The Fangirl Lane


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On My Playlist ~ NaNaNa [Imfact]

I am so yesterday when it comes to K-pop. In fact, I am more like yesteryear. Hopefully that misfit quality is endearing, and this habit of stumbling across music that is not a product of one of the big three agencies, nor current, is not as uncool as I am apt to sometimes believe. Hehe. Anyway, when a song and I unexpectedly cross paths, I like to think it is fate. Maybe we run into each other at a moment when some emotional rescue is needed; when my drained psyche needs reconstituting or, at the very least, a dance break. Imfact’s NaNaNa with its retro EDM vibe, sweet vocals, and catchy chorus is fresh, fun and very dance break worthy.

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Playlist Roulette ~ For [June]

Did you know that PLT soloist and collaborator, June, was once signed to Big Hit Entertainment and trained with BTS? True story. In fact, he is credited with writing and producing their songs Lost, Awake, and Not Today. Additionally, he has written and produced music for other groups/artists, including Suran and IU. If you are not familiar with PLT, it is a collaborative R&B/hip hop project (not group) of soloists under Planetarium Records. The Strictly Korean playlist decided this is how the new series would begin and I have to say, it has quite a sense of humor. It shuffled out the track For off of June’s first album, Today’s, a song he sings in English.🤷🏻‍♀️

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[New Series] Playlist Roulette

I confess that I have far too many playlists occupying my iTunes/Apple Music account, the most robust of which I have entitled Strictly Korean. At 2413 songs (139 hours of listening time), and growing, it would be impossible for me to listen to every song on that playlist over the course of probably several lifetimes. But I think I found a way of giving it more listening love, and that is through tying it into a weekly blog series called Playlist Roulette.

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On My Playlist ~ Think of You (안아줄래) [Taemin]

While it is easy to focus on all that went awry and continues to be wrong with 2020, I choose instead to focus on the one thing that single-handedly has saved this difficult year for me: Lee Taemin. Even though the world was pretty much in complete ruin when I woke up to his art and music in August, I think I happened upon Taemin at just the right time. I showed up on the verge of him releasing not one, but three albums (if you count his involvement with SuperM, and I do) which ended up being remedies I never knew I needed. That is, loneliness and isolation in need of comfort, and troubling times in need of a hero. Yes, in many ways, Taemin landed in my realm at the right time; and by way of music, art and his indelible smile, rescued 2020.

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On My Playlist ~ IDEA:理想 [Taemin]

At precisely 3AM (6PM KST) on Monday, November 9th, I woke up from a deep sleep, my inner alarm clock sounding its bell alerting me to the fact that Taemin released the second part of his third album, Never Gonna Dance Again: Act Two and with it, the MV for the title track, IDEA. I had planned to rise early to watch a 6AM (9PM KST) V-Live broadcast with Taemin in connection with that new release. However, it seems my fangirl-mired subconscious felt it a duty to disregard my normal circadian rhythms; and although I was awake to experience the album/song release real time, I cannot say I was necessarily ready. In fact, I wasn’t.

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On My Playlist ~ Salute [AB6IX]

I am sure I am not the only one out there who was a little bit shaken out of my comfort zone when AB6IX began dropping teasers for their latest release, Salute. I mean . . . I felt the impending, ‘this is going to hit harder’ vibe immediately. And as this is the group’s first real official comeback as a quartet, it felt very new, and a definite departure from the Vivid era. Anyway, I suppose welcoming a new month with new music coupled with some grown up and sophisticated visuals is not a bad idea. Oh, and that premonition about this comeback hitting harder than the previous one . . . pretty spot on.

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On My Screen ~ Flame of Love Dance Ver. [Taemin]

During promotions for his second studio album, Move, Taemin said that he chose the title track of the same name because he felt it represented his true identity. Eschewing gender stereotypes often delineated in K-pop dances where the men dance with great physical and aggressive power, and the women more soft and whimsical, Taemin stated in an October 2017 Billboard article:

My aim was to find a middle ground, mixing both masculine and feminine movements into the choreography together. My body shape is like that of a dancer’s, it’s not too masculine or overly muscular and I wanted to take advantage of that. I thought I could show the soft lines like the dance movements of a ballet dancer by adding subtlety to my choreography. I wanted to break the idea of what male performers are supposed to show, what performances girl groups are supposed to show. I really wanted to break those labels, showing that dance is a form of art.

Indeed, Taemin was already on that path three months prior with the release of his second Japanese EP, Flame of Love, wherein he regaled fans with an ethereal dance version of the EP’s title track of the same name.

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On My Playlist ~ Daisy [Pentagon]

The year 2020 is going to be remembered for many things, a lot of which is not so good. But on the K-pop front in way of new music and comebacks . . . there is where I have found a silver lining. With so many comebacks all happening pretty much simultaneously, it’s hard for a mature (translation: old) fangirl to keep up. Pentagon was one of many that came back in the month of October and in my opinion really stood out with the title track Daisy from their tenth extended play album WE:TH.

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On My Screen ~ Love [Taemin]

The beauty of being a baby fan is that every song, MV and performance feel new even when they are several years old. Right now, everything also feels like a prologue as I await the release of Taemin’s Never Gonna Dance Again: Part Two. In this post I am going to fawn over B-side, Love, from Taemin’s second studio album, Move.

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On My Screen ~ Black Rose Eye Contact Cam Version [Taemin]

In anticipation of the release of Taemin’s next album, Never Gonna Dance Again: Part Two, I find I am unable to curb my enthusiasm while I wait. The album will be released on November 9th, and although that is rapidly approaching, it is going to seem like 15 years. Ok, I am exaggerating of course, but I can’t help it, I am excited. To help move time a little quicker as I wait for teasers, the MV and ultimate album release, I am going to appreciate some of Taemin’s past performance videos. Because, why not? Lately, Black Rose from Never Gonna Dance Again: Part One has been demanding my attention, so I will start there.

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