Drama Review 2012: Ost Tracks


Here we are. It’s almost over, 2012. Around this time, it’s usually pretty easy to pinpoint my favorites and my dislikes, especially in the area of music. Drama soundtracks aren’t hard to decipher and I’m prone to gravitate toward sageuks. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen enough of those this year to render an opinion. But, like every drama lover, there are some tracks that I’ve loved this year, hated, and should have disliked on principle but couldn’t get out of my head.

Everyone loves a good OST, for it gives you the chance to collect songs without commitment and well, I like anything that gets me out of the “c” word. And the great thing about an OST is that it doesn’t have to reflect the greatness or success of a drama, it can gladly become a separate entity, evoking a type of freedom from it’s origin or source.  Music was my first love but as time passes my interest in anything new dwindles, which stems from a professional criticism and strict interpretation of what makes the art “good.” At best, drama OSTs are cheesy, manufactured, overused and high-volumed, knife-point produced pieces but that doesn’t stop me from timing the next insertion or patiently waiting through the previews to trill along to the opening theme song or negate the talent the shines through each bar or riff.

So, since I’m a big procrastinator and music is the best way to ease myself into drama review mode, I thought I’d share.

One could say that music in dramas adds to ambiance or sets the tone but I would say that is only true in the best of productions. Outstanding shows have music directors and writers that bleed the soundtrack into each scene, so subtly that it isn’t until a random moment in your driveway or on the bus or in the grocery store you find yourself humming or singing lyrics. This rarely happens. Today, original soundtracks and/or “background” music is more like an additional character in the drama. It’s the omniscient seer that addresses the theme or mood of a scene, episode, or series. It’s the conscience of a character; the psyche too timid to be expressed or the kid in the theater that narrates each move and thought on the screen.

Soundtracks do all these things, but usually not very well or excessively. However, now that almost all of the dramas I cared about are over, I can’t remember one song I liked, that I wouldn’t play again and croon to or slightly miss now that my show has ended. So I picked songs that I tapped my foot to, giggle at each time I hear it, like for the harmonica or cellos, vocals or piano, the lyrics, or just out of loyalty to an artist. Hope you can find a reason just a mundane and trivial to like a few of these too. Enjoy!

Get tracks here; pw- withsubstracks

ストロベリーナイト(4StrGtMix) Various Artists [Strawberry Night]

ナミダノ痕 Various Artists [Strawberry Night]

*This OST is absolutely magical. And absolutely wonderful for a crime procedural, therefore, it was devastatingly hard to choose one or two tracks, without getting greedy, for they really aren’t enough to savor what this album has to offer. Please take the time to pick up the entire thing here.

아플까 동우 (Dong Woo)- [Wild Romance]

Bravo Leeteuk (Super Junior)& Key (SHINee) [History of a Salaryman]

Face Down Arashi [Kagi no Kakatta Heya] *this is also the title track on Arashi’s album by the same name. If you want the full album, message me.

 지금 만나러 갑니다 (I’m Coming to See You) Deok Hwan (덕환) [Queen In-Hyun’s Man]

Up Various Artisits [Rich-man, Poor-woman]

Rock4you Various Artists [Rich-man, Poor-woman]

Rich-man Various Artists [Rich-man, Poor-woman]

Carry On Ali [Faith]

I Am Woodalchi (string version) – 오준성 [Faith]

사랑은 그대다 (You Are Love) K.Will [Arang and The Magistrate]

탈춤Mask Dance MC Sniper – [Arang and the Magistrate] *instrumental counterpart is just as good and probably better but I can’t pass up a Sniper track.

나야 (It’s Me) 써니 & 루나 [Beautiful You]

온유(In Your Eyes) Onew (SHINee) [Beautiful You]

일어나 (Stand Up ) J-Min [Beautiful You]

Yen-j嚴爵【打噴嚏】CD version  [Miss Rose]

Call Me Maybe Carly Rae Jepsen [Vampire Prosecutor 2] * And you ask, is this on the OST? Probably not, but like Byul’s Cute in P&H, I began to identify this song, with this drama cause they played it so much, for no reason at all. From now on they are both stamped as OST. ‘Nuf sed.

Danger MC Sniper feat. Kim Neo&Kim Seo-hyun [Vampire Prosecutor 2]

귀여워 Cute (With 권정열 of 10cm) Byul [Panda and Hedgehog]

착한 여자(Nice Girl) Lee Su-young  [Nice Guy] watch here

좋은 사람입니다 (No One is Better Than You) Jo Eun [Nice Guy]

그리운 사람 (The Person I Miss) Gilme [Oohlala Couple]

가슴에 새겨져 (Engraved in Your Heart) Lee Hyun (8Eight) [King of Dramas]

8 Replies to “Drama Review 2012: Ost Tracks”

  1. Hmmm… Interesting list you have here.

    Man, this year’s OSTs are pretty disappointing, no?
    Like… I remember feverishly obsessing over OSTs back in the day, then there was 2010 where pretty much every drama had a nice song or two, like God of Study, Chuno, Giant and OMG! Bad Guy — most epic OST evah!? And even 2011 the year of the drama drought had stuff like the amazing Warrior Baek Dong-soo soundtrack, New Tales of Gisaeng — with the likes of MIJI and Rumble Fish partaking, could it have been any less enchanting? Even Apink’s poppy song from Protect the Boss was fun.

    This year? Hmm. Fashion King had a gorgeous couple of songs, Standstill by K. Heart (‘cos I’m a sucker for spanish guitars and harmoniums) and the Soulstar song feat. Beige.
    And then Golden Time’s songs by Every Single Day, ‘especially loved ‘Moreshigae/Hourglass’ and ‘Father’. Aww. I really miss this show seeing these stills.

