K-pop boy band Sechskies remake old hits; RCA's Red Seal box set captures rising stars

First-generation K-pop boyband Sechskies' "new" album titled 2016 Re-Album (left) and The Golden Era Of Living Stereo: Remastered Collector's Edition, the third collectors' edition box set of RCA Red Seal Living Stereo.
First-generation K-pop boyband Sechskies' "new" album titled 2016 Re-Album (left) and The Golden Era Of Living Stereo: Remastered Collector's Edition, the third collectors' edition box set of RCA Red Seal Living Stereo.PHOTOS: YG ENTERTAINMENT, RCA RED SEAL

First-generation K-pop boyband Sechskies are back with a "new" album titled 2016 Re-Album after disbanding in 2000.

How do five veteran K-popsters popular in the 1990s have a fighting chance against teenybopper idols? They stick to the tried-and-tested formula of their past hits.

Aptly titled Re-Album, their new release is filled with 10 classics such as Couple and Road Fighter, which have been re-recorded, rearranged and remastered.

The remakes do not sound all too different from the originals, which are available on YouTube, but their sound quality is sharper and clearer. The melodies have been largely retained, which should give fans a sense of nostalgia, especially when they are listening to a familiar tune such as Couple.

  • ASIAN POP


  • 2016 RE-ALBUM

    Sechskies

    YG Entertainment

    3/5 stars

The love ballad kept its simple breezy melody, sans the random "erroneous" English rap featured in the original.

The parts were removed to meet the "heightened expectations" of today's listeners, members told Yonhap News Agency.

The most discernible addition is found on dance tune Com' Back's intro. The thumping electro-heavy beat boosts the song's already electrifying energy.

The Re-Album was released after five of the original sextet group signed on to mega talent agency YG Entertainment last year.

This is a golden opportunity for the man band to relaunch their music career. While a trip down memory lane is sentimental, fans are looking forward to a brand new sound from this vintage group.

Gwendolyn Ng


The third collectors' edition box set of RCA Red Seal Living Stereo recordings dates from 1956 to 1966 and focuses mostly on solo recitals, chamber and choral music.

  • HISTORICAL CLASSICS


  • THE GOLDEN ERA OF LIVING STEREO: REMASTERED COLLECTOR'S EDITION

    RCA Red Seal 88985321742 (60 CDs)

    4.5/5 stars

With all the big names accounted for in the two preceding volumes, this 60-disc set highlights the debuts and early recordings of rising names, including Bolivia-born violinist Jaime Laredo, American coloratura soprano Roberta Peters, the Juilliard Quartet, and late legends such as American violinist Erick Friedman (a Heifetz student) and Polish pianist Andre Tchaikovsky.

The listener is also introduced to French-Canadian violinist Liliane Garnier, whose solo recital is a revelation.

Older and established names such as violinist Henryk Szeryng, cellist Antonio Janigro, pianist Alexander Brailowsky and soprano Birgit Nilsson are also represented at the height of their careers.

With the thaw of Soviet-American relations, Russian greats Leonid Kogan, Galina Vishnevskaya and Daniil Shafran were also being recorded for the first time in the West. Not to be forgotten are two discs by the piano duo of Victor Babin and Vitya Vronsky in mostly Russian repertoire (their take on Rachmaninov's two Suites is unforgettable), and the generically named Festival Quartet (led by violinist Szymon Goldberg and includes violist William Primrose) in piano quartets by Brahms and Schumann.

Most of the discs play for about 40 minutes, corresponding to the duration of LPs of the day, but quality of performances, rather than quantity, is the key. The remastered sound is more than acceptable and provides many hours of pleasurable listening.

Chang Tou Liang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 15, 2017, with the headline 'Hot Tracks'. Print Edition | Subscribe