Pinocchio (피노키오) is a pop rock band from the 90s who scored several hits with their youthful love ballads. Their songs typically featured a fresh sounding lead vocal, emotional lyrics and attractive tunes singing about love and relationships. My Love Is (내사랑은) and With the Passing of Time (세월이 흐른 뒤에) are not their biggest hits yet demonstrate their musical style rather nicely. The two songs are quite different in character. The former is a warm, heartfelt hymn to love, an ode full of praises for the world that brought about the protagonist’s love. The latter is about the pain of a breakup, a strikingly poignant tale of anguish the narrator experiences following a breakup he had no choice but to swallow. They showcase love in its two extreme manifestations.
My Love Is
시간이 흐른 뒤에
With The Passing of Time
My Love Is (내 사랑은) is from their first album produced in 1990, featuring the band’s first generation lead vocal Kim Dong Hoon (김동훈). It is a quintessential accolade to love, opening with Shall I tell you about my love and continuing with the nuts and bolts of his love. Kim’s silky smooth vocals bask in all the glory of love and delivers the deeply charged emotion in a youthfully innocent yet sure handed way. It is a song about the mystery and splendor of this wonderful thing called love, something most of us felt in our youth at one time another, probably the most frequently talked about subject in pop music regardless of time and place. It certainly is a well worn subject, yet Pinocchio sounds fresh and new here by bringing youthful enthusiasm and unquenchable fervor to the table.
With The Passing of Time (시간이 흐른 뒤에) is from their second album release in 1994. Written by the drummer Kim Ui Chan (김의찬) and sung by the new lead vocal Hahn Ho Hoon (한호훈), it is a true gem of a love ballad. Pop music is always awash with love songs, so one might have a jaded duh!,.. attitude thinking that there really can’t be any surprise, or anything entirely original in this genre. I believe this particular song, however, breaks such a blasé attitude and reaches a new height. Its greatness lies in its originality and intensity.
The lyrics comprise five short sentences, but the flow of idea and emotion is quite clever and original. Opening with the line Increasingly I was seeing you from behind, already poetically evocative, it goes on to the scene of a breakup. It depicts how the narrator brought it up first as he couldn’t bear the agonizing limbo of uncertainty anymore, how he was all shaken up faced with the new reality that didn’t quite seem real yet, and then how he consoled himself thinking it would all be forgotten with the passing of time. After this, the bombshell last line cries out I had no idea the pain was only to get worse. It is a stunning parting scene condensed into a few short, stark lines.
And then there is the music. The string intro is peaceful and beautiful in its own right, with only an inkling of what’s to come. With Hahn’s vocal comes the sad and desperate emotional roller coaster. The high pitched delivery packs a wallop with its young, energetic voice. It continues to build up, then does an exquisite downswoop into a gut wrenching lament Yet one you had been sensing all along, it seems in the middle, after which it is an all-out attack on your sensibilities by Hahn’s wailing vocals and interspersed brass lines which is no less impassioned. It shreds your heart to pieces and pierces a sharp dagger through it as it marches to I had no idea. Its emotional intensity is just incredible. After hearing untold many loves songs in all the varieties they come in, I would rate With The Passing of Time the most intense love song I’ve ever heard. Both the lyrics and music are extraordinary, and they come together perfectly to escalate the experience out of this world.