Every day until the end of March, we’ll highlight one of our favorite kpop boy group vocalists on a countdown to #1.
Miming his way to the number 20 spot issss…
…Chen of EXO.
How best do I describe Chen’s voice?
Hmmm…one word I’d use is delicate.
You can hear it in the vocals for his solo song Hello. His voice drifts through the notes like a feather being gently carried by the breeze, lifting and dipping, lifting and dipping until the end of the track.
At the same time, his vocal performance are commanding.
Take Beautiful Goodbye, the single from his first mini album. This song is an audio journey. His voice builds and builds and builds. Notes are dripping with the emotion he uses to convey the lyrics, and even though there’s still a gentleness to his tone, there is so much power in his delivery.
I’d also call Chen’s singing sweet.
It’s like he was meant to sing ballads. Amaranth is one of the most beautiful examples. His effortless vibrato and perfect phrasing lend so much warmth to his performance, and when you watch him recording the track, you can see just how much he feels every word.
How about showstopping?
With EXO, he so often gets some of the most dramatic lines because the character of his voice is perfect for it. Universe is the perfect example. Every time I hear his part, I get the chills.
And of course, he’s versatile. Even when EXO goes into more experimental territory, Chen’s voice ends up being perfectly suited to the song. Obsession is a case in point. From his sharp verse to how he closes out the drop, Chen helped to define the completely unique sound of EXO’s last single.
For all of his skill and expression, Chen has found his way onto our favorite vocalist list. Check out our YouTube playlist of the songs I mentioned and come back tomorrow to meet #19.
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