I don’t know much about Hugh Keice except that he was located mainly in the UK rather than South Korea. Even the first song “J” is sung in English with accented English. His voice sounds much more like recognizable indie rock music than most music heard in South Korea. But Whale Song Omnibus is an excellent album regardless of the location.
It’s easy to get pulled into the album because of the familiar tones of the electric guitar, bass, and drums. The guitar definitely leads on the songs with the other instruments providing excellent support on each beat. All you need to do is listen to “Decameron.” It’s the perfect mix of music and showing how the language sung doesn’t matter as much as the tone of the music that’s coming across. I’m surprised how effortless Hugh Keice makes the song sound.
If you’re looking for a crossover album, then Whale Song Omnibus is the perfect album. It has a very Western singer-songwriter style that’s expanded with a band, but can effortlessly mix Korean into different songs. From the first song, you really couldn’t tell that he is Korean. There is a definite parallel of Hugh Keice to Big Phony, two artist who are influenced from a lot of different types of music.
Whale Song Omnibus is an excellent album. It can be appreciated by a wide audience, but I’m more interested in seeing how Korean audiences react to the album. I don’t know of any Korean musician that plays music in the same vein as Hugh Keice and the album shows that a lot of work went into each song.