My Mainstream Playlist 05/03/2017

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Just as things have been slow in dramaland, the recent K-pop scene has left me a little indifferent. It was just with this past week that I finally got to the point where I could share a decent-sized playlist with you. That is not to say, though, that the following songs are subpar in any way. It's just it took me a while to get this post done, so most of the list might be very familiar to you. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy!

Day6 - "I Wait"

Day6's "I Wait" somehow didn't make it into the previous playlist, though I immediately loved this song when I heard it. Initially, I heard complaints that the group was going for a more boyband vibe with "I Wait", but I strongly disagree. In fact, I think this was a great follow-up to the band's previous releases and a wonderful mix of modern pop and rock. I love how the song starts off a bit slow and dreamy and then breaks into a powerful chorus. I can already say it's easily one of my favorite songs of the year.

Day6 - "I'm Serious"

For the second mention of Day6 in this playlist, I've gone with their April release "I'm Serious" (as part of Every Day6 Project, where the group releases songs almost every month). From mood to instrumentals, it's in a positive sense very different from "I Wait", giving off a wonderfully breezy and relaxed vibe. Since summer is slowly nearing, something fun and upbeat is exactly what I'm looking to listen to these days. 

BTS - "Spring Day"

What's my playlist without BTS? In February, the group returned with the album Wings re-release called You Never Walk Alone, which added a couple of new tracks. I had the pleasure of listening to "Spring Day" first and unsurprisingly I liked it. I enjoy Suga and Rapmon's soulful rap verses, which add some variety to the sweet, almost haunting voices of the rest of the members. It's a fine song with a touching message, carried within lovely lyrics and a beautiful music video.

BTS - "Not Today"

BTS' second main track "Not Today" from You Never Walk Alone took me a few listens before I got into it. I don't think it's necessarily the greatest thing from BTS that we've gotten, but damn if that pumped-up chorus doesn't get me every time. The whole song kinda makes me wanna do something physical, like punch something. The whole experience is pretty loud, but sometimes you just want something overpowering and blaring to get you going. 

Subin - "Circle's Dream"

Now on to something much calmer and relaxed. At the end of February, Subin of Dal Shabet came out with "Circle's Dream", which doesn't sound like something I'd usually go for, but I just found it instantly catchy. I very much enjoy Subin's vocals and how she talk-sings through the song. Despite being a fairly easy-going track, it's not boring in any way as her voice has a lot of a variety and tiny nuances.

CNBLUE - "Between Us"

Truth be told, it has been a while since I've enjoyed CNBLUE's Korean releases. For a while there, it looked like they'd lost their touch and gotten a bit bland, but with "Between Us" I've found new hope. It doesn't top some of their most popular earlier work, but it's a solid track with an addictive soft-rock chorus. There's energy in this song that hasn't been present in their recent releases and that I've missed dearly. Hopefully, this marks the point where the group gets back their mojo and starts making good music again.

K.A.R.D. - "Don't Recall"

Apparently, there are new kids on the block that have already separated itself from the rest of K-pop for being a co-ed group. While I'm not yet a fan, I'm finding their style quite unique in K-pop and hope this will have a positive effect on the whole scene. Their second pre-debut project single "Don't Recall" has an interesting reggae-ish sound, catchy chorus and enjoyable rap breaks. My only complaint is perhaps that the choreography seems a little awkward. I feel the moves should be more adjusted to the co-ed nature of the group, letting the members interact with each other more. But this hardly affects my enjoyment of the song.

K.A.R.D. - "Rumor"

Just a week ago, K.A.R.D. released their third project single "Rumor", which is last one before the group's official debut. The song bears some obvious resemblance to "Don't Recall", but it's a bit more contemplative, while still being quite influenced by reggaeton. When first listening the song, I was a bit turned off by the autotune in verses, but once the song progresses into rapping and chorus, I tend to forget about it and focus on the good parts. From what I've seen so far from K.A.R.D., they do have a chance to make a very memorable debut as they've already made a darn good impression on me.

SALTNPAPER - "Satellite" (Chicago Typewriter OST)

SALTNPAPER is an indie band that I've recently been made aware of through several drama OSTs. I'm not yet familiar with the band itself, but their song "Satellite" from Chicago Typewriter's OST has been playing in my head for a couple of days now. What's interesting is that the lyrics are entirely in English (apparently balancing of Korean and English is something of a trademark of the band). The song itself starts out soft and dreamy, but for a moment progresses into a stronger rock sound in the middle and then ending on a quieter tone once again. Having watched the drama, I think "Satellite" fits perfectly with its tone and feel.

B.A.P. - "Wake Me Up"

It makes me SO happy that B.A.P. hasn't let their legal battles get them down and have returned with another great track. This time Yong Guk returns, which makes me even happier since that just shows they're not giving up yet, even if the group hasn't yet overcome mediocre chart performance. "Wake Me Up" makes good use of each of the member's vocal strengths, while the addictive repetition of wake me up ties the song together. It's also quite nice that the song and video addresses mental health issues, which Yong Guk himself battled with during his hiatus.

Brave Girls - "Rollin"

Tropical house influences seems to be what attracts me to nugu girl groups these days. In last playlist, it was Berry Good's "Don't Believe" and this time it's Brave Girls and their surpising comeback with "Rollin". While I say nugu, I'm actually already familiar with Brave Girls, whom I remember debuting back in 2011. Since then the group has gone through some member changes, though I could not tell that myself. In any case, I'm glad they returned with this catchy-as-heck song as girl groups are seriously underrepresented in the charts lately.

Girl's Day - "I'll Be Yours"

Girl's Day and MAMAMOO have never sounded alike to me, but this recent comeback track from Girl's Day has a very surprising resemblance to MAMAMOO's sexy, confident and vocally impressive musical style. Last time I was this pumped to hear Girl's Day was back in, what, 2010? When they came out with "Nothing Lasts Forever"? Man, that's...something (no pun intended). Anywhoo, "I'll Be Yours" is a fantastic song that gives us a glimpse of what this group can be with some effort put into it.

Hyukoh - "Leather Jacket"

To end off this post, we've finally come to something a bit less mainstream. Hyukoh's "Leather Jacket" is, I'd say, the most upbeat song in this playlist, even though the lyrics and music video suggest a much darker, edgier theme. The concept is very devil-may-care and rebellious, which is especially evident in the video that follows along lost and troublesome teen delinquents. The song and video also have a distinct oldschool sound, which only adds to the funky vibe Hyukoh's going for here. 

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