    The J-min song for the Beautiful You soundtrack is lovely. And the Faith song by Ali, mainly the intro part. 🙂 Otherwise… Ehh. Great year for dramas, not so much for OST? Oh wait. I also like the ‘sunshine’ song they play during some scenes of King of Dramas? Sounds familiar, I don’t think it’s part of the OST but an existing song they decided to use, maybe?

    1. You think? Is that good or bad? I don’t consider myself eclectic or anything so… Lol.
      Like I said, I’ve set aside my producer’s ear and music critic’s mind in the last few years, for I realized, if not, I wouldn’t enjoy anything!! So much so I rarely listen to anything new at all unless it is on-screen (and I had nothing to do with it– lol!)
      But I totally get OST dullness this yr. I think as a whole I only thoroughly liked RMPW and SN. Everything else (for the most part) is just fluffy fun but that’s what “pop” music is supposed to be so, yay!!
      Bad Guy and Chuno were stellar! I played both everyday for a year, it was that bomb. Nothing else since has touched it. And I’m in love with all things 4Men.
      Unfortunately, the 2012 dramas you mentioned I haven’t seen. Except do you mean the recent KoD track release? Most anything we hear now is sampled. Nothing remotely original. Im sure you’ve heard before– if it sounds familiar, believe me. And I’m not sure if this year was good for either dramas or OSTs but the music was more forgettable than the dramas? The difference is, I can pick out a beat, a line, an instrument, a chord, a note, a lyric and claim undying love for a song or piece—not that easy with dramas. Isolation never works in entirety for me, I notoriously need a cohesive whole. Bad, good or meh, you know?

      1. Yeah, you totes said it girl, I was merely adding my voice to yours about OST dullness of this year.

        Saying that though, I just checked out Cheongdamdong Alice and its music directing is done by Every Single Day who did Pasta and Golden Time, and I’m loving the ending credits song already. Not sure how I feel about the drama and Park Shi-hoo, but I’d forgotten how amazing Moon Geun-yeong can be!

  2. Golden Time’s OST was good, so as A Wife’s Credentials (lovely soothing and never intrusive).

    But my current fav comes from Can We Get Married (as usual PD Kim loves his MNIKSS references and Clazziquai).

    1. Didn’t watch either. Try to steer clear of med dramas unless there’s some real substantial acting prowess and premise. AWC was too murky with the adultery stuff. But I heard both were good. I’m glad.
      And it’s rare to hear an OST was “unobtrusive.” Wow!! Lol.

      1. Yes, one of the loveliest (quiet but effective) OSTs this year. I agree it may require some over-looking the adultery parts to sit thru everything, but they are plenty more good stuff – more culturally related to Koreans I think, and the realism in drama is surreal even astounding (at least compared to what we have on K-drama nowadays).

        Golden Time has good acting (awesome by Lee Sung Min) and good premise, at least way different than what I’d expected it to be. I think medical can be dramatic (have friends in the field) but the flow of this drama’s unusually placid and less glossy, only with occasional heightened tension and conflict. Cases are pretty much unique on their own, and they deal with different aspects of medical life, not just the passion of being a doctor, morality and ethics issues, but more than that. And no cheesy repetitive KPOP!

        You know if the writer hadn’t taken a jab on her actors, this drama would have been a good solid one for me, A for effort on her part. But sighs, strange things do happen.

      2. Yea the writer thing was O___O
        I found it outrageous regardless of what the truth was. It’s one f those things you never speak of or only say one time to a friend, at the house, you know?
        The last med drama I truly enjoyed was 3lbs but I adored White Tower. Was one of the first Kmeds I finished, then Jejongwon. Brain I never finished but it was a poor man’s WT so… I just hate I didn’t make it work for SHK. But I have to love it, to stick with it. Or at least feel the actors are worth my perseverance. It’s like me and war films. Very very sketch.
        Lol. Cheesy Kpop. I’ve grown to giggle and accept it. Find something worth appreciating, if I can. It’s the clumsiness that hits the hardest– the repetition, the blaring. Quality isn’t really a criterion any longer for me. Cause I know what music directors and producers go through daily, without being expected to scuttle tracks out their tails every few seconds for whatever tale a network is producing any given week. With those kinds of demands, expectations have to stay low. Plus, they know their audience and something seems to work.
        A JYJ member drops a track and it’s like the Grail, no matter if Junsu is too sharp or ill-fitted vocally, then SME owns the drama, so any and every way you can mix Suju or SHINee in a bottle and spit then out is the amount of times you hear them throughout 16 eps.
        Ugh! Sorry for the spiel.

  3. Yay, someone else watched Golden Time!
    Urgh, the writer. And to think how much I respected and admired her over these two years and raved about how good she was — not groundbreaking but I love her approach and values.

    Yeah. Some freaking values, man! And my Lee Sung-min of all people.

    Unnichan, there’s just no escaping kpop. Thanks to Psy it’s everywhere. Literally ever.y.whereee. And yeah, it’s all one big fat production factory, you can’t tell them apart after a bit.
    But…Awww. Shinee. My beloved dubu! xoxoxox They’re irritating and repetitive now but back when they debuted they were a little bundle of magic. Also, best dancers in the kpop industry. Serious! No contesting. About 3 yrs ago me and a group of friends who all love/worship Rino Nakasone’s choreo, and y’know that thing about Asians and our agile bodies, we would dance together to Replay because of Rino’s choreography on the song and kind of ended up fangirling the band as noonas. That was the hardest dance to master, ever.

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