For Every K-Drama, I Give You an Album

So, this popped up in my head out of the blue. Go easy on me it’s my 2nd article. After reading the tardy reviews an animated bulb went out in my head, which carried a very intriguing idea, albums as k-dramas.  As per my last article, my knack for music probably has been established, therefore here I go again, with another one of my exaggeratedly praised reviews and an album to go with it. Hopefully y’ all will like both. I included both my favourite ones and some MDL-ers favourites, so keep in mind this is obviously biased.

Oh, Inverted World – The Shins

Misaeng is one of my favourite dramas, I have to admit that I went into it, with extremely low expectations because it was my first slice of life drama but boy was I blown away. I mean I didn’t expect everything to be that unapologetically honest (wish I was like that) I mean it sure did whatever it was intending to do because now a slice of life is my favourite genre. And to describe this show with an album, I would choose “oh, inverted world by the shins”. The entire album has a United theme, but every song is its own person, kind of like the whole show was delivering a commentary on a similar subject but the characters and their growing relationship had their own stories to tell, to make & break. none of it was shallow. And the album sometimes also gives off a vibe like an elevator music, and the show does something not quite different. It’s a show that you can watch without gripping your teeth or holding your heart out but to really embrace everything that goes on. You have to pay attention and invest in the characters. The infamous song new slang has quite surprisingly lyrics if compared to the tone of the song, and “past and pending” is not definitely not lying.

oh, inverted world Spotify link

Prison Playbook
Sleepless in _____  – Epik High
I’ve probably watched Prison Playbook about 8 times, and still, it’s as good as new. It’s raw and sweet. while I love Laughter in Waikiki, I love the comedy here more. All the characters and their exaggerations of idiotic things are plain hilarious. Actually, no, it’s the furthest thing from plain, it has more flavour than Indian cuisine. The up and down journey of emotions but not quite because the aesthetic feels like it comes and goes around. If I had an album for this it would definitely be “Sleeping in ___” by Epik High. As soon as I heard this album, I wanted to re-watch the entire show. This show and album are what I would call nihilistic optimism, a.k.a life in two words. and also the song nostalgia from the OST of this drama reminds me of the album. I’m not gonna say anything about this, except if you haven’t watched it yet, please stop reading this, and watch then listen to the album because it’s just so damn good (helps me a lot personally) and then come back here. Hi, there again. 🙂

sleepless in  _____ Spotify link

While You Were Sleeping
Saw You In A Dream – The Japanese House
While You Were Sleeping was my first ever K-drama, I’m aware that it’s not exactly praised but sort of bashed ’cause the popular actors star here. I don’t know I could be wrong but I really do love it. the first time I watched this, I was in absolute awe, the opening scene hell the first half of ep 1 had me so confused and fascinated then pair that with Suzy’s charms and I was in love. I love the mystery genre so that along with supernatural, light comedy/bromance, this was a perfect start for me. I know cuz I’m still here, and I’ve watched the drama more times than I can count. at first, I instantly thought of “Ghost Stories” by Coldplay, but that album is impossible to associate with something. It has its own universe of escape but then something so dreamy yet mysterious and visionary, I can only think of “Saw You In A Dream” by The Japanese House. I mean, the title track “Saw You In A Dream” is practically screaming at me, yeah they did. I don’t have any other words to describe this mini album other dreamy, mysterious, visionary maybe beautiful but on the elegant side. The exact description would be 3:3. You really have to listen to understand what I’m talking about and of course watch the show as well. 

saw you in a dream Spotify link

Secret Forest
Yes? No? – Suzy
Talking about mystery, Secret Forest, this was really something, huh?! It had me on the edge and all the way back every episode, the acting, man the acting was brilliant. Never knew showing no emotion could be that hard. No emotion but with reaction. Genius. Just that. This was the hardest to come up with because, in my opinion, I think the show prides itself on the subject rather than OSTs, but definitely the score is genius as well. After a long time of browsing through a never-ending pile of music, I finally found, “Yes? No?” by Suzy. Not what you were expecting, is it? I know, me neither. But surprisingly the composition of this whole album fits just right. The original aesthetic of the album is also a mystery/thriller. You’ll know when you watch the “Yes? No? Maybe” MV. The music used to accompany the vocals is something that I could listen on the show, I know because I tested it, I played the instrumental while watching and what do you know, perfect. Also, her vocals give off borderline eerie but just when you about to feel that it makes you warm kinda what the show does, and obviously both of them have plenty mystery hidden in their lies/lyrics. The songs “Pretend” and “Sick and Tired” are so interesting, you’ll feel the melody as soon as you listen, it’s Secret Forest.

yes? no? spotify link

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo
Spring Again – Jung Seung Hwan
I think one of the popular ones would be Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo. I mean this is praised for the torture it makes you go through. Personally, if you ask me, this ain’t it, beautiful story, great execution, interesting chemistry, gorgeous actors but no, I did not cry. Definitely did enjoy it though, enough for an 8-star rating from someone who despises historical genre. Maybe I’m a bit biased because IU, I’m not sure. “Spring Again” by Jung Seung Hwan, every time I hear this album I am reminded of this drama. It has a fluttering but heart-wrenching kind of vibe to it. Yet it doesn’t play with your emotions, not mine anyway. However, it leaves you wanting more like you didn’t even know that the last track was over and you wanna experience it again but the emotions were too heavy to handle. Songs like “Shall We Walk Together” and “Still Here” remind me of their relationship and “Spring Again” is like their song, come on. Also on a quick note, I would like to add “When You Fall” by Sam Kim and if you wanna know why then please listen to it first.

