Music is to kdramas what nuggets of chocolate are to chocolate chip cookies. Imagine My Lovely Samsoon without Clazziquai's "She Is" or Secret Garden without Baek Ji Young's "That Woman." It would be like biting into a batch of bland cookie mix, without the flavor or extra bit of goodness that makes it distinctive and memorable.
Today, Let's Talk Kdramadives into the world of kdrama soundtracks. Recent musical kdramas like Dream High and Heartstrings have got us thinking: which kdramas have given us the best songs? Or to put it another way: which kdrama songs have made great scenes even greater? We're not talking about sappy and generic piano music here. We're talking about music so spot-on that whenever it plays, we know what we are supposed to feel, and whether it's happy or sad, we welcome the feeling.
Without further ado, here are the Top 5 Kdrama Sountracks. The following list may or may not include your favorites. If it doesn't, as always, comment below!
5. My Lovely Samsoon, "She Is"
My Lovely Samsoon is a departure from the typical kdrama in that it features a female lead whose appearance and personality defy the prototypical obedient, well-behaved damsel in distress. Kim Sam Soon is a thirty-something, outspoken, single woman. Like the drama, Clazziquai's "She Is" also offers something new. It is a refreshing and jazzy piece -- not the saccharine and cutesy music that usually plays in kdrama rom-coms. The song does justice to the sophistication of this daring and unconventional drama.
4. Star In My Heart, "Forever"
By now, many of you may be jaded with the rich boy - poor girl set-up, but the first drama to perfect this cliche was the 90s hit Star in My Heart, the story of a man who defies his wealthy upbringing to pursue a career as a singer. Despite the disapproval of almost everyone around him, he falls in love with a poor, but talented young fashion designer.
The final scene is what kdrama legends are made of: leading man Kang Min Hee is at a concert with thousands of adoring fans. Amidst the crowd is his one true love, Yee Yun Hee. He walks towards her singing "Forever", victoriously and defiantly declaring his love for her. Cue swooning.
"Forever" was so popular that it launched actor Ahn Jae Wook's singing career.
3. Jewel in the Palace, "Onara"
Jewel in the Palace is one of the most inspirational kdramas out there. Though its genre is historical, this is a timeless story of a hard-working girl who goes after her dreams. "Onara" plays during moments when the heroine Jang Geum is elated or inspired. The song overflows with good energy, as if it's cheering on Jang Geum and the viewer.
2. Greatest Love, "Thump Thump"
We get it. "Thump Thump" is supposed to be a bad song sung by a cheesy 90s kpop girl group. But the irony is so pitch-perfect. We especially love its power over Dokko Jin's heart -- it literally Thump Thumps whenever he hears it. And for that, it lands our number two spot.
1. Secret Garden, "That Man"
How can we forget the scene? Joo Woon drives off into the rain in order to bring his beloved Ra Im back to life. The moment is heartbreaking, haunting, and genius for several reasons: the cinematography is beautiful, Hyun Bin's acting is heartfelt, but ultimately, it is Joo Won's voice singing "That Man" that makes this moment immortal.
And that concludes this week's Kdrama Talk. More talk next time. Until then, keep watching on DramaFever!