5 Favourite K-Drama OSTs (Part 1)

Welcome back to the ‘Favourites’ segment of my site, where I share my personal picks regarding different aspects. As you may notice, I have decided to go with ‘Favourites’ as the segment name, because they are my favourites. I have also decided to cut down the list from 10 (as originally planned) to five because it would be easier and quicker to write.

This week, I have decided to focus on OSTs or Official Sound Tracks from K-Dramas. I don’t watch that many and the few that I do watch don’t get that much spotlight. But that doesn’t stop the songs from popping up on my playlists or me investigating the various songs that do get released. So in no particular order, these are 5 of my favourite K-Drama OSTs.


Back in Time – Lyn
The Moon Embraces The Sun

I start off the list with the very first OST that I fell in love with. While it was released back in 2011 for the drama, The Moon Embraces The Sun, it is an OST that I keep on going back to for its epic orchestral sound. While Lyn has a few other massive OST hits under her belt (some which I enjoyed), I still firmly believe that this track tops the rest of them. Her vocals draw you in and hold you there for the entire length of the song, not once letting you go.


Stay With Me – Chanyeol (EXO) & Punch
Goblin

Out of all the songs on this list, I think many of you will agree with this one. It’s a more recent OST release, from the K-Drama Goblin and was released in December of last year. The instrumental of the OST is extremely striking and the combination of both Punch’s and Chanyeol’s husky vocals make this one damn good song to listen to.


Talk Love – K.Will
Descendant of the Sun

It has been a while since we last saw K.Will on the stage. However, he has been active in the OST world, singing tracks for a few dramas. One of them belongs to the hit drama, Descendant of the Sun. It makes the list because it makes you smile. I find it quite catchy and K.Will’s vocals are undeniably amazing in this song.


All For You – Seo In Guk & Jung Eunji (APINK)
Reply 1997

This chart-topping OST from 2012 features both Seo In Guk and Eunji (APINK), who also played the lead roles in the same drama. What makes this a great OST is it was easy to get into. It was a simple song, with a simple sound. The English lyrics made it catchy and appeal to many people, including international fans. The vocals of the two were also sweet and dreamy, making them an amazing duet and on-screen partners.


Rise and Shine – Kyuhyun (Super Junior) & Tiffany (SNSD)
To The Beautiful You

The entire drama To The Beautiful You was produced by SM Entertainment and hence it makes sense that the entire OST album was performed by SM Entertainment artists. The standout song from the mix was Rise and Shine, which is an upbeat track, full of amazing vocals from both the main vocalists of Super Junior and SNSD. It reminds me of a musical and gives off a bright atmosphere.

 

[Review] Blah Blah – Kyuhyun (Super Junior)

Kyuhyun has returned with a new ballad. This is his third round of promotions as a solo artist. He has released mini-albums in both 2014 and 2015, with both becoming extremely successful. His latest release has 2 title tracks: Blah Blah and Still (which I will not be reviewing).

Blah Blah is the type of ballad that gets you swaying to the music. As soon as I play it, my head just starts swaying. That is a sign of a good ballad. Hahaha… Honestly, if the verses had a little something to make it interesting, I would have dug into this song a lot sooner. But as mentioned, the verses are quite plain and that gives the song a weak opening. But as the song proceeds to the chorus, Kyuhyun starts showing off his vocals and it sounds wonderful. I love how his voice starts off literally soft and then it increases in power and volume as the song goes on. The lyrics tell a story of nervousness in front of a lover when trying to confess. The use of “Blah Blah” as the title put me off, but overall, it made sense in terms of the lyrics.

Come watch an Asian guy get a hair cut and have his beard shaved. The majority of the video is essentially that. Kyuhyun gets a hair cut in slow-motion. While it is shot in slow-motion to match the speed of the song, it is incredibly boring to watch. The other parts of the video include flashbacks to Kyuhyun wanting to confess to his friend/crush (implied from the lyrics). Finally, the video shows a car crash, where Kyuhyun’s car is flipped. The video made it look like he was on his way to confess. That makes it a sad video to watch. The hair cutting scenes filled in the start but also added to the ‘getting ready’ for the night, which does make it sadder. The video was shot nicely and overall, was also nice to watch.

