Okay, yes, I overestimated myself when I signed up for this. So now I’m just going to cheat and combine days together. In this case I believe it’s okay, since these two topics go hand in hand.
And now, what we’ve all been waiting for, the worst live singer in K-Pop! What a difficult topic! So many choices, and so little time to go through and burn them all on a stake.
For this topic, I decided to take a different route. See, most of the time the worst ‘live singers’ and generally just some of the ‘worst singers’ in general. I mean, we all know Hara, Hyuna, Dongwoon, half of T-ARA, Hyung Joon, whatnow, aren’t the greatest singers to begin with. Their live performances honestly shouldn’t surprise us in the least. So for days 5 and 6, I’m going to look at K-Pop’s worst live singers who actually do have some sort vocal competency. Basically, those singers with the biggest discrepancy between recorded and live.
Now, the winner for Male is…
DONGHAE OF SUPER JUNIOR
Donghae was my original Super Junior love and his voice is actually my favourite in the band if we’re not looking at technique. He has a very, very smooth voice, which is both a good/great thing, and in his case also sort of a bad thing. It’s a good thing because his voice is so mellow and velvety, and it’s sort of a bad thing because it’s thin. It’s thin and hence he can’t really push, which I would be okay with because every voice has it’s limits, but on top of that thin voice Donghae also uses his nose as a megaphone — and not only when he’s singing with choreography like most idols — but all the time. And has the stamina of a 54 year old chain smoker. A combination of all of those things makes Donghae’s live singing a complete hot mess. He sounded alright in Mr. Simple, because that was Mr. Simple, but as soon as you ask that boy to sing a song with an actual melody and choreography he keels over. And I get it, singing whilst dancing is rarely perfect and I do take that into consideration, but Donghae is just something else altogether. Beautiful recorded voice, not so much live.
Covering for Kyuhyun at 00:29, and then he dies again at 1:30.
This is a prime example of him using that nose of his as a microphone. Come on, Haebro. Also, Leeteuk is even worse here, think of him as an unofficial runner up.
Now, for runner up…
YOOCHUN from JYJ
I don’t really want to talk about Yoochun, because his slow demise as a singer is one of the most depressing things I’ve ever seen. Yoochun used to have a very rich and unique voice, my favourite in the band actually, but since then the richness has turned into this nasally soup of blah. Don’t believe me? Check out JYJ’s discography — you’ll notice how little Yoochun gets in terms of lines these days. In fact, JYJ completely revolves around Jaejoong and Junsu, and every now and then they insert a pity line for Yoochun or something. He’s also pretty much a non-entity during harmonies these days. I mean, look at this live performance of Chajatta, I forgot Yoochun was even there performing with them. Which is understandable, because Yoochun’s voice these days is so congested, it completely detracts from the rawness of Junsu’s voice and the smoothness of Jaejoong’s. Unfortunately (or fortunately in this case), JYJ is hardly ever found promoting live these days so it was hard finding a video. But generally speaking, check out anything by DBSK after 2009.
He’s the dying chicken at 2:38:
Now, for the ladies…
BOM FROM 2NE1
Where do I start with Bom… First of all, her voice is absolutely stunning recorded. But once again, not so much live. Bom has a really unique timbre, and like Yoochun her voice is very rich and has dimension. However, she has poor technique and some of the worst breathing I’ve ever heard from a lead singer of a K-Pop band. Bom’s token style these days is to scream as loudly as she can and it ends up sounding like a dying animal. Bom also has the worst habit of straying from the melody, and it’s depressing since she’s meant to be 2NE1’s lead singer for god’s sake. Then there’s the fact she goes shrill whenever she tries for those high notes — and even though it all comes out sounding cleanly recorded, live she sounds warbly like a lamb attempting vibrato and screaming. And it isn’t only just when she’s attempting choreography, it is all the time, all day, every day. It’s not a sound for sore ears, and it’s safe to say that Bom is better of staying in the studio. I love her so, so, so much, but not when she’s screaming at me.
Her voice is all over the place, seriously
at 1:04 and 2:10, Can’t Nobody is probably the worst of 2NE1’s title tracks live simply because of Bom
SUNNY FROM SNSD
Sunny has a really nice and smooth voice, it’s very clear and feminine, and it’s actually my second favourite in the band after Taeyeon’s. Unfortunately, her technique isn’t the best. At all. She sounds okay on Gee and Oh!, where it’s like she’s swallowed helium whilst singing, but if you ask her to sing in a lower register she is completely off. It’s more prominent where she’s doing a performance with choreography, she chokes and most of the time sound doesn’t even come out, and when it does it’s very warbly. Yes, she is my ultimate bias, but I will openly admit in terms of technique there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to my dear Sunshine.
1:14, urgh, Genie was the worst