Half Notes: Youn Sun Nah, "Same Girl" (2011)

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You’d think the use of a music box on the title track from an interesting release by Korean jazz singer Youn Sun Nah — “Same Girl” was originally found on Randy Newman’s 1973 recording “Trouble in Paradise” — would imbue it all with this childlike wonder. (Elsewhere, Youn Sun Nah employs a kalimba, and a kazoo.) Instead, her purposeful pace, her delicate enunciation of each Newman lyric, gives the tune a deep-blue, almost black, melancholy. When she sings “you’re still the same girl,” absolutely quivering with emotion, slowing the song almost to a stop, it sounds every bit like a eulogy for something inextricably lost. A dark and wondrous song.

Half Notes is a quick-take music feature on Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

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Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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