Rating – 8.5/10

 

Recap of Golden Disk Awards 2016 + Thoughts

Probably one of the biggest award ceremonies for music and also probably one of the most prestigious, the 30th Golden Disk Awards (GDA) was held on the 20th to the 21st of January 2016. The GDA was supposed to be held in China but was moved back to South Korea due to the recent earthquakes that occurred there just 1 or two weeks before the scheduled event. Even though many people were shocked and feared the award ceremony would be either postponed or cancelled, the ceremony went off without a single hiccup and was broadcast live in both Korea and China.

What I like about this particular awards is that is focuses on both the physical albums and downloaded songs of the year. In other words, more awards for everyone. It is also nice to see who excelled in what (hahahaha…). The digital awards were handed out on the 20th of January, while the physical album awards were handed out on the 21st of January. The award show on the first night was hosted by Jun Hyun Moo, Kim Jong Kook and Seohyun (SNSD). The second night was hosted by Jun Hyun Moo, Leeteuk (Super Junior) and Krystal (F(x)) I have recapped the award winners on the two nights below.

Disk Daesang (Album Of The Year) – EXODUS (EXO)
Digital Daesang (Song Of The Year) – Loser (Big Bang)
Disk Bonsang (Best Artist) – APINK, VIXX, F(x), BTS, CNBLUE, Jonghyun (SHINee), EXO, Beast, Super Junior
Digital Bonsang (Best Artist) – Red Velvet, EXID, AOA, Zion.T, Park Jin Young, Sistar, Taeyeon (SNSD), Kyuhyun (Super Junior), Big Bang, Girl’s Generation
Best New Artist – GFriend, iKON, Seventeen, Twice
Popularity Award – SHINee
Best Rap / Hip Hop – SanE
Best Rock – Hyukoh
Global Popularity Award – EXO
Best Group Vocal Award – BTOB
Best Solo Vocal Award – Jung Yonghwa (CN Blue)
Best Male Artist Award – Big Bang
Best Female Artist Award – Taeyeon (SNSD)
Next Generation Star Award – Monsta X

Once again, this wide spread of award winners seem to be more representative of main stream KPOP. Not that I am complaining. Most of the award recipients were similar to the Seoul Music Award 2016, however a lot more artists won in this ceremony, since their was more rewards. Not that I am being a hater or anything, but Kyuhyun’s bonsang award seems a little far fetched. From memory (correct me if I am wrong though), his song never charted high on the charts and likewise Super Junior barely makes an impact on the digital side of the music industry. So I am a little suspicious of how he managed to get an award for a digital bonsang. Saying that, he did sell a lot. Like a lot on the physical side. But beside that, I think it was a nice range of artists who won and I think it is accurate (as in which artists managed to shine the brightest in 2015).

I really need to think of ways to start off the different sections, but once again… I think out of the all the ceremonies that have already been broadcast (NOTE: I am typing this prior to the Gaon Chart Awards), GDA has the best performances. Why? Because many of the artists performed multiple songs and I really enjoy how some artists (or their producers) integrate different songs together. GFriend, Red Velvet, EXID, Seventeen and BTS had the best stages on the nights. Some artists performed some songs that were released in the past (in previous years, such as EXID’s Up & Down, VIXX’s Error, Sistar’s Touch My Body etc.), which I kind of liked, but, the songs were released last year… so maybe a little outdated. But overall, the performances, I think, were to a very high standard and pleased me (*points at myself* and *acting as the biggest critic of all time*).

Below are just the few performances that I found and slapped together in a playlist format in no particular order.

For a last minute change to the ceremony, it managed to do pretty well in my books. Awards, performances. Everything was just great. There is one more to go of this season’s award ceremonies, which will be coming out in the coming days. Until then, bye!!

