Shin Joong Hyun, 'Beautiful Rivers and Mountains' (Light in the Attic)

6
Beautiful Rivers and Mountains
Critical Mass
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Label: LIght in the Attic

by Mike Powell

Shin's story is a hash of half-familiar myths: He started out entertaining at a U.S. Army base, dropped acid, introduced socially conservative South Korea to psych rock, suffered state censure. His music is also a hodgepodge: square sax-rock, Motown, bongo-heavy folk ballads, and sunshine pop, all tinted by Shin's guitar, which is alternately savage and buttoned-up. Interestingly, there's a purity of Western influence atypical of most non-Western comps -- fewer traces of folk tradition, fewer happy misunderstandings of the source material.

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