Sometimes it's hard to think of which songs I want to include in a playlist, not because it's hard to find any, but it's so hard to limit myself. This week I wanted to go for a more laid back playlist. It'll be a mix of mellow-ballady-goodness. Enjoy!
1.) Nell - Afterglow
Ah, I love the piano in this track. If you have never listened to some Nell, well now is the time to start. Nell is definitely one of my favourite Korean indie bands, they are just magic. Listening to them is an incredibly relaxing experience - and if you take the time to listen to/read the lyrics - I promise you'll be impressed. Another really great track is Nell's "Beautiful Stranger"
2.) John Park - Falling
When this track released, I couldn't help but listen to it over and over. John Park is a Korean-American (who was even on American Idol - where Simon Cowell had less than glowing things to say, oh well) who has become a huge success in Korea. This is from his debut album Knock and it is my favourite track. He has such a nice voice! I also love the range - he can hit those high notes, but he also has this great quality in the lower register. The MV is also pretty sweet - there's this one really beautiful shot falling through clouds that I just love.
3.) MYNAME - Hello & Goodbye
MYNAME are relative newcomers to the K-pop scene (they debuted in October 2011 with Message) - and while their Engrish is a tad distracting, I really like this track about breaking up - saying hello and goodbye to love. I love their harmonization, and the melody is catchy. If you don't like melodramatic and tragic music videos, then don't watch it (seriously, what is it with people getting shot in K-pop music videos?).
4.) Busker Busker - Cherry Blossom Ending
This little toe-tapping, sweet serenade to springtime love is a favourite of mine. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and there are bunnies. Busker Busker are relative newcomers to the indie scene. They were runners up in the 2011 Superstar K3 competition, and then released an album in March 2012. They have a fun, light sound, and are a light on the ear. I also really love their latest single, If You Really Love Me. I really, really love Jang Beom Jun's voice. And did I mention the bunnies?
5.) Lee Hyun - Because It's You
Okay, so the lyrics are a little sappy, but the song is still great. Lee Hyun's voice is just gorgeous, and I really love the whole album - The Healing Echo. It captures how grand (the we can slay dragons epic kind) we can feel when we're in love - even in our ordinary, mundane lives, and the swelling chorus really captures that feeling well. And I really love the jumping in water scene.
6.) Juniel - illa illa
So I picked this song before the super-duper over the top promoting on A Gentleman's Dignity, and while the crazy promoting might be in poor taste, the song is sweet. It's about love, first love, and how it helps one grow up through its pain and heartbreak, oh the heartbreak in this MV(one day maybe songs about first love won't have heartbreaking music videos, maybe). I like Juniel's voice, and I look forward to her future projects. Her "Fool" with Yong Hwa from CNBLUE is also great.
7.) 4Men - I Couldn't Do It
Can I just say that I luff Gaksital, it's turning out to be one of my favourite dramas that I'm watching right now (I think that also has a lot to do with Joo Won). Also - talk about tragic lovelines all round! I really don't know how they're going to resolve them (Othello style?). Well, this song captures all of that depressing angst - love lost, unrequited, turmoil, regret, etc.. I don't know how they do it, but 4Men manages to convey all of that with their soaring vocals.
8.) Wheesung - Heartaching Story
Okay, I LUFF, LUFF, LUFF Wheesung! I am not sure how he does it, but his voice conveys so much! The song is titled "Heartaching Story" and even if you do not know a word of Korean, you can hear the heartache. I also love B2ST's Junhyung's rap. He is definitely one the best rappers in K-pop, and the rap goes so well with this song. Another track of Wheesung's that I love is They Are Coming which features Ailee (who does a fantastic job!).
[okay, ranting time: why is it so wrong to subtitle a MV? seriously people, why don't we work at stopping human trafficking instead of worrying about subbed MVs? I buy my music - like I bought this song, but I also want to know what it says - also, it would be lovely if it were more readily available. luckily iTunes is getting better at providing for my K-pop love, but the indie scene/lesser known artists are not as easy to find. and don't even get me started on the "the provider has chosen to block this video in your country" message. if you want to stop piracy, it's called "make things legally available otherwise people will turn to piracy". and I am sure that there are people who would be happy to sub all these videos for the companies - they do it out of love, not a desire to promote piracy. k-pop needs to wake up to the fact that it has a large, and growing international audience. at least JYP for the most part subs their videos - hallelujah! we also have excellent people like the princessoftea blog that works hard to translate K-pop, and all the countless awesome subbers online. basically - all these large corporations are not doing themselves any favours by taking down anyone who subs or makes a fanvid. okay, rant over, for now *update: LOEN now subs stuff too].
9.) Alex - If I Could Turn It Back
Whimsical - if I had to pick one word to describe this song - whimsical. You know sometimes when you get lost listening to music? It happens so much to me when I listen to anything Korean. This is definitely one song I get lost in, and that probably has a lot to do with Alex's soothing, dreamy voice. This is one of the tracks for Hyun Bin and Tang Wei's Late Autumn (which I still haven't seen, see rant above - but I digress). The lyrics are sweet, and heartbreaking, and touching, and just beautiful - which is what I can say about the song, and Alex. He seriously has one of my favourite voices EVER! Major crush on Alex's voice here. Jane's voice also adds a nice touch to the whimsical. Enjoy.
10.) 2PM - I Can't
2PM has some pretty sweet dance tracks, etc. but funny enough, this is one of my favourite tracks of theirs. I love the accoustic sound, and the soulful lyrics. I dunno, it's groovy - and I like it. It's a good wind-down track for this playlist post. It's just a great sound for them (I also love their other stuff too ^_^).
p.s. This is a recently released ballad track from this week, so I thought I should include it as well: December - Unfinished
The MV is a little melodramatic, but the vocals are nice and soulful, and the melody/instrumentation is a nice, angsty ballad track. It certainly makes me want to check out some of their other work. It would probably also work well for an OST track in a drama where the loveline has a tragic ending/is going through some heartbreak that keeps the lovers apart. It reminds me a little of the tracks on Spy Myung Wol actually.