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[Curated Playlist] K-Drama’s Hidden Secrets, 5 Best OSTs

Edited by Yoon
Translated by Kim Hoyeun

Credit: Stone Music Entertainment, Vitamin Entertainment, LOEN Entertainment, Vlending Co, KBS

Among the elements that make up the drama, “music” cannot be left out. The music that flows out in the right place at the right time dramatically contributes to expressing the emotions and situations of the characters. Furthermore, it enhances the immersion of the play by effectively reflecting the theme or emotion. Just as a well-made series remains in the viewers’ memory for a long time, the music that perfectly suits the mood continues to be loved as well. At the same time, such music plays a big role in helping us remember the work. I’ll recommend the five best OSTs from K-dramas that are still very much loved. 

 

Taeyeon – If

Taeyeon’s “If” was inserted in KBS’s fusion historical series Hong Gil-dong. It’s an unusual case in which a series failed to overcome the power of music. This OST released in 2008 is still considered the artist’s best song, and it’s still one of the people’s favorite karaoke songs. This is the power that the song holds, especially as a “pop song.” The reason the song is popular is thanks to Taeyeon and the vocal director’s wit. The original key of the song was an octave below. But Taeyeon and the vocal director came up with an idea to sing an octave higher, entirely in falsetto. And that brought out the song’s emotion even more. In fact, it’s a rather classic song, but that’s why it faithfully serves as an OST. Taeyeon never tries to outshine the song and restrains her emotions. Also, the accompaniment maintains its calmness even when it reaches the chorus and never raises the song’s tension. Considering that Taeyeon was only 19 years old at the time and this was her first-ever solo song, her interpretation and expressive vocals are even more admirable.

 

Lyn – My Destiny

In 2013, “My Destiny” played a major role in the success of My Love From the Star, starring Kim Soo Hyun and Jun Ji Hyun. The fact that the song made a new history by getting invited to China’s QQ Music Award will show you a glimpse into how popular it was. LYn, who shows off matured vocals, sang the song with a deep understanding and rich resonance, completing a dreamy vibe. Thanks to her, viewers were able to dive into the series even more at the crucial moments. This is an excellent example of what happens when a great singer meets a perfect song.

 

HowL – Perhaps Love (duet with J)

Among all the OSTs in Princess Hours that died in 2006, this is the main theme song that best expressed the atmosphere of the series. Written by Korea’s best lyricist Kim Eana, the lyrics that took the original comics into account are superb. HowL sings the pretty expressions that flutter and tickle your hearts with his beautiful voice. On top of that, Jay adds her soft voice to make the song richer. At the time, the aesthetic directing and this OST came together to create beautiful scenes. This is also the reason why many people still remember Princess Hours. As if to prove how great the song is, Kim Min Seok (MeloMance) and Eric Nam released remakes of “Perhaps Love.” Even 15 years after, the song is still loved by many.

 

Jo Jung Suk – Aloha

It’s the third OST released by Hospital Playlist 1. The melody, vocal phrases, and vibe of Cool’s famous song “Aloha” were used exactly as they were while still retaining Jo Jung Suk’s unique charm. If the original song highlights Lee Jae Hoon’s soft voice, Jo Jung Suk completed a cleaner vibe with clear diction and vocalization. How a duet song was sung as a solo sing is also interesting. The song perfectly suits the Lee Ik Joon character played by Jo Jung Suk in the series, giving the impression that Lee Ik Joon, not Jo Jung Suk, sang it. It was a moment when a drama and the OST connected through the same emotion. Jeon Mi Do’s “I Knew I Love” also received great love. 

 

Ga Ho – Start Over

It was an OST for Itaewon Class, which aired on JTBC in 2020. Thanks to the popularity of the drama, the song also gained outstanding results on music charts. It was a timely song that suited the current generation who are working hard to achieve their dreams and those who needed great comfort and courage due to COVID-19. Lyrics like “I need courage right now,” “Even though it doesn’t shine, I’ll support my dream,” or “I’m going to go my own way” may seem overly romantic and idealistic. But the song impressed both viewers and listeners with a rock sound that emphasizes the pure and honest lyrics. Moreover, the fact that an artist unfamiliar to the public completed a cheering song adds more meaning. 

 

Editor Yoon: I love music, especially K-POP, and I dream of becoming an A&R person, lyricist, artist, etc. I will cover various articles, including song reviews, artist reviews, and K-pop market analysis.

Translator Kim Hoyeun: If you are a fan of K-drama, K-movie, and K-pop, I am your guy. I will continue to provide you with up-to-date K-entertainment news.

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