Youngbok Gomez is a solo artist located in Los Angeles. Before we go any further I want to point out that he was found by producers and chosen to compete in the singing competition show "The Voice." After listening to his album Love Was a Dream he does have that kind of commercially viable male voice you hear on the radio. You’ll know what I mean when you hear it. In the end “The Voice” only promotes one type of voice so Youngbok Gomez should be happy not to be further associated with it.
I have to give kudos for making a slick sound album in terms of production. He recorded the album in his own apartment and said “it is not perfect and may not sound exactly like something on the radio.” I have to agree with him. I think it comes pretty close considering his minimal gear. His voice sounds great as does pretty much everything else. If he doesn’t become a musician who can pay his mortgage I suggest he consider a career in audio engineering.
The music lies somewhere between overly enthusiastic, optimistic, commercial acoustic pop and slightly experimental folk music. There were a number of times I thought to myself this the type of music I would hear on a car commercial and other times was downright impressed.
The first track “Breathless Winter” is an impressive one. He combines his acoustic guitar, electric percussion and what sounds like a wind instrument (could have been a synth). The singing style worked for me here and didn't have the ubiquitous male pop inflection you sometimes hear on this album.
The highlight is hands down “The Black Mirror.” The song pops and his voice has some swagger this time. Gomez implements some dynamic percussive elements, which benefitted the song.
Youngbok Gomez might have a little bit of thinking to do. His music at this time points toward commercial acoustic pop but I heard some moments where pitchfork approved hipsters might take notice. Most likely the man will not be able to catch both audiences so I suggest either going full on and sounding similar to an American Idol contestant winner or picking up Surfa Rosa by The Pixies.
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