Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The 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.

Let's begin the commemorative ceremony with Mask Dance from Arang OST, this epic rap-infused, saguek-influenced epic rap track by MC Sniper. At most two tracks allowed per album.

Warning: Don't place too much meaning into the ranking.

1. 시간을 거슬러 (Back In Time) // by Lyn (린)  
The Moon That Embraces The Sun OST (해를 품은 달 OST)

If one had to put a stamp on the first part of the year with a track, no song would have made quite the statement as this one. The beginning piano tune is pure beauty and the vocals provided by Lyn are simply breathtaking. It's no wonder the viewers were spell bound by the drama and were captivated in a way that was a bit dangerous.

2. 너라서 (Because It's You) // by Davichi (다비치)
Big OST (빅 OST)

It's really a shame that the drama was unavailable to live up to its expectations. It had everything going for it, the Hong Sisters as writers and a cast headlined by the excellent Gong Yoo. The soundtrack was able to in a way make up for the lost time and never disappointed. The track's tuning is similar to Back In Time, done a level less suspenseful and highlights the emotional voices of Davichi perfectly.

3. 환상 (Fantasy) // by Jang Jae-in (장재인)
Arang and The Magistrate OST (아랑사또전 OST)

Simplicity ruled the OST releases and that is clearly evident with the top 3 choices. It doesn't take much to make a song shine if the basic ingredients are present and solid. Fantasy is a clear indication of the phenomenon. Jang Jae-in's vocals provide a haunting overtone to this minimal arranged track.

4. 굿바이데이 (Goodbye Day) // by Ulala Session (울랄라세션)
Bridal Mask / Gaksital OST (각시탈 OST)

In Goodbye Day, you can feel the bare emotions of Ulala Session which resonates heavily throughout the drama. A beautiful arrangement sure to resonate with fans for years to come.

Below: Watch the two vocalists of Ulala Session performing the track.
May Lim Yoon Taek rest in peace.

5. 사랑 첫 느낌 (Love Note) // by Ailee (에일리)
Full House Take 2 OST (풀하우스 테이크 2 OST)

The track's instrumental has a calming effect while Ailee provides the needed fire to make it memorable. Simple and elegant with a gentle touch. (The same can't be said of the hairstyles. What strange choices!)

6. All For You // by Seo In-guk & Jung Eun-ji
Reply 1997 OST (응답하라 1997 OST)

All For You worked when it wouldn't have because of its association with the drama and the two actors that defined the latter part of the year. Sweet and loving duet.

7. 미치게 보고 싶은 (Missing You Like Crazy) // by Taeyeon (태연) of Girls' Generation
King 2 Hearts OST (더킹 투하츠 OST)

Get Taeyeon to feature on a track and look at it go up. Great verses to go along with the heartbreaking chorus.

8. 내 사랑아 (My Love) // by Lee Jong Hyun (이종현) of CN Blue
A Gentleman's Dignity OST (신사의 품격 OST)

One of the year's most soothing releases. Jong Hyun's smooth vocals are simply infectious.

9. 상처 (Hurt) // by Ali (알리)
Rooftop Prince OST (옥탑방 왕세자 OST)

An emotional track that showcases Ali's haunting voice.

10. 일어나 (Stand Up) // by J-Min (제이민)
To The Beautiful You OST (아름다운 그대에게 OST)

One of the year's dark-horse track that created a storm. 

11. 무단횡단 (Jay Walking) // by Sung Joon (성준)
Shut Up Flower Boy Band OST (닥치고 꽃미남밴드 OST)

With Jay Walking, veteran song-writer and ex-band member Lee Jae Hak infuses a combination of modern rock beats with high-styled synths to create street-infused sound that matches perfectly with the rough edged vocals of Sung Joon.

12. Hello To Myself // by Ye Eun / Yenny (예은) of Wonder Girls
Dream High 2 OST (드림하이 2 OST)

Refreshing instrumentals and great compositions by Yenny herself.

13. 추워요 (It's Cold) // by Song Ji Eun (송지은) of Secret
Take Care of Us, Captain OST (부탁해요, 캡틴 OST)

14. 내가 살아갈 곳 (The Place Where I'll Live) // by Sung Si Kyung (성시경)
Ohlala Couple OST (울랄라부부 OST)

A treat considering the soothing vocals. Sung Si Kyung all the way.

15. 떨어진다 눈물이 (Tears Are Falling) // by Wax (왁스)
I Miss You OST (보고싶다 OST)

The whole song works itself up over grief and despair that became a staple of I Miss You

[Photo Source: @Star1 Magazine]
[Info Source: Thanks to Drama Wiki for the name of the tracks.]
[Video Source: newkpopmelody09,  svetusikls4, cjenmmusic, xxtiya, leonent, hitthestage0307, wwiv, sbsnow1, budax pening, smtown, lovekpopsubs8, wondergirls, tsent2008, bubblefeetostch2, syaza syahira @ YouTube]

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