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Shadow to Shine

Bing Ji Ling

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Album Review

N.Y.C.-based singer/songwriter Quinn Luke's 2011 studio album under the moniker Bing Ji Ling, Shadow to Shine features more of the yacht rock-inclined vocalist's knack for '60 and '70s-inspired pop and soul. Bringing to mind a bevy of "Me Era" soft-focus funk and pop acts from the Free Design and the Starland Vocal Band to Andy Kim and the Jackson 5, Bing Ji Ling crafts large-ensemble pop in an organic, analog-sounding way that is sure to put a big smiley smile on any fan of the sunshine pop aesthetic. Vocally, Ling has a sweet tenor croon perfectly suited to the driving and melodic R&B he favors here. It also doesn't hurt that he frames his voice with punchy organ hits, juicy swaths of fuzzed-out guitar, handclap-inducing drumbeats, and even bright orchestral horn and string sections. In that sense, Bing Ji Ling can come off as a kind of loopy, indie rock version of Jamiroquai mixed with the similarly vintage-addicted style of former Tony! Toni! Toné! singer Raphael Saadiq. To these ends, listeners get the bubblegum pop-sounding leadoff track "Move On" and the acid funk-rock anthem "Hold Tight." Similarly engaging is Ling's frothy "Afternoon Delight"-style ode to easy loving "A Little Love," as is his AM radio-ready "Dreaming." Sure, there is a lot of humor and more than enough camp sprinkled throughout Shadow to Shine, but even when Ling's tongue is set firmly in his sun-kissed cheek, as it is on his spacy mid-album address to his listeners, he obviously takes his pop seriously and never drops the musical disco ball.

Biography

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Named after the Chinese word for ice cream, Bing Ji Ling is the alias of N.Y.C.-based singer/songwriter Quinn Luke. As Ling, Luke makes vintage-sounding pop that takes inspiration from '60s psychedelic pop and '70s soul. A native of San Francisco, Luke released the first Bing Ji Ling album, Doodle Loot Doot Doodle a Doo, in 2003. Two years later he relocated to New York City, and in 2006 delivered his sophomore album, Fire and Ice Cream. In 2009 he recorded and toured as a member of the similarly...
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Shadow to Shine, Bing Ji Ling
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