 

A Million Pieces – Kyuhyun (Super Junior)

Kyuhyun, the main vocal from Super Junior, has officially returned with his 2nd solo mini album. He made his solo debut last year with At Gwanghwamun (a song which I never got to review and probably wise to keep it that way). This time around, he returned with a genre which he does best, ballad, with A Million Pieces. While Kyuhyun does have a nice voice, for some reason, I tend to avoid his releases. I made myself watch and listen to this song this time around. My thoughts? Well, the song is pretty good, but I wouldn’t say it is the best. I do prefer the song more than his solo debut though. The fluctuations in the way he sings the chorus and the verses is a pretty nice combination. His chorus is somewhat catchy. But that is all I can say. He has a nice voice, but the song does not do justice to it. I don’t find much that appealing to me. It is bland and honestly sounds a little flat. I am 100% sure that there is a song out there that will prefectly present his vocals skills and also show what I am talking about. Sadly this is not it.

Ummm… Stalker alert. In this music video we see Kyuhyun seemingly popping up  coincidently throughout the music video around this girl. The girl is generally confused. It turns out Kyuhyun picked up a map from the girl who dropped it earlier in the video and have been following her around. If I was her, I would have gone to the police station and mentioned a stalker, but for the sake of the video, let’s go on. He likes her (talk about love at first contact) and proceeds to hang out with her, with her approval. They go a mini date. The next day, Kyuhyun waits around the mountains for her (as per her map indicates), but it seems like she totally forgot her plan to the mountains. Well, it turns out she had some terrible migraine the night before and I think that may have prevented her from going to the mountains. Not entirely sure, but it looked like she had a pill in her hands at the end video, but she was crying so much that she couldn’t bring herself to take the pill. I am genuinely confused. Just 1 question: why didn’t she fill up her bottles of medication before she left? Surely she would have done a bit of planning ahead of time? To me the plot seems to be worthy to become the next Korean Drama.

But beside all of that, the video itself was pretty entertaining. Kyuhyun’s face though. So much make-up. I was just like, it is so white and smooth. How??? The scenery was amazing. The video managed to capture beautiful shots of Swenden?? I don’t know my geography, I apologise.

Song was technically a miss for me. Music video was entertaining. 5/10

Magic – Super Junior

If you have not heard, some members of Super Junior will be enlisting into the army later this year. That is quite sad, but the members aren’t ready to say goodbye yet, as they released their repackaged album of Devil at the start of September (one month ago). On the repackaged album is the song Magic, which also serves as their title track. This is the last album before Donghae, Siwon and Eunhyuk enlist into the army. There was also minimal promotions for this album as it only served as “thank you” from the members to the fans (10 years since debut as well. Time flies when you are having fun).

This song was pretty mediocre. It wasn’t bad, but it did not really stand out. It was catchy, but it oh so annoying to listen to. I will explain myself. There really is nothing fancy about this song. Super Junior has put out much better songs in the past and honestly, this song falls into the “typical KPOP song” category. It was nice to listen to, but it just did not have that wow factor or anything interesting, where it makes me want to go back and listen to it some more. When I do listen to it, I find it catchy and I often repeat the lyrics over and over in my head. But the English in this song is so awful. “She so hot, She so fire”? It is 2015, not when KPOP is just reaching foreign shores and Korea did not have that American influence anymore. That one line is probably the catchiest line, but it just annoys me so much. Arghh!!! The vocals and pop instrumental is pretty standard. It’s nice to see Yesung seem to have his voice back in this song, unlike in Devil.

The music video was okay. It seemed a little too generic and while we are probably so happy that SM is venturing outside of a studio for their music video, the production value of this video looked quite minimal. The pop influenced effects with the number coming out of Yesung’s ear and also the movement of the basketball added a nice touch to the video. The music video has that “magic” aspect to it, but rather than being romantic with the magic, the members are using it to their advantage to get the girls attention or for their own pleasure. Well that sounded weird.  The video should have been a little better. There is no hype or excitement that I see from fans. It seems like the video was released and everyone ran to it, but then it disappeared from existence. The dancing was okay. Not amazing and grand but it matches the style of the song.