spring again Spotify link

Chicago Typewriter

Modern Times – IU

Chicago Typewriter, an extremely beloved yet underrated work of art. This show, yeah, all I can say is, there were a few tears, maybe two or three boxes of tissues. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, the aesthetic, the plot, the acting, the relationships, everything. And yet I couldn’t let go of the nostalgic theme it brings with the cinematography, the brown and peach shades of Joseon era were exceptional and unavoidable. Perfect, perfect to go with “Modern Times” by IU. This as well, in my opinion, is underrated, compared to her other stuff. At first look, this album isn’t so melancholy as you’d think it would be, given it’s IU, but then the emotions, the story slowly creeps up on you and then you’re left hanging, just like the show, it leaves you starving with a satisfying taste. If you play “Modern Times” during the thrilling scenes, it fits as if it were made for the show. Similarly “The Red Shoes”, something I would imagine the FML singing in Carpe Diem, and “Daydream” would be the song for the “lost in time” if you know what I mean.

modern time Spotify link

Smile That Has Left Your Eyes Void – The Rose
The Smile That Has Left Your Eyes, I loved this one, only one I didn’t drop during that time. This was probably “that” show that was almost equally loved and hated but hopefully both times thoroughly enjoyed. This drama gives off a hollow, a sort of incompleteness throughout at the same time feeding it with something that leaves it bigger at the end, I choose “Void” by The Rose, The only one that comes to my mind, because oh my GOD! The vocals are something eerie and satisfying, one of a kind, it’s GOING to give you goosebumps,  I guarantee. just listen to “Baby

void Spotify link

My Mister Long Poem – Moonmoon
My Mister, oh here’s the big one, right? My favourite, and pretty sure most of ours too. The hardest one to pick an album for because it’s such a masterpiece, not one single off the album should be less than perfect. But after watching the show more than a couple of times, I would say it’s the imperfections of the characters, the flaws of the relationships that made the show perfect. I say “Long poem” by Moonmoon, lend me an ear here, I know this is probably not that popular, and at first listen it might not strike as hard but I’m 9952% sure that as you go through the entire album and understand the lyrics and stories behind each song it’s gonna be just like My Mister. Maybe, I can’t speak for everyone but at first when I started watching My Mister, I didn’t LOVE it, but as I watched one by one it grew on me, no, it did something more, it attached itself to me, in someways or not I found comfort in it, even when I couldn’t relate to it, something this album does, exactly. That’s why I love it so much. Every single piece is a poem in itself and has an ambiance. Please, show some love to the artist if you like it.

long poem Spotify link

Life on Mars
23 – Hyukoh
So I recently finished watching Life on Mars and I absolutely loved it, it’s so cool! There is no other show more deserving of that specific adjective than this one. The acting was phenomenal, which made everything 10 times cooler than it already was. I mean, it has a down to earth, warm feeling but it’s just like, it makes you feel like a kid with excitement. Something that goes hand in hand with “23″ by HYUKOH, it’s such a fun and warm album, has a nostalgic theme towards it and I feel like if you visualize what you’re hearing, you get the same aesthetic as Life on Mars.

 23 Spotify link

Just Between Lovers

Scene – Rad Museum

To be frank, here, I haven’t finished watching Just Between Lovers, but I will. Yet as much as I have an understanding of it, it’s not your typical heart fluttering romance but it sure can make one feel those emotions and then aggressively snatch it away, just by looking at the cover it reminds of Rad Museum’s “Scene”. It’s one of the most visionary/auditory wise aesthetic albums, and the song “Dancing In The Rain” speaks for itself.

 scene Spotify link

Reply 1988
Pretty Odd – P!ATD
To top it all, I have Reply 1988 with everything 80s and a nostalgia that I didn’t experience but still felt, which makes me think of “Pretty Odd” by Panic at the Disco. To be honest, this album is pretty odd, it goes from real hype to real slow jam, especially my favourite “Nothern Downpour”. It gives a tiny fragment of hope but enough to take on the series, in my opinion. Such an amazing drama, such an amazing album, hats off to both. 

pretty odd Spotify link

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•           almost  •           
•        the 
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A few last words

I only could cover 11 here but if this is something some of you are interested in, please tell me then maybe I’ll do another? I listen to an excessive amount of music of almost every genre and I love to discover new artists, get to know more about their music so I’ll be honoured if I could introduce some under-appreciated artists and at the same time have fun talking about drama/music over here.

Any thoughts on what your favourites were of 2018?

Albums, songs, soundtracks, dramas, maybe movie specials that deserve more attention? Comment below because I am in need for good content as Vagabond just got postponed to be aired in September. Btw, are there any new shows you’re waiting for? 


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