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.

 

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KPOPREVIEWED 2016 Awards – Part 1

I am officially back everyone. And finally, I am moving along with the posts. This is the replacement to the normal Best of the Bests that I do at the end of each year. Essentially, they are the same thing, just a different name for them. This is just for fun and is just my thoughts relayed into a post. I did want to include you guys in the voting this time around, but because of my vacation, I had skipped over it. Maybe next year, if nothing pops up.

I usually post the nominees up in a separate post. However, because of time constraints, I have linked the nominees on a separate page by clicking the link below, instead of writing them out.

CLICK FOR THE NOMINEES AND CHECK OUT THE WINNERS FOR PART 1 BELOW


RISING STAR AWARD

This award goes to the groups that have seen the most growth in 2016. Past winners have risen from the rookie status (usually) or ‘nugu’ status and conquered the year they were awarded in. Looking back there are a number groups that took over 2016. But the rising star award goes to Twice and Seventeen. It is quite obvious why. Both groups had a following already in 2015 but 2016 saw more success, proving them to be a force to look out for.


BEST INSTRUMENTAL

This award is self-explanatory, given to the song that has the best instrumental. This is something that I talk about in review and is vital to the song (though I have heard amazing acapella in the past). It seems like simple took out the award this year with the instrumental of The Rain by Ladies Code taking out the award. But don’t worry because the EDM based song Fire by BTS took out Honourable Mention.


BEST COMEBACK

Comeback after comeback after comeback. It is like shifting through a needle in a haystack. Any artist could have been nominated for this but I chose VIXX as the winner for this. Their comebacks have been consistent but unique each time. Their releases have you asking what they have planned next. As for honourable mentions, BTS takes it. Given their releases in the past year, I have to say I was very impressed.


BEST SUBUNIT

It seems like subunits have dropped off the trends list this year. Actually, they have become quite rare. That being said, there have been some notable subunits in 2016. My pick for the winner is EXO-CBX, which consists of Chen, Baekhyun and Xiumin. Their song, Hey Mama, was extremely catchy and fun to listen to. Honourable mention go to NCT Dream for their release of the fun and equally catchy Chewing Gum (plus they performed on hoverboards).


BEST RAPPER

Not a big fan of rapping but I have to be honest, there are many great rappers here that show me otherwise. A few rappers in idol groups have released mixtapes this year as part of their solo work, further showing their influence on the industry. The winner I have chosen is Zico (Block B). All of his solo releases and collaborations have been extremely popular and successful in the past year. Honourable mention goes  Suga (BTS), whose mixtape and work within BTS have also amazed me this year.


BEST VOCALIST

Vocals are something that I admire the most. So, it was rather hard for me to narrow down just 5 nominees, particularly since there were more shows where vocalists of different idol groups and actors/actresses could participate in. My radar jumped when I heard the winner sing on those shows. I am talking about Sandeul (B1A4), whose voice sounded amazing in his solo work and collaborations on Duet Song Festival. I chose Mamamoo for honourable mention as their vocals are no joke, slaying with almost everything they release.


BEST COLLABORATION

Collaborations are still popular and with SM Entertainment’s SM Station in full effect for 2016, we saw a more diverse range of collaborations that have never been seen before. My pick for the best collaboration of 2016 is Hit Me by MOBB, which is a collaboration between Mino (Winner) and Bobby (iKON). Honourable mentions go to Tiffany (SNSD) and SanE for their SM Station track, Heartbreak Hotel.


BEST NON-TITLE SONG

These songs include songs that were simply released as a part of the album but forgotten as it was never promoted. Some of them were performed with the title track for one week but have since not been performed. Songs that deserve some sort of recognition as well. My pick of honourable mention is I Miss You by Mamamoo, which was included in their first studio album. The winner of the best non-title song goes to Sistar with their track: String. String is actually one of the few songs that are not a title track that was replayed constantly on my phone.


To find the second part of the 2016 KPOPREVIEWED Awards, Click Here!!!

 

[Review] Hotel Heartbreak – Tiffany (SNSD) ft. Simon D

[This review was written and scheduled a few months back in preparation for my absence in December. The standard posts for the end of the year (comebacks I have missed in November & December, the end of year charts + KPOPreviewed awards will be written and posted after my return. No weekly charts will be uploaded for the last week of November and all of December.]

