Bb2 ~ E6 (3 Octaves & 3 notes)
E3/F3 ~ Eb5/E5
E3/F3 ~ A5 (with head voice)
- Very well developed overall vocal technique
- Resonance is produced with very good consistency
- Support is present throughout her range
- Head voice is produced consistently with good resonance up to A5
- Mixed voice is consistently resonant and supported up to Eb5/E5
- Lower range is produced with a neutral larynx, supported down to E3/F3
- Vocal agility has been well explored, vocal runs are well produced and accurate
- Musicianship very well explored and very well executed
- Vocal registers are well evened out in terms of tone and column of sound
- Great breath control for vocal dynamics
- Healthy vibrato produced consistently
- Knows her voice very well and sings with good control of her technique
- Larynx may be lowered below E3, tone below less clear below C#3
- Notes above E5 become more pushed and lacks power
- Head voice lacks freedom and support above A5
- At times mixing can be overly chest-dominant, taking away from ease in the upper mixed voice
- Whininess in tone can happen from time to time
- Lower register: A very well developed and connected register, her voice remains present and relaxed with ease down to F3/E3 consistently, without a drop in support. Voice becomes less clear and is usually less explored below E3, where the support is dropped.
- Mixed register: The mixed voice is generally supported with very consistent resonance throughout up to Eb5/E5. Above E5, the mixed voice becomes more pushed and sounds less comfortable although good placement isn’t lost even as high as F#5/G5.
- Upper register: Most underused register, nonetheless not an a completely under developed register. Able to use a connected resonant head voice, although not often used above F5, due to most likely stylistic choices. Above A5, however, head voice becomes pushed.
As an R&B vocalist, Ann has developed her voice around the genre with lightness, flexibility and a very bright mask placed sound that allows her to easily sing through high and low vocal passages while projecting and singing up and down her range with accuracy in pitch and nearly flawless note separation from note to note. As opposed to many Korean R&B vocalists, she does not try to oversing and add runs out of place and instead chooses more quick and subtle ways to show off her ability to sing runs well. Her runs are mostly very clean, every note is heard clearly and the pitch is not lost. Examples include the slow and mid tempo runs in “I Believe I Can Fly” and”Say Yes“, as well as the higher tempo runs in other performances of “I Believe I Can Fly“, as well as “Memories“.
Having debut in 2000 in Korea, Ann came with the wave of then rookie and now legendary vocalists in Korea, such as Park Hyoshin, Lena Park and Kim Bumsoo. Not to be left behind, Ann was always one to show vocal ability through her multiple vocal performances and albums and earned respect as a vocalist in Korea, although she’s no longer active as a vocalist in the country. With a lowered placed tessitura than most female vocalists in Korea, Ann’s passaggi match that of a mezzo soprano, possessing a slightly thicker sound with more character in the lower third octave. Nowadays after leaving Korea, Ann has taken on the artistic name “Ann One” as an independent artist in the US.
Her lower range has always been one of the highlights of her voice, very well developed and with clarity of tone, Ann was always able to project well in her lower range without much effort or the need to overcompensate tone by using a lowered larynx or letting her tone to be lost and turn into air. Instead her tone was always present, comfortable and she could project without much problem, even when singing softer in dynamics. Her lower range possesses a speech like ease, with well placed chest and mask resonance. Many times, she’s been able to show support well into her lower range, such as the E3 in “Say Yes“, F3’s in “체념”, “아프고 아픈 이름“, F#3 in “Crush On You” and G3’s in her duet with Park Hyoshin, “A Whole New World“. When brought down below E3, however, she has the tendency to lose some projection and support and rely on a less present tone production, even though sound isn’t necessarily lost until about C#3. Notes below C#3 lean more towards an almost vocal fry-like tone.
The mixed voice is one that is able to match and compete with that of many sopranos in the pop music industry. Unlike most young Sopranos who show signs of struggle when trying to support their voices in the fifth octave, Ann has developed her technique specially well in her mix allowing for a good balance of chest and head voice so that she doesn’t need to push her voice to project in the fifth octave, instead she uses a very well mask placed bright sound that allows more ease, alongside good breath support throughout her range. The mixed voice retains a very mature sound in the fourth octave, without much effort and produces resonance with a lifted soft palate, open throat and good support, such as the B4’s in “Say Yes“. This ease isn’t lost in the fifth octave and resonance is produced consistently from the C5 ~ E5 range, such as the C5 in “아프고 아픈 이름“, the C#5 in “A Whole New World“, Eb5’s in “Memories“, and E5’s in “Natural Woman“. The mix mostly carries more natural chest voice around the A4 ~ D5 range due to her fach, but as she ascends above Eb5 the mix becomes brighter, while staying very forward in placement in her mask. Notes above E5 however become more pushed and lack the true ease she possesses below E5. Nevertheless the sound still stays well placed in her mask with a bright mix that minimizes tension and vocal strain. At times within her supported range, her tone can become somewhat whiny due to overly added brightness in the fifth octave.
Stylistically, Ann doesn’t use much of her head voice but has shown more than enough times that she’s able to not only use a well connected head voice, but also place it well in her mask and head allowing full head voice resonance to be produced. That resonance and ease, alongside good support allow for good transitions into her head voice, such as in “Crush On You“, as well as the agility the possesses throughout her range to be produced effortlessly, such as the Eb5 ~ F5 run in”Memories“, and support isn’t lost even when she ascends in range, such as the F#5 in “Say Yes“, as well as the A5 in “나보다 더 나를 사랑하는 님이시여”. Above A5, her head voice becomes more pushed and tension happens in her throat, taking away from the true supported sound she possesses below A5.
Stylistically, Ann was never one to be a powerhouse vocalist even though she always had the potential and proper vocal technique to take on challenging songs. Instead, after becoming a solo artist in the US, she was able to explore her voice with her own recordings and songs, showing good vocal skill and technique that match her own genre of music. Vocally, she possesses a very sensitive ear, with good accuracy in pitch, good breath control for dynamics. Placement is well explored and she is able to place her voice in her chest, head and mask accordingly, depending on what sound she wishes to achieve. Not only that, through her own music she’s shown that within her supported range, she perfectly controls her voice and is aware of where her voice is most comfortable and shines the most. One of the biggest strengths in Ann’s technique is how natural her voice is, she doesn’t try to add unnecessary fake throatiness, airiness, low or high larynx positions in order to achieve a sound, instead her voice is well developed from top to bottom and possesses a very even column of sound throughout her range, something that takes years of practice to achieve.
Although having left Korea early on in her career, Ann has left a mark in Korea throughout the years by being cover by multiple artists, including Girl’s Day’s Minah, Secret’s Jieun, After School’s Raina, Park Hyoshin and so on. Her ballads have become classics and she still produces music to this day, never letting her voice get out of shape and always showing her exceptional level of vocal technique. For the future, instead of more improvement, perhaps more exposure in the Korean media to establish her place as one of the top vocalists in Korea and the world could remind the public what good vocal technique sounds like for veteran vocalists, such as a performance on Immortal Song 2.
As a very well established vocalist with complete control of what her voice can and cannot do, Ann has a very good ear for both chord changes in songs and how to alter her own sound in order to properly add more to songs. When it comes to melodic changes, Ann is able to do them without issues with pitch, control or even singing them out of place. As an R&B vocalist, she’s able to add her own twists to songs, such as the added runs in “나보다 더 나를 사랑하는 님이시여”, as well as melodic changes added to “I Believe I Can Fly“.
Vocal Range Video(s)
Video by: Ahmin (Kitsunemale)
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)