Photo credits: Antenna

[Review] Lee Jin Ah – Hearts of the City

Lee Jin Ah is back to wow us with her full-length album ‘Hearts of the City’. In this album, Lee explores the inner workings of the big city. We’re super stoked so let’s dive right in!

Hearts of the City

The opening track is ‘My Whole New World’. We’re starting off with a jazzy track with a really cool cello and Lee Jin Ah’s soft vocals mixed with her wonderful piano playing. I also really enjoyed the layering, it’s just so pleasing to the ears.

Next up is the title track ‘Mystery Village’. I’m really loving the intensity of the piano. It’s adventurous, thrilling and will have you at the edge of your seat. When the bridge comes we get a brief moment of softness before the electric guitar comes in. It’s awesome.

The two music videos are connected, so watch ‘Mystery Village’ before ‘My Whole New World’.

‘End of the Journey’ features singer Stella Jang. We’re going a bit heavier on the strings in this one. I love the addition of Stella Jang. This is such a dope collab. I really like how languid this feels. It’s cathartic and the ending feels very wholesome and like a proper end of a story.

Next up is the second title track ‘Skyline’. I really liked this song description: “Skyline is set in a hectic, fast-paced city, where Lee Jin-ah begins to joyfully explore the happenings of the dynamic world rather than being chased by the busy modern society. Although the uncertain future makes us fearful, the song contains the courage to accept it maturely without breaking down.”

Next up

‘True Friends’ is playful and cheerful. The addition of the guitars were lovely and the twinkles in the backing track super cute. Overall this is just a great listen.

After that we get ‘City Lights’ featuring Sarah Kang. This is a super smooth jazzy track that bounces along and the combination of their vocals is really lovely. Sarah Kang has a very rich tone and it makes for a great mix with Lee Jin Ah’s airy vocals. It’s delightful.

‘Dreams of Sadness’ features celloist Jinho Hong. I’m kind of obsessed with the eerie start of this track. It’s very dreamlike and feels quite haunting. The switch-up around the second minute had me do a double take. The music ebbs and flows along and it’s pretty cool. The ending brings us back to the humming.

After that comes ‘Midnight Delivery’. This is a groovy interlude of just over a minute and a half. The keyboard goes wild and creates a fun moment.

‘Accepting’ is up next. This is a very cute and wholesome track. Lee Jin Ah is ready to accept herself and the world. It’s absolutely adorable and will definitely leave a smile on your face.

‘When you come home’ has a SICK instrumentation. I love the combination of the two different pianos. This really feels like Lee Jin Ah from ‘Jinah Restaurant full course’ and I’m here for it.

Next up is the track ‘Sing!’ featuring Parkmoonchi. I dig this a lot. It’s a bit softer, but begs for you to sing along to. I love the talk singing at one point and the staccato violins.

The closing track is ‘Words’ with features by none other thana Lee Hyori and Lee Sang Soon. I love this trio so much together. I kind of teared up with this track as it just feels so vulnerable and fragile. What a lovely end.

Overall Lee Jin Ah did a fantastic job with ‘Hearts of the City’. It’s cohesive, paints a full story and has amazing collabs. Go ahead and listen to it here on Spotify.

A writer with a slight coffee addiction and a tendency to find K-Indie gems in the YouTube rabbit hole.