Tiffany made her solo debut with I Just Wanna Dance in May of this year. She later came back in the month of June with a single, which features Simon D. This single was release as a part of SM Station, which I don’t think I will be reviewing all of them (my promise was a little too ambitious).

An amazing song. It has its roots in the rnb genre, while still maintaining a subtle dance beat. Her vocals are brought out and put on display in this song. Any complaints made against her voice seems to be void for this song. The echoes in the song seem to make the song more impressive, and the chorus has defined quite nicely by the echo and backing vocals. The echoes behind the words “Heartbreak Hotel” gives off an eerie feeling, but at the same time leaves a great impression on you. The bridge of the song is quite good as well. It is different from the rest of the song (in regards to the lack of instrumental) but it builds momentum to put you through to the final chorus.  Simon D always puts out impressive raps and they somehow tweaked his voice to fit perfectly in the song. Overall, the song is excellent from what I hear and I like it a lot.

The music video opens up with Tiffany looking quite bored (or is she heartbroken already?). I am a little torn with this part. Not that it is bad. But with regards to it being prior to the events of the video or after the events of the video. It’s not even a big detail to worry about anyway. Moving back to the video, Tiffany enters a bar and wanders around, accidentally causing a glass to break on the ground. My question is how quiet is the music there? It looks like a bumping crowd, but as soon as glass breaks, the whole club is turning around. This incident, however, attracts the attention of the male lead. Instead of cleaning up the mess (as Tiffany was doing) he drags her away and they start sharing drinks and laughs. They start dating and Tiffany falls for the guy pretty hard. But in the end, he leaves her (Tiffany catches him with another girl after going back to the club). I guess that is what you get for staying at the ‘Heartbreak Hotel’. The rest of the video seems to be just her finding ways of getting rid of her memories of the guy (packing up, going out back to the club). But I guess the scene at the end where she sees the same guy again at the club, while there being other guys around her, kind of shows that she can’t seem to forget at all. Okay, I have talked about the plot of the video. Loved the way the video was shot and their chemistry on-screen was quite powerful. Also loved her shots of her singing while admist the crowd at the club. Really gives off a nice contrast between finding love at the club and then remembering heartbreak at the club.

Rating – 10/10

[Review] I Just Wanna Dance – Tiffany (SNSD)

It has been a long time coming (both the solo debut and this review), but Tiffany from SNSD is finally here. After the success of Taeyeon with her two widely known singles, Tiffany has officially made her own solo debut, the second member (well, it is more like the third) to branch out onto the stage as a solo act. It was a much high anticipated solo debut that everyone had been waiting for.

I like the song. I listen to it and I can’t help to sing  or tap my foot along with it (at the bare minimum). But to be honest, it was a little underwhelming at first. Tiffany (like Taeyeon) is known for her vocals in SNSD, and I thought she would go with the ballad concept. However, I was genuinely surprised to hear the dance track. However, it just did not feel like it was right for her. It’s grown a lot on me, though. Vocally and musically, it was pretty a. But then I realised, this song sounds a lot like the song we got back in the day from pop artists in America (before the industry got saturated with autotune and mediocre tracks). This song definitely throws it back to the 00’s, which is the era of American pop music that I really liked. It has that nostalgic feel to it and without even blinking, I can tell an American producer made it. Tiffany is also American, and it kind of makes sense she would go down that path. The electronic and dance elements this song had was pretty damn good. It also sounds sexual without going too far or making it sound like it is over the top. I don’t mean the song is sexual or anything, just her voice sounds like sex to my ears. And with this instrumental, I feel like I am on cloud 9.

Little confused with the music video. Given SM’s last few artistic and abstract videos, this really misses the mark, unfortunately. It is a really bland video, slapped together quite quickly. Dance scenes and closeups of Tiffany. Describing it that way makes it sound boring, but honestly, that is what I got out of the video. It has that nice American feel, though. And I guess there was a plot to it. Boring Tiffany sleeps and enters the world full of colour and fun. She then wakes up, bringing her back to boring land. Really disappointed, because SM’s video have been really good these past few comebacks. It just feels like more a party scene would have fitted the song more. Her solo shots made her look good, but it just doesn’t have that EDM, electronic feel to it. In other words, the video was pretty much detached from the song.

Dance wise, it was pretty good. Not many KPOP artists get down and lie on the floor. I can think of a few, but not many. Definitely had the American channelling through it.

