I am really, really good at understanding accents. I always have been. I think it comes from watching Bollywood movies as a kid and taking a lot of math courses in college taught by international teaching assistants. Oh, and the twenty years of traveling the globe haven’t hurt either. But I am absolutely terrible at learning actual languages. I took Spanish from the 9th grade through graduate school and even passed my requisite language comprehension exam in order to graduate. Even then, I could barely put together a sentence. None of this stops me from singing along with Kpop loud and proud.
It does, however, instill the strong sense of wonder and awe I have for Kpop idols who perform flawless covers of songs in English…in any language really, but I don’t know how well they’re doing in Japanese because, you may have heard, I suck at languages.
Jinho from Pentagon has released a solo song each month of 2017 under the auspices of Magazine Ho. His voice is absolutely amazing and I have looked forward to each release with much anticipation. I have to admit though, I’ve particularly enjoyed the English covers – not so much because I understand the lyrics, but because I am so absolutely impressed with his almost complete lack of accent. Even when speaking on the recent V Live, I could almost have mistaken him for a native English speaker. Almost. Of course, we all know that Hongseok is fluent in the language and a beautiful singer in both Korean and English.
Turns out, there are a good chunk of members of the Pentagon vocal line that sing in English just as well, even if they don’t have the same confidence in their speaking skills. Last year as part of a mini-concert, the group performed a cover of All I Want for Christmas that moved my very soul. It opens as a duet with Jinho and Hui. Hui on the keys while he sings. It is extremely moving. These two together almost always give me goosebumps. At the 1’25” mark, the whole vocal line comes out and the song picks up tempo, they all dance around the stage and smile so brightly it almost hurts.
But you might remember, this song does not – I repeat does NOT have a rap part. This doesn’t slow down the Pentagon rap line AT ALL. At about 2’50” this trio of goofballs join in the song in a glorious attempt at singing…E’Dawn pulls the number to an end with a lot of…enthusiasm
This cover is exactly what Christmas looks like for me. It starts off with visions of beautiful harmony and wraps up with me on my knees singing off key as loudly as possible because I’m pretty sure I’m a rockstar.
Pentagon, All I Want for Christmas