimsical, youthful and fresh. The chorus is where this song makes its departure. Lee Haeri manages to provide some variety in her vocal styling. She swings back and forth between notes in a way that resembles the movement of a rocking chair. She eases in and out for a more delicate sound.

But honestly, next to “Pattern,” the rest of the album, while still comprised of good ballads, fades into the background. I suppose on some level it makes sense to give fans what they love and know you for, but what is the point of going solo, breaking free of the restraints working with someone else, if you’re just going to do what you’ve always done. A solo album is long overdue for Haeri. She has been in the industry for a long while and in addition, Kang Min Kyung, the other half of Davichi, has been doing solo work for some time and has managed to show versatility with her own projects. Lee Haeri needed to show something new and fresh, and she came so close with “Pattern” but failed to execute that all the way.

With her range, Haeri has the ability to explore so many other genres: Rock, Folk, R&B — the list goes on. Why she chose to run from variety will forever be a mystery to me.

3.8

Genre: Ballad | Release Date: 4/19/17

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1 comment on “Review: ‘h’ by Lee Haeri

  1. Scorecard:
    1 – Pattern
    0 – 그대라는 계절 (Season Of You)
    .5 – 미운 날 (Hate That I Miss You)
    .5 – 종이별의 꿈 (Paper Star’s Dream)
    0 – 우린 (We Are)
    0 – 보이지 않아도 (Even Though)

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