Monday, December 30, 2013

The Monologue [Ep 12-16]: The Queen's Classroom

There were many things I wanted to write about after watching The Queen’s Classroom till the end but lazily putting off the post about the final five episodes has made my memory weak. I’m literally skipping fragments of the episodes while writing this and some of what I wanted to say are fortunately coming back. ...Something about character development, social issues, adolescence anxiety and farewells.

My appetite for dramas has dwindled quite a bit, even though I wasn’t exactly an avid watcher before, I used to keep up with the network releases and checked a lot of them out. I’ve only watched a few till the end this year along with this one, Good Doctor, I Hear Your Voice, That Winter, The Wind Blows and the wishy-washy Heirs... Actually, that’s quite a lot!! I underestimated quite a bit, haha. Anyways, currently watching You From Another Star, and just loving Jeon Ji-hyun’s character and acting.

Back to the awesomeness that was The Queen’s Classroom.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Conversation [Ep 7-12]: Talking About The Queen's Classroom with Analogueblues

Since our last exchange or review on The Queen’s Classroom, there's been a lot more developments than before and this post as always, strives to come full circle on those turn of events. At this point, the unexpected story-line and behavior has managed to become habitual. As a viewer, this familiarity offers rare insights into the thoughts of the characters and the situations they face.

As always, Analogueblues has agreed kindly to join me as we try our best to explore the drama. For the delay in posting, I apologize and even though the final episode of The Queen’s Classroom has already aired, looking back at a show as profound as this one should be the one splurge of the moment every blogger wishes for. Watching the show with a new lens, I found a special appreciation for its cinematography and superb writing. I report with pleasure that the new episodes did not disappoint and went a long way in making the overall significance of the drama more powerful.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Conversation [Ep. 1-6]: Talking About The Queen's Classroom with Analogueblues

Recently, I started following a Korean drama titled The Queen’s Classroom, a remake of a Japanese drama by the same name. It recently aired its sixth episode and in total will consists of 16 episodes. It has captured my interests to a degree similar to Gaksital and That Winter, The Wind Blows. It is one of the two dramas I am currently watching, both of them excellent, the other one being I Hear Your Voice.
Without further ado, I would like to introduce you all to a special guest who has traveled across the blogosphere to lend her time to this special conversation. Blogger Analogueblues from the fabulous blog linked [here] and I will be sharing our thoughts on the first six episodes of The Queen’s Classroom, trying our bests to delve deep into its themes, characters and the meaning behind it all.

For those curious, we hope to reconvene in the future to publish two additional posts, covering Ep. 7-12 and Ep. 13-16. I hope that all of you will enjoy our posts and feel the sheer joy I felt during this collaboration with Analogueblues, who graciously dedicated her time and made this collaboration truly enjoyable.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Experience the Best of BIGBANG Instrumentals

The evolution of the instrumentals tell a telling story. In their olden days, most Big Bang's songs were on the tougher side and it was expected, the company and the act itself was trying to distinguish its music from the other existing companies. In the idol scene, it catapulted the lesser known genres mainstream. After establishing its own specific musical style, the producers within YG have for the last couple of years been experimenting and the change has been refreshing. The new direction is exemplified perfectly by BIGBANG's Alive and 2NE1's 2nd Mini Album, both albums were one of the premier pop releases in its year and delved into other genres and stepped out of the established safety zone and secured spots atop the greatest.

Why am doing posting only the instrumentals of Big Bang? I admit I am a fan of their music but it has much to do with accessibility. First, as far I know, only YG releases their instrumentals, acapellas and recorded music for their album releases through the online market. The other companies usually only release instrumentals for the title track and don't even bother with the acapellas, but you can find some almost perfect user-generated audios on YouTube for the specific artist you might be interested in. Second, a user on YouTube has dedicated a channel with YG official instrumentals/acapellas/music recorded posted after buying it from For me, the YG instrumentals have a character of their own and its really the attention to detail that makes it exceptional.