Overall, it’s their 10 year anniversary. It is also the last album for a while for some members. I feel like they should have gotten something a little better. While it was a bright song and video, not feeling it. 5/10

Devil – Super Junior

Uni has officially restarted for me, so I will be a little slower with getting the reviews up now. BUT, I will try my best, of course, to get them out as fast as I can. And finally the group that did it all and conquered the industry has returned with a special album. Now while this is a special album and all, but SM, I think it is time to talk. Honestly, quit worrying about being a profit machine. Honestly, you have the biggest acts in the industry. You will be making profit, regardless of the amount of times you will be promoting your artists. Why am I saying this? SNSD, Super Junior, TVXQ and possibly SHINee have released a song or album within the month of July. Now, I don’t what your true motives are about this, but this has to stop. For fans and probably for your artists and staff. And this is not the first time it has happened. Promotions have overlapped in the past, but this is the first time where your artists are coming out every single week for 1 month.

That was my rant. Now, this is the first release for Yesung (as part of Super Junior) since he finished his military service. And for those who don’t know, I am a pretty big fan for Yesung. Mainly because of his vocals. But wow, do I believe he was shunned. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad, because we see members of Super Junior who we usually don’t see sing, sing quite a bit in this song. However, I feel like this song just disregarded the main vocalists of the group. I felt like the song held them back and really did not do them any favours. To me, the song has its good points, but also disappointed me. Devil sounded like a rock track or something quite upbeat. Further hype was added when the group suggested that Devil could become the new Sorry Sorry. BUT I was so disappointed when Devil came out. Mainly because it does not have the kick that I was promised, as in Sorry Sorry. Actually, no, this would not be a song that I would classify has the pop sound that Super Junior usually has. It has no similarities to Sorry Sorry whatsoever. But while you probably think I am criticising the song, I am not. I enjoyed the jazzy sound that the song has and also how the song compliments the other singers of the band that we do not see/hear much.

I thought this music video was perfect. Disregarding my thoughts about the song, I thought the teasers were funny (despite not understanding a single thing). The music video itself, I thought was pretty cool, with the movie teaser/poster effects. I thought they played very well with the actual song and concept. The devil is the female lead, while the male leads (Super Junior) themselves, are the main characters and trying to solve their problems. Gun fights, robbing and a whole heap of other action ensues. SM did not hold back for this music video. And that I am grateful for, and it seems like a new thing for SM. The one thing I do need to say is that: that hat Yesung wears at the end, needs to go. That is all.

The dance is alright. It fits the song, but I am not really drawn to the performances. Mainly due to the fact that they are going to be rare since SM is only allowing them 1 week on the stage, which has already past and now there is nothing me to look forward to each week.

While the promotional phase for this album was rather shot and it is the company that we can only blame it fall, Super Junior managed to comeback with a solid song, even though it seems like I disagreed with it, in certain aspects. 7/10

Swing – Super Junior M

Super Junior M has recently made their comeback with a brand new song. It has been a long time since we heard a Super Junior song to be honest, and I would really love to see what would happen if they were to come back, but I assume they are currently awaiting Leeteuk’s return from the army. Anyway, back to M. After promotions last year for Break Down, the group has had a successful return, winning two awards on weekly shows in China. Congrats. And while we are on the topic of winning awards, I recently got 100 followers on this website. THANK YOU GUYS. LOVE YOU ALL!!! Hahahaha… But, yes. This song has been proven to be really successful in China winning these two awards. And I know, this song came out like a month ago, and I am that delayed. At first I was like “I am not going to review this song’. Slowly I dropped off the “not” and it became “I am going to review this song”.

The song is pretty good. I really love the everything in this song, minus the dubstep dance break. Was it necessary? I really don’t think so. Great the group can dance, but honestly, this song is quite lacking. The vocals are not there. The rapping is so so. The instrumental is amazing. But how the song just takes 15 different genres and smash them into each other to make the “perfect” song really is not my piece of cake. I really enjoyed the song, everything, up until the dubstep break and that really “Shall We Dance” in slow motion vocals. The chorus at the end made up for that little disappointment, as it allowed the song to return to its original state. And for a Chinese song, I would have expected SM entertainment to focus on using the Chinese members of the band, but instead they look like they are in the bands just for SM Entertainment to debut off some of their trainees. That are my thoughts. I am literally sacred every time I write a review for a popular group. Fans get crazy.

