When you're Andy
Kim, writing songs is both easy and difficult. The "easy" part is easy to explain: The crafting of a melody, chords,
and lyrics are second nature for an adult who's been composing virtually since the cradle. The difficult part is the
deep introspection that precedes the writing, often with an accompanying emotional upheaval. Other songwriters may opt
to skip this part of the process entirely, but then other songwriters are not Andy Kim. Andy Kim is an artist who shares
his thoughts, his emotions, his life experiences - his very soul - through his music. This is the distinction between
a skill and an art - nearly anyone can learn a given skill, if he has the head for it, but an art is born along with the artist,
who uses his heart as well as his head during the creative process. It's similar to childbirth - difficult, oftentimes
painful, but the end result makes it all worthwhile.
This isn't to
say that Andy Kim's songs are morbid or self-pitying. Quite the contrary - Kim's songs inspire thought and reflection,
but they're neither heavy-handed nor melodramatic. His songs inspire us, yet they also entertain, first and last.
This is what makes Andy Kim - a contemporary singer/composer who started his musical journey as a teenager
at New York's famous Brill Building in the late 1960's and subsequently had an international hit with "Rock Me Gently" in
1974 when he was barely in his twenties - such an extraordinary artist. With his 2009 CD release, I Forgot to Mention,
Andy Kim sends the children of his mind out into the world, to be loved and cherished and to take their place in the collective
DNA of life. Long awaited and anticipated, IFTM is Kim's first full-length album in many years.
Should anyone mistakenly harbor the idea that Kim is an oldies act, one listen to just a few bars of any of the CD's tracks
should quickly put that impression to rest.
Andy Kim's latest
masterpiece starts off with the elegantly sentimental "3 Days in Heaven," which sweetly, joyously celebrates rediscovery
and renewal. He follows this with "Judy Garland," a paean to beauty that starts off with a deceptively simple melody
line and evolves into a tapestry of words and images interspersed with a rainbow of music and chords and harmonies.
"The Oh, Oh
Song" is another welcome newcomer, one which gazes at its listener through melancholy eyes and speaks plaintively of a love
found and lost, over a subtly dramatic string arrangement. This abrupt and unexpected heartbreak fuels the cynicism
expressed in the bubbly "Love Has Never Been My Friend," although its lively, upbeat tempo helps to lighten the mood (some
really great background stylizations don't do any harm either).
It perhaps comes
as no surprise, given Andy Kim's relationship with parents who were heroically supportive (albeit puzzled) when the youngster
revealed his chosen career path, that this now world-renowned singer pays tribute to his father in not one but two tracks.
"This Is Me" starts off with the singer lovingly illustrating the parallels between father and son while simultaneously declaring
his individuality. The subtle chord progressions and added sweetening bring a lushness to the modern and upbeat
arrangement. "Someday," a haunting and empathetic look at life and loss and old age (Kim's father, who was well into
his sixties when Kim was born, and Kim's mother both lived to be over 90), is ingeniously tempered by a catchy Latin
American-flavored backing track; although its lyrics deviate from the strictly autobiographical, Kim's voice betrays
the raw emotion he so obviously feels as he remembers his dad - few modern male singers can emote like Andy Kim - and the
bouncy rhythm uplifts the song's mood to one of celebration.
on the CD is the brilliantly arranged and produced "Happen Again" - a song which, in my humble opinion, has "hit" written
all over it - a hand-in-hand skip through the park, a boldly stated intention to return to the dreams and ideals of youth
and to rediscover the natural excitement and freshness of first love. It's got a contagious, thumping rhythm and is
enhanced by gospel-tinged background vocals; one can't help singing along with its optimistic refrain even during the first
listen, and programming directors of adult contemporary radio would do well to keep an eye (and an ear) on this potential
on I Forgot to Mention include the haunting ballad "Without You," which closes the album; the title track, a peppy,
guitar-laden, us-against-the-world anthem (another hit in the making); and "Love Is," a study in magnificence enhanced with
dramatic orchestrations that serve to enhance the song's message of love to one of global proportions.
Come to think
of it, that's a pretty good description for the artist himself. Andy Kim is love personified, an undeniable and irreversible
part of the world's consciousness, and his music is a gateway to his soul. With this fantastic new CD, definitely well
worth the wait, Andy Kim does, indeed, make it Happen Again.
3 Days in Heaven
This is Me
The Oh Oh Song
I Forgot to Mention
Love Has Never Been My
For sound samples and to purchase the CD, visit the
Store page on AndyKimMusic.com.