Shout out to and many thanks to the user who posted all the following on Youtube - muffingalzz3
Sit back, relax and enjoy!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

[Album Review] Lee Hi 'First Love'

The worst thing you can do after taking a listen to Lee Hi's debut album is call the arrangements lazy. But what you will or might have already done so is call many of the songs boring. On one hand, you are diminishing the foundational basis of the composition while the other is simply a reflection of your musical preferences, albeit limited in range. The sounds of each track in the album musically collide to show the colors of its many respective composers (Choice37, Teddy, Lydia Paek, Tablo, Realmeee, etc). It's fair to say that there hasn't been an album such as this one where one can abstractly decipher each composer's bread and butter by listening to each one's interpretation of the R&B & Soul genre. As it is with interpretations, there are some clear flaws but the production is far and above anything we've heard in awhile that it overcomes those flaws and exceeds normal listen-ability while going beyond its specific genre without diminishing it. Lee Hi sounds better than ever and the soft methodical tones tug at your heart. The sounds of the album are much more subdued than but still manage to make a strong statement.

Overall, all the tracks complement each other highly and go well with each other. The only regrettable aspect of the album is that the intro and the two title tracks, in terms of grandeur, overshadow many of the other compositions that are much truer to the modern blues form. It's truly a shame they won't be appreciated as much. The heart & soul of the album exists in its true form in the other tracks. There is widespread depth in the arrangements and Lee Hi's vocals that make the album a standout. What's highly admirable is the meticulous restraint the YG producers show in keeping the excess elements of pop mainly out of this album. That's not saying that everything's perfect but for an album in a saturated field, it comes pretty close.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

15 Best Korean Drama OST Songs of 2012

@Star1 Magazine

Individual songs are tricky, especially when one's establishing one over the other based on qualifications that are murky at best. In 2012, Korean drama viewers witnessed a wide range of talents that shined onscreen as well as on the music scene. 

There were obvious OST songs that stood out from the rest while others stayed comfortably within the OST blueprint. Many music producers during this year's run were rewarded for taking an unconventional approach with their tunes and blending it within the fold of the drama in a manner that was fresh and awe-inspiring. Powerhouse vocalists gathered heavily under each project this year and made the releases more relevant.

The higher relevancy that the soundtracks saw could be attributed to the fact that the releases stayed current with a hint of nostalgia infused with youthful energy. Let's explore some of the biggest releases in 2012. At the end, leave me with your thoughts on this year's releases.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Debut 2012: Must Listen 'Top K-Pop Idol Groups'

Everything is normal once again in the world K-Pop, there's high flying action left and right with new groups debuting seemingly every moment. For the companies, it's about making profit of the huge 'Hallyu Wave' extending across the globe while for the youngsters involved, it's about achieving the age old dream of being an idol star with the added benefit of making money. Even though I try my best to give each group a serious listen, there has been too many groups debuting that it's been a little hard keeping up. However, the talent pool this year among debut groups has been the best it's ever been in my experience.
In this post, I will share with you the debut groups that have not only managed to appear on my radar but has left me impressed wanting for more. To be fair, I will not include the stellar rookie acts such as Ailee, Busker Busker, John Park, Juniel, Baek Ah Yeon15& and Lee Hi. since all of them are not specifically idol groups. This post will feature the bands that you should definitely must listen to because they have serious talents that may put them on top some day. New groups are walking a fine line because everything rides on their impending debut with companies putting all their stakes in making the group prominent through release of strong debut tracks and creative concepts. Through out the year, newer and younger stars will join the older ones while others will be forced into fading out through the back door. Afterwards, be sure to check out these new budding idol groups.

Let me know afterwards which groups you thought deserve spots at the top.

Friday, December 28, 2012

10 Best Korean Drama OST Albums of 2012

This year's notable OST albums, as selected by your one and only k-ballad crazed admin. If a plot of a drama makes up its body of work, then the soundtrack provides it with the much needed soul. This year was a good year in terms of the variety aspect since more than 90 South Korean dramas were released this year. There indeed was something for everyone and while I did not watch that many dramas, I definitely kept up to date with all the OST (Original Sound Track) releases so I could precisely make up such a list as this. 

Don't let the adorable picture faze you, this is serious business!

On a personal note, hope this new year brings forth lots of happiness and meaning. Let me know your choices for top Korean drama soundtrack albums and what you liked this year.