As for the music video, I actually liked the set. The box set, not so much, but the yellow and white and black colour is amazing. It fitted the overall feel of the song and kept the whole music video quite simple. We have an office setting, which actually looks quite modern, which I actually like. In this certain officer there are 8 workers: the “I-can-not-use-the-photocopier” , the “sleepy-head”, the “Eat-all-the-lunch”, the “I-can-help-and-do-everything-for-you”, “”I-will-forever-be-romantic”, the “normal” person, the :keep-everyone-on-track” and the “I-get-distracted-easily” person. Your mission is to link a face to the personality that they play. Hahahaha!!! The video was shot in a way to make it feel like a one shot video, but it really did not have a desirable effect. But lighting was pretty cool. Especially during the dubstep dance break. And the use of the tables was really creative. I have to be honest there. How they set it up, so it can easily be dragged into the next scene was really cool. Also want to know who the boss was in that video. Lee Soo Man or some other dude? Hahaha…

The dance was also quite awesome. Super Junior M always have a pretty good dance to have alongside their dance. The towels at the end was a really cool addition to the dance, I have to say.

9/10. A song that sound pretty good from SM Entertainment. We need more songs like this for their artists.  

Trap – Henry (Super Junior M) ft. Kyuhyun (Super Junior) & Taemin (SHINee)

Source: http://smindotown.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/henrylau2.jpg

Henry was recently unveiled as the newest solo artist of SM Entertainment, releasing his first mini album on June the 7th of 2013. SM Entertainment released some “teaser” images that seem quite abnormal. A body full of tattoos, to me, turns me away from people. Literally, if I were to see someone on the streets, I would literally turn away and walk. But I hardly doubt anyone would walk around shirtless with colourful tattoos on the streets, not my neighbourhood though. The whole idea of Henry having a solo debut is being solo. However SM Entertainment brings in Taemin and Kyuhyun and then dominates the second half of the song. Disappointment.

This song is much better than Wolf. I am glad that this song came back, because I don’t think I have ever been pleased with an SM song (since the start of the year) but SM has had a long run of unlikeable songs. I love the piano feel of the song, which makes it unique and different to other songs with that electronic beat that I have been reviewing, like Want U Back (Review Here) by 100%. It gives off that dramatic feel to the song, which is really great. I never knew Henry can vocalise like that. His voice can actually hit pretty high notes and I love how he changes the tone of his voice, to give off that nice , polished feel of the song. Overall, I liked Kyuhyun’s addition to the song, which makes it more profession. I am not as impressed with Taemin’s part, but it still fits in with the song. However, the featuring artist does make the song feel a bit choppy and whatnot. But I am more impressed with this song than EXO’s Wolf (Review Here), so YAY!!!

The music video is quite confusing. However, aside from that this is the first time where the box set of the music video made sense with the title of the song. A guy, going insane, trapped in a room with no roof with only a piano. He was trapped by this evil girlfriend and towards the end after making friends with a bunch of dancers and two other singers, he managed to find his way out of the room. In style, the first thing he does after escaping, was drive a luxury car and buy a suit. Great, you’re halfway there to escaping, but at least you are getting as far away as possible. However, word of advice, use the door more next time or grab that hair or an object in the room and mash open the window. You did not have to stay in that room for that long. Unless, the girlfriend only trapped him for less than a day. In other words, drama queen.

The dance i pretty cool. I never thought stepping on a piano will be that good looking. Also, like the use of handkerchiefs in the dance. Adds more masculinity to the video, I think. Just don’t dance shirtless, with tattoos over your body. You don’t look cool or great.

7.5/10. Henry’s debut is daebak (Awesome in Korean). Woot!