Every day until the end of March, we’ll highlight one of our favorite kpop boy group vocalists on a countdown to #1.
Duck facing his way to the number 22nd spot issss..
….MJ of ASTRO.
The most common thing I see people saying about ASTRO online is about how not enough people talk about ASTRO online. And it really is true that too many people sleep on this group. One of the many things that you’re missing out on if you don’t stan ASTRO is MJ’s singing.
MJ is highly expressive. You feel emotion radiating from every syllable. Even in songs that are entirely in Korean and impossible for me to understand, I get what he’s communicating because of what he puts into his performances. A perfect example is 안녕 from the Hotel De Luna OST.
In terms of technique, MJ stands out, too. He has a huge voice, and it’s hard to really appreciate how much power he can put into his singing until you hear him by himself. His Masked Singer cover of Thorn is a great example. His voice grows and grows until he reaches the chorus and then soars with out of that resonant vibrato.
And his skills don’t just work with the classic either. Listen to his cover of SOFA by Crush to see how well it translates to R&B.
With ASTRO, MJ often acts as a kind of vocal anchor that rounds out songs. Take Blue Flame for example. The first verse sung by Eunwoo and Sanha set the mood for the song, and then Moonbin brings up the energy. It’s then MJ who brings the melody to the chorus with a bold big entrance. In the next verse, his improvisations serve as a silky counterpoint to Rocky‘s rap.
Always You is another example of how his voice benefits ASTRO. When we arrive at the first bridge, his expressiveness aurally prepares you for what comes next, and then he explodes in the chorus perfectly capturing the pain being described in the lyrics. And later on at the end of the drop, he gives me chills with his delivery, setting me up for Moonbin‘s big improv section that follows.
MJ has more than earned his place on our list of the best kpop boy group vocalists. Hear him for yourself on our YouTube playlist and come back tomorrow to meet #21.
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