mink – latest album ‘Shalom’
Posted by redracer on June 12, 2007
Released on the 28th February 2007, this is the latest album release from mink, and her third album, even though her website says it is her first 😆
I don’t remember where I first came across mink, but I am glad I did !! A Korean, born on 15th February 1984, her real name is Mi Kyung Lee, but the stage name mink comes from the initials of Made IN Korea !! She moved to Japan in her early teens to study, and was picked up by Avex for their Rhythm Zone division after sending in a demo singing her favorite artists such as Norah Jones’ ‘Don’t Know Why’, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and Rimi Natsukawa’s ‘Nada So So’. Her musical career so far has been in Japan, and she only sings in Japanese (and some quite fluent English). Originally she was somewhat of a mystery because her face had never appeared on any album or single – instead using variations of a drawn character. However this album does have two photos inside, and you can see her in the music videos of course.
Her first release was an album, not a single, in August 2005, and since them has released one other album and 4 singles. Her website says ‘Shalom’ is her FIRST album, because ‘The Prologue Album’ wasn’t a ‘real’ album, and the 2nd, ‘e+motion’ was a ‘concept’ album 🙄 A new single is due out on July 11th. Her biggest break was in April 2006 when the single ‘Glory of Life’ was remixed and released in the US and reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance charts. Although a new artist, she is one of the few ever Asian artists to achieve a #1 single in the US. She has also released 4 singles so far, but not a lot is known about her. She has not been a big seller in Japan so far – this album has only sold just over 16,000 copies, and reached #7, but she has done some tie-ins with anime/movies and that always helps with exposure.
Avex promotes her as ‘mink, the precious voice from Rhythm Zone’, and she does have one of the most exotic & beautiful voices I have ever heard. It is normally quiet and breathy, but has expression and richness and she can raise it to a powerful emotional level if necessary. A couple of her songs (‘Hold on to a Dream’ & ‘Rescue Me’) can bring the tears to my eyes at the right moment. However she does not write any of the words or music to the songs on this album.
The track listing is …
- Hold on to a dream – single release
- Eternal Love – on ‘4 Love’ single
- if… – on ‘Beautiful’ single
- Innocent Blue ~chi hate umi tsukiru made~ – single release
- Omajinai – on ‘The Prologue Album’ album
- Moonburn (original)
- sekai de ichiban kirei na basho
- Rescue Me ~kimi ga ita kara~ – on ‘Emotion’ album, ‘Hold on to a dream’ single
- Secret Garden – on ‘4 Love’ single, ‘Hold on to a dream’ single
- Let’s start from here (Japanese version) – English version on ‘Hold on to a dream’ single
- Like There Is No Tomorrow – on ‘4 Love’ single
- Here by my side (Japanese version)
- BLESSING OF LOVE – on ‘Innocent Blue’ single
- Here by my side (83key Remix)
As you can see, the album contains only 3 new songs, and that is a shame. I actually only have 2 albums and 1 single from her (so far) and they ALL have the song ‘Rescue Me’ on them !!!
As well as the CD version, there is also a DVD version (with a different cover), which contains …
- Glory of Life
- Rescue Me
- Eternal Love
- Hold on to a dream
- Innocent Blue
- Inori (from mink summer live 2006 ‘THIS time’)
- Behind the scenes in Paris, Miami, Hong Kong & Shanghai
Her web site, if you want to find out more info, is http://www.mink.cc
Conclusion: This is a very lovely album, and I wish her well and hope she can be more successful, as there are not many singers around going this type of music (another I can think of in a similar vein is Kanon). If you like something that is soothing and laid back a lot of the time, you will enjoy mink.
CD+DVD version – http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=RZCD-45515