[OST Review] 2020 OST Reviews – Part 2

It has been a long time coming, but I have finally decided to make a start on reviewing a certain type of song that I barely looked at in the past but have wanted to write about for a while now – OST songs. OST (otherwise known as Official Sound Tracks) have been a big part of KPOP. Many of the idols we know and love have gone onto being big name actors, whiles others have had to the privilege to sing some of the most famous tracks to some of the greatest drama scenes of all time.

I personally feel that there is a misconception that OSTs are usually just ballads, but I want to prove that wrong. Furthermore, there will be a Best OST category in this year’s KPOPREVIEVED Awards (hint hint). So I have picked five OSTs throughout 2020 to review and introduce to you here (and over a number of posts). Note that I have not watched all of the dramas, so I will be reviewing the song itself – like how I write my song reviews.

You’re In My Soul – Chungha
Drama: Record of Youth
Release: 15 September 2020

We start off this OST Review post with a feel good song, courtesy of Record of Youth and Chungha herself (who will be return shortly with new music!). You’re In My Soul has this electronic instrumentation that brings about epic vibes. It sounds theatrical and there is a nice pop rock influence to it, which I find to be very appealing. But the promising element is 100% Chungha’s voice. It soars and lifts up the song to new highs during the chorus. The way she went with a deep tone for the verses contrasts really nice and helps makes the chorus become that more explosive. I also love the mixed of English in the Korean. Altogether, You’re In My Soul is a very attractive song. However, it isn’t perfect. There was a part following the second chorus that had overpowering instrumentation and you could barely hear her voice. Personally, I feel like that section could have just done instrumentation, as her vocals distracted me from the music whilst I was straining to hear what she was singing. But that is me being picking. My testament for this song still stands – it is very attractive piece of music. (9/10)

Please Don’t Cry – DAVICHI
Drama: The King: Eternal Monarch
Release: 3 May 2020

It is not possible to write about OSTs and completely disregard DAVICHI. If you are unfamiliar with this particular duo, then let me help catch you up. DAVICHI (consisting of Lee Hae Ri and Kim Min Kyung) are known for their chart topping ballads. And within the OST realm of Korean music, they are very well known for amazing OSTs, such as This Love (release for Descendants of the Sun). Please Don’t Cry comes off as one of their most impressive and captivating releases yet. It pretty much starts off like any other ballad release with beautiful piano work and gripping vocals. It is the chorus that gets to me. The very soft ‘Please Don’t Cry‘ which is followed up immediately with a deep thump had me going ‘ooh’, before we are provided with more stunning vocal work from the pair (which includes that amazing falsetto line that ends off the chorus). The rest of the song does what ballads typically do by building the instrumentation and helping the song become more powerful/ A typical move it is, but it is one that pays off. I was floored with the rest of the song and am loving the bit of intensity that the electric guitar brings. DAVICHI does it once again for me. (10/10)

Someday (어떤 날엔) – Kim Jae Hwan
Drama: Crash Landing On You
Release: 19 January 2020

It has been a while since we heard from Kim Jae Hwan. While he has released a few digital songs and OSTs this year, it would be nice to see back on stage with a new album. But in the meanwhile, we will need to settle with songs like Someday and his other OSTs. It is another ballad example of an OST. If I had to sum up the song, it is very nice and soothing to listen to. I don’t find anything groundbreaking in this song when it comes to the instrumentation. It is just another ballad made of band and classical instrumentation. When it comes to his voice, Someday really shows off the raspy nature of his voice, which I think is amazing. I did really enjoy the melodies in this song and it successfully gets me to sway along to the music (if you did not see last week – swaying is how I detect a good ballad). It might not be as stunning at the ballad just before this one (see review above), but Someday is still a good one. (8/10)

Aloha (아로하) – Jo Jung Seok
Drama: Hospital Playlist
Release: 27 March 2020

The next OST I had chosen to review is Jo Jung Seok’s own Aloha, which was released for Hospital Playlist Jo Jung Seok, who is an actor, plays one of the main characters in the drama. Given his status as one of the most popular actors in the Korean acting industry and the popularity that I saw Hospital Playlist got, Aloha was going to hit the top of the charts (which it did). It is a pop ballad that really brings a smile to your face. The cheerfulness comes from Jo Jung Seok himself, who sounds like he was smiling whilst recording the song. The instrumental isn’t really a standout and felt standard at best. But I love how it complimented Jo Jung Seok’s vocals and helped amplify the sweetness of the song and the actor’s voice. His voice was really good and I really liked how the English instantly becomes the strongest and most memorable lines in the song (and his pronunciation is super clear). Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first time to the recording booth for Jo Jung Seok, who as previously sung an OST with EXO’s D.O and has also worked in theatre before. I definitely would like to hear another OST from him in the future. (8/10)

Start Over – GAHO
Drama: Itaewon Class
Release: 1 February 2020

The last OST to be reviewed in this post this week (yes, another one is coming your way next week )is probably the biggest OST release of 2020. With a star studded cast and rave reviews, any OST associated with this drama was going to be elevated. And with such an easygoing vibe and really simple melodies that basically appeals to anyone, Start Over really is a prime candidate for that top spot on the charts. And I totally agree with its top spot ranking on all of the charts. It is another OST that has a sound that makes you want to smile and cuts any tension in your personal life. And since I already mentioned that the melodies were simple and easy to get into, this helped make Start Over very memorable. I really liked the upbeat vibes of the pop instrumentation and enjoyed how engaging the consistent beat in the chorus was. Gaho’s voice was very suitable for the song and empowering to listen to. Overall, I don’t have much else to say about the song. It’s top rank on the chart is justified and it is an OST that I keep on coming back to because it just works and sounds wonderfully.. (10/10)

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