The Fangirl Lane


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On My Playlist ~ Breath and Last Piece [GOT7]

With so much new music coming out at once, I admit that I have been unable to keep up. In anticipation of GOT7’s November 30th album release, Breath of Love: Last Piece, the group whet appetites with a pre-release track, Breath, on November 23rd. It was then that it truly sunk in how long they had been away, and how much I have missed them. On November 30th, along with the album release, they dropped a second title track, Last Piece, and with that, were officially back. Yes, they have been away, but I easily place this comeback in the worth the wait column.

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On My Playlist ~ Mmmh [Kai]

Woah…woah…woah…WOAH! The new music just keeps coming. This time from EXO’s Kai. This is uncharted territory for me and let me be clear, this is more about Kai the soloist than it is about Kai the member of EXO. You may ask: how can she possibly separate one from the other? Yes, well I have to be 175% honest here. I have kept my distance from EXO for the most part because their fandom terrifies me. However, since warming to Kim Jongin’s best friend, Taemin, and exploring the wild and wonