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Yim Jae-beom puts behind 7 years of sorrow with new LP 'Seven,'

Album cover of singer Yim Jae-beom's 7th LP
Album cover of singer Yim Jae-beom's 7th LP "Seven," (Blue Seed Company)

Legendary vocalist Yim Jae-beom is back with his first new album in seven years, his seventh full-length album "Seven," with which he is putting a comma after a painful period and moving on.

Set for release Tuesday, "Seven," (read as "seven comma") is Yim's first album since he left the music scene after losing his wife to cancer in 2016. Yim's father also passed away soon after.

The 13-track album is divided into three chapters that follow the journey of a man who steps out of his home to face the world, ventures through the unfamiliarity that unfolds ahead, and, at the end of the journey, returns home to his family, where he empties himself for yet another adventure.

The evening before the full release on Thursday, Yim pre-released the three songs from the third chapter, "Putting behind the memories," which centers around emotions about family.

Each chapter has a highlight song, and fronting the third chapter is "Father's Portrait." The first chapter is led by the track "The Traveler" and the second chapter by "Himalaya."

"I divided the album into chapters so that listeners could follow the path as he sets off from home, goes through the time of chaos, and again returns

back home," Yim said at a press conference Wednesday.

Yim performed "Father's Portrait" live at the event.

"I didn't sing thinking just about my father but all our fathers, especially those who have already passed away. I think I sang on behalf of the sorrows and longings inside people who have sent their fathers away," Yim said.

"Fellow fathers in my generation find it easier in expressing ourselves to our children -- saying thank you, sorry and I love you -- compared to our own fathers, who held back their words, expressing them only through their eyes," Yim, said speaking about the emotion carried by the song.

Rounding out the third chapter are the songs "Days I have endured" and "You."

"Days I have endured" speaks about the time of pain and sorrow endured after losing a loved one and the serenity that follows, while "You" is about those people who have become the reason to continue living.

"'You' is in part a song about my daughter. It's about those people who make me continue living. And that also applies to my fans, because it was my fans who have made it possible for me to return," the 59-year-old singer said.

Singer Yim Jae-beom holds a press conference about his 7th LP
Singer Yim Jae-beom holds a press conference about his 7th LP "Seven," in Seoul on Sept. 7. (Blue Seed Company)

The album comes two months since Yim released the single "Consolation" in June. The song is the first track on "Seven," in the album's prologue.

The press conference he held to promote the release of "Consolation" was the first time he had picly ublopened up about the excruciating pain that had held him back for seven years, and on Wednesday, he spoke of the time again.

"Some people had questioned me how it's taking me so long to recover, but the scar inside me wouldn't go away even after that long time. It just kept on coming back and back to me and, although I tried my best to escape the pain, I would be defeated yet again," he said.

He described being unable to meet people, watch the TV or go on the internet, because they felt so mundane while he was suffering so badly. Yim said he didn't listen to music nor sing once during that time.

It was the comments fans left for him that had eventually made him stand up again.

Now, he says that it's him who is relying on his fans, more than his fans on his songs.

"If my fans had waited for my songs before, now it's me looking up to them. 'You' is a song through which I make such a confession to fans," Yim said.

Returning his love for fans, Yim is set to embark on a national concert tour next month. The first concerts will take place on Oct. 28-30 at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena, also known as KSPO Dome, in Jamsil, southern Seoul.

Yim said his voice was still far from a full recovery, as he had not sung for such a long time. He said he felt like he had forgotten how to use his voice for singing when he first attempted recording after the seven year hiatus.

"The seven years were such a long time for me that I'm still fearful in part about sounding my voice again. But I know the fans will be coming to the concert to see me, pouring their precious time just for me. So, although I won't be able to show an explosive performance like I had before, I will try hardest to bring out the best of myself now," Yim said.

Yim's seventh full-length album is set for release at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

By Choi Ji-won (
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Korea Herald daum