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  • Cy White

Hoody: D-Day

Full disclosure. I never did quite get all the hype surrounding Hoody. Yeah, she's got a nice voice. Airy and pretty. A decent amount of soul in some places. But her being heralded as some form of "R&B Queen" never really reached me.

While her latest EP, D-Day, didn't really confirm her alleged musical queendom any more than any other singer from South Korea, it certainly lent credence to her being one of the best in R&B.

The music here is mature, sultry and has a slant to it that makes it something a bit more interesting than a large percentage of the R&B coming from the country. That's not to say that it completely bucks trends, but stylistically, Hoody does have a touch of something more genuinely aligned with contemporary R&B nuances. Particularly, track "Dream About You" is worth a deeper dive. Opening on a playful twinkling piano refrain, it melts solidly into smother R&B fare. This is, of course, anchored by the vocal direction. Hoody's use of the minor keys at the lower end of her register hit a little close to home. Music that's reminiscent of late-'90s/early-2000s R&B that danced closer to the fringe of the genre than its mainstream peers. This is closer to the styling of Goapele and Amel Larrieaux than the likes of Ashanti or Amerie.

That's where I think Hoody slots when it comes to her reign over Korean R&B. Her type of voice is not uncommon from the peninsula. But her delivery deserves some prominence for her ability to weave between notes. More notable is the work she does when she comes from the rafters and nestles in her lower alto. So while Hoody might not necessarily be the undisputed Queen of Korean R&B, D-Day is a beautiful piece of music that cements her as one of the country's best.

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