If you’ve been following me for a while now, you might remember back in 2018, I made a series of posts on hallyu covering k-dramas, k-pop, and tropes and then… just suddenly stop.
Well now this series is making a comeback! I did not know what happened since I still have a bunch of topics to cover and lists to make. This seems like a perfect time to continue the series since a) I’ve been getting back into k-drama during this quarantine and b) I’ve been crazy into k-pop this month (will be covered more in my monthly wrap up). Certainly the old posts need an update- I need to include Kill Me Heal Me and Reply 1988 on my favorite k-drama list as well as updating my favorite k-pop videos. I have an upcoming post about my favorite k-pop choreography and k-pop videos (updated from my previous ones) but for today, I’m going to talk about my favorite k-drama OST 🎶
I think we all can agree that soundtracks just add so much to the movie. There’s only so much facial expressions, cinematography, and dialogue can convey, it’s the background music that drives the feelings home and make the scene memorable. I mean, the baseball scene in Twilight would be very awkward without any song playing and won’t be as legendary as it is if the soundtrack playing was not supermassive blackhole.
And the same goes for k-dramas. Nowadays k-dramas are obviously stepping up their plot (no more romance heavy and filled with tropes) and cinematography (Goblin and While You Were Sleeping are the first ones that come to mind) but one thing they always have is fantastic soundtrack. Whoever in charge of soundtracks in each dramas honestly deserve one of the highest pay since they are always perfect for the moment. The entertainment industry itself is filled with many vocal powerhouse, not only from idols but many actors are actually able to sing! Whether it’s happy or sad, love or grief, these songs add to the atmosphere of the scenes so much- they are the perfect addition to complete every k-dramas.
Before we start, I would like to give a shoutout to Tiffany’s post on throwback k-drama ost and spotify’s k-drama ost playlist- even though it’s mostly from new k-dramas i haven’t watch yet.
Previously in this series:
Boys Before Flowers
Let’s start with the legend itself, the one and only, Boys Over Flowers. Despite Hana Yori Dango has been adapted to so many adaptations, I would say I enjoy BOF the most compared to the rest (Meteor Garden for nostalgic value, Cinderella and 4 Knights was meh, and I still need to watch Meteor Garden 2019). Not only the actors shot to stardom and it started my love affairs with k-drama, it also has one of the best OSTs. From the iconic opening theme Paradise by T-Max, Stand By Me by Shinee, Because I’m Stupid by SS501, and more. The whole soundtrack was amazing and it’s really rare for me to like everything, but I really did for BOF.
Descendants of the Sun
Another dramas where almost all the songs work for me! Of course we Everytime by Chen x Punch and You Are My Everything by Gummy, but my personal favorite is Once Again by Kim Na Young x Mad Clown. While Everytime has this fun and bubbly feeling that you can’t help singalong whenever the song came up, Once Again conveys the feelings of Dae Young and Myung Joo to a perfection 🥺😭
Reply 1988 – Hyehwadong by Park Boram
Speaking of OST that conveys a feeling really well, Reply 1988’s Hyehwadong (or Ssamundong) did this really well. Listening to this song makes me feel like I’m transported to an alleyway in 1988 and seeing the scenes and characters growing at that point in their life 😭
I honestly never listened to this song much because it always made me cry with now nostalgic it made me feels.
Dream High – Can’t I Love You by IU x Kim Soo Hyun
This is, hands down, my favorite soundtrack of ever. At that time IU was already a singer so we all know how beautiful her voice is, but Kim Soo Hyun??? When he opened his mouth and started to sing, I was floored. It was amazing, he has perfect control of the whole performance, and it blends well with IU’s voice. To this date, whenever I listened to this I still get that heart-dropping sensation when Kim Soo Hyun first sings.
Goblin – Stay With Me by Chanyeol x Punch
Of course I couldn’t make this post without mentioning this duet. The beat is just iconic and it played at some of the best scene during the drama (The umbrella scene?? When Kim Shin and Eun-tak were surrounded by candles??). Punch’s voice, as always, is beautiful but the addition of Chanyeol’s low tone made this song plaintive.
In addition to sending all yearning to the listeners, I also came to associate this song with happier events because of how many “xxx as korean drama” videos using this song as its bgm 😂
Are You Human Too
This k-drama was a pleasant surprise for me, but I’m really glad I watched it since two of its soundtrack are some of my favorites! The first one, Love by Lyn x Hanhae gives the feeling of falling in love with someone while the second one, Heart by 2Bic made me think of yearning for someone. Both songs accompany the middle part of the drama really well!
I… forgot how good looking Seo Kang Joon is 😶😍
SKY Castle – It Has To Be You by About
This song is the most recent OST I fell in love with. I had mixed feelings about SKY Castle as a whole, but I absolutely adored this song. Even without understanding the lyrics, this song gave me the imagery of someone telling their significant others how important they are, to give another chance because it has always been them for our protagonist. I have since looked up the lyrics and the fact that I’m right on the meaning just showed how amazing this song is.
Whenever I’m listening to this song I always imagine Ye Seo and Woo Joo reuniting sometime in the future. It seems I’m not the only one because when you look at the youtube comments, most people gets the same imagery! It’s just… perfect.
Bonus: Various female singer x male rapper duet
Sooo in general this type of OST is my favorite. The combination between thin, ethereal voice of the female singer combined withe the low tone and fast rapping of the male just works really well! I already mentioned some of them above (Once Again and Stay with Me) but there are others I haven’t covered: W – In the Illusion by Basick x inkii, Kill Me Heal Me – Auditory Hallucination by Jang Jae In x NaShow, and While You Were Sleeping – Lucid Dream by Monogram.