Taiji Collection '92-'98
Introducing Korea's Seo Taiji. All of the lyrics are in Korean, yet the music is
incredible. The collection begins with an eclectic/reggae/techno instrumental
("Yo! Taiji")---which is a perfect introduction to the diversity of the CD. This
is the most diverse collection of music I have ever heard in my life.
The CD can be divided into six sections.
Track one is the introduction, tracks two through four are from Seo Taiji's debut album, tracks five through seven are from
Seo Taiji's sophomore album, tracks eight through ten are
from Seo Taiji's third effort, tracks 11 through 13 are from
their fourth album, and the last two tracks are Seo Taiji's
impressive solo work without his band.
The first several songs are best
described as aggro-dance music. Track two ("Nan Ara Yo/I Know") seems like it is
straight from the non-existant "Rocky fights the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"
movie soundtrack. With obviously limited technologies, Seo Taiji
created this song in 1992. They were combining techno, metal, and rap in
1992! This song is frightenly similar to Linkin Park. And after looking at a lyrical translation, I think Linkin Park copied Seo
Taiji! "I really liked you, only
you...who lay such sadness on me. Please say anything but farewell. To me, only
you were everything. Oh please don't leave. Are you really leaving me... Oh
please don't leave. Can't you see my tears..."
Track five "Hayuhga" is also reminiscent
of Linkin Park, yet mixes brass instruments,
guitar solos, and a heavy distorted guitar. You can't tell me that Seo Taiji wasn't ahead of it's time. The American influence is
obvious, too, with pop ballads such as "No Ae Gae/To You". And then we have
intense dance tracks such as "Soo-shee-ah/My Unique Self" that just leave you
The diversity of the band never ceases as
tracks eight through ten show the heaviest side of Seo Taiji.
The KoRn influence can clearly be seen with the thumping
bass lines. Yet the music is best comparable to Machine Head's The Burning
Red with more rap.
But, that's not all. How about the
gangsta rap side of Seo
Taiji? Track 11 "Come Back Home"
sounds very similar to Cypress
Hill. The tracks I got were
censored, not like I could recognize the Korean swear words. Track 12 "Pil
Seung/Victory" also sounds like Cypress Hill, but has a
hard rock chorus and a guitar solo. Track 13 shows all sides of the band as they
go from catchy techno beats, to screaming, to a hard rock chorus.
The last two songs were done by
Seo Taiji himself, without his band. His band decided to
take a departure, because they felt it was time. They left behind a true artist
who proved with his talents with his solo effort. The first solo song sounds
like Creed, Fuel, or 3 Doors Down with Taiji's vocals. The
last track stays true to the rap-influence and techno infiltration. It's amazing
that one person could create both of these songs (and more on the actual albums
Overall, the Seo Taiji
Collection 92-98 shows the band's progression and proves the genious of their
past albums. I can't believe the band's diversity and complexity. Check out
Seo Taiji, even if you can't understand his lyrics. ---