[review/kpop] Jonghyun, Immortal Song, ep. 3– and an overall assessment of all three episodes

review ep. 1, review ep. 2

As usual, remember (a) I am not a professional singer nor do I have a deep knowledge about singing (b) this is my opinion only, you’re free to have your own and debate as you see fit, but if you disagree, be respectful. (c) Jonghyun sang live, and didn’t sit in a recording studio for days to get it perfect, unlike the original singers, so yes, these reviews are inherently unfair.

Performance 4: Lonely Night, Boo Hwal



Cutting to the chase: this was the least impressive performance of Jonghyun’s on Immortal Song. There are two theories why this is: (a) I dislike the genre (b) Jonghyun wasn’t pumping it.

I don’t like classic rock; the most ‘classic’ I can go is probably Nirvana, and the rest is a screechy mess that hurts my ears. Speaking of which, in episode two, the vocalist of Boo Hwal told Jonghyun to sing in a lower key to prevent damage to his vocal chords– the vocalist had suffered damage because of the many high notes. Boy, did I hear the damage the original vocalist was inflicting on his throat– I could barely make myself listen to the whole thing because I was cringing. Proper singing comes from the diaphragm, not the throat. Jonghyun sang better, supporting the high notes with breathing from his diaphragm.

At the same time, I wasn’t feeling Jonghyun’s rendition. The instrumentals sound very different from the original, and so does the way in which Jonghyun approaches the song in the beginning. This really set me up to expect a Jonghyun-style-rendition instead of staying faithful to the original song. Yet, when Jonghyun went into the high notes, he started imitating the original song, screeching and putting more on his throat. These two interpretations didn’t mesh well and created a rift in the song for me. The ending falsetto also was a puzzling addition, though I did like it.

The ending where Jonghyun encourages the audience to sing along was sad, because everyone was so soft and Jonghyun was just standing around smiling, when most performers egg their audiences on. A performer’s persona must be infectious or else the audience will be dumb. People are naturally followers, and so one must lead. I also believe Jonghyun went the wrong way in singing this song– it’s amazingly difficult given the range the singer needs, so at its most basic, Lonely Night is a virtuoso song. The focus should have been on Jonghyun alone (not a Jonghyun and a 10+ piece band), reminiscent of when he sang A Million Roses.

Final Grade (0-100, 100 best, 50 as average, roughly anything 75+ means I was impressed a lot)

  • Perf. 4: 60

Overall, my average grade for Jonghyun’s performances was a 72.5. He was pretty good, but I was not blown away as a whole. Though I really believe Jonghyun is a singer first and foremost, his ability is not best showcased in doing covers. Underneath all its facades, Immortal Song 2 is akin to a Korean classics Kidz Bop. Most people don’t remember or care about Britney Spears covering Madonna, so honestly, I never had high expectations for Immortal Song 2. It was simply another gimmick to get audiences to consider idol singers more seriously, and I’m not sure if that succeeded.

**if interested, click to read the notes I took as I watched the original and Jonghyun’s performances:

Lonely Night by Boo Hwal http://youtu.be/cM2FrwCKWGk

ugh, I always hated this genre, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, and the like. Nirvana is the closest I ever got
that sort of corny beginning
has a raspy voice, ugh
but he is a good singer for this genre T___T
very high, also sounds like he’s singing from the throat, no wonder he damaged his voice .. it even hurts when I listen to it

better arrangement, less Bon Jovi ugh feel
open with Jjong smooth voice, fits the the atmosphere better
gargh then he breaks out that whiny but he’s using his diaphragm better
live band is really great though its little bridge was all over the place… ugh
not really feeling it, either Jonghyun or the original song
aw his adlibs are better, why can’t he be a rock star instead of SHINee vocalist :(
ending falsetto brilliant


4 thoughts on “[review/kpop] Jonghyun, Immortal Song, ep. 3– and an overall assessment of all three episodes

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