Overall, the song was pretty good. Disappointed that she didn’t win much with the song. Towards the end of the promotional period, I thought she should have won more with the song. 6.5/10

[Rewind] April 2016 & May 2016

Yeah… I know May hasn’t ended yet, but to avoid posting another late ‘Rewind” post 3 weeks after the month finished, I have decided to April and May together. This one is going to be a little informal in terms of format for a few reasons that will appear apparent. And before we move on, just a little reminder that I will try to write and release reviews every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Okay, moving along:

Leaving the Group?

We became shocked with the disbandment (or what we dubbed at the disbandment) of Kara at the start of the year. However, it seems like certain groups are facing member line up changes after one of their members had decided to not resign with their company and have since departed ways with their respective groups. Former member of 2NE1, Minzy, and former member of Miss A, Jia, have both decided to leave their successful group and go onto their own paths.  Minzy will (hopefully) make her solo debut in the near future after confirmation came from her new company in which she signed. Jia was announced today that she would be leaving the band after her contract finished. Miss A and 2NE1 faced disbandment rumours from these two events, but both their companies have stated that is not the case. Not only girl groups are facing these changes, but A-Jax (if we all remember who they were) recently lost 3 members (Sungmin, Jaehyung and Jihu). But the list does not end there. Hyunseung departed from Beast, leaving the group with 5 members. It was kind of expected after the numerous articles and petitions asking for his removal. Hyunseung is expected to return as a solo artist in the near future and is still signed with Cube Entertainment. It is always disappointing to hear these news and it has obviously shocked the industry a lot. These members have been with their band since the beginning, so it is always hard for fans. Hopefully, there won’t be any more of this and I wish the former members luck in their future endeavours (because that is something we all should do and not call them selfish).

Descendant of the Sun

Now this is something we all have heard about. The drama has taken Asia by storm and has been proven to be highly successsful. It stars Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Ko, as the main characters. Before you all die from shock, I have yet to watch this drama. So, no spoilers. But I don’t actually have any plans to watch the drama. Because I am not one to enjoy romance and all this lovey dovey sh*t. I just don’t watch the genre (or any mainstream and popular dramas). I prefer the cringeworthy daily dramas. Now, why am I talking about this drama? Well, the OSTs for this drama has literally taken over the charts each time they were released. Not complaining here, but the songs were really good. Like, I really enjoy listening to them and this is probably the first time I have been impressed with the OST for a drama. Anyway, the OST contains songs from Davichi, Gummy, K.Will, Yoon Mi Rae, Chen, Punch, Mad Clown, Kim Na Young, Xiah, MC The Max, Lyn and SG Wannabe. In OST terms, this is pretty much the star studded red carpet. Each song released topped the charts instantaneously and I can see these artists winning the Best OST awards at the award ceremonies already. That is all I am reporting on… Hahaha…

Comebacks and Debuts

For the past two months, many artists have made their comeback and they include ): Block B, Seventeen, History, April, Twice, AOA, Akdong Musician, VIXX, Lovelyz, Up10Tion and so many more.

For debuts, NCT is the big debut for April.  I.O.I is probably the major debut for May. However, we have seen new soloists emerge in KPOP in the past two months. Notably, Jung Eunji from APINK, Woohyun from Infinite and Tiffany from SNSD had their respective solo debuts in the last two months.

Top 5 songs of April

As per normal, these are my top 5 songs of April:

  1. Pretty U – Seventeen
  2. Journey to Atlantis – Laboum
  3. Dynamite – VIXX
  4. Queen – History
  5. Toy – Block B

Top 5 songs of May

May hasn’t ended yet, but it is about to. I will add other May songs to the June list (when I get around to it).

0. Pretty U – Seventeen (I have to. I have been trialling charts and Seventeen has been popping up every single week as the top song for the week).
1. Good Luck – AOA
2. Save Me – BTS
3. Nodding Nodding – Woohyun (Infinite)
4. I Just Wanna Dance – Tiffany (SNSD)
5. Fire – BTS

This one was a long one and I tried to keep it short. I am really behind in reviews and will get them out slowly. It will take me some time to catch up. Bad news is that I have exams coming up and I am going to be slower. I will review every major release eventually, so give me some time. Enjoy the rest of May and see you tomorrow!!!