K-pop singer Lee Hyori has come back to the music scene with a new album in four years. She released the album "Black" on July 4 that portrays a different style and image from her sexy persona in the past. She wrote the lyrics of nine of the ten songs in the album including the title track "Black."
Since getting married to Lee Sang-soon in 2013, they have been living on Jeju Island in South Korea, away from the capital city of Seoul.
Lee Hyori said for the new album, she wanted to portray a different side of her.
"Scrapping all the colors from my descriptions, I wanted to show my dark inner self instead of the bright parts that are usually shown on the outside," she said at a press conference for her album, according to Korea JoongAng Daily.
Her producer, Kim Hyeong-seok, said despite that they were going for a different album design, Lee Hyori had a different opinion about it.
"Though we wanted to design [Lee's new album] more fashionably, Lee had strong thoughts on the philosophy she hoped to deliver, and therefore, my role as a producer was to support her," he said.
Over the past four years, Lee Hyori has embraced change as evidenced in the album.
"What doesn't change is dangerous," she added. "I was only interested in and cared about myself. But after taking a break, I realized that I'm just an ordinary person, and therefore, wanted to talk about something other than myself."
She can't say if these changes were "due to the influence of [living in] Jeju, my husband or passing time."
Her choreography this time is also different like in the music video for "Black," which she shot in Los Angeles, California.
According to her album producer Kim Do-hyeon, "There were quite a number of people on YouTube who said that they have empathized with the messages in the songs even if they didn't understand the language. I believe this shows the sincerity that [Lee tried to] deliver."
Culture critic Jeong Deok-hyeon said female celebrities usually don't want to show their age but it's different for Lee Hyori.
"Lee Hyori's change combined with the way she lives her life has touched people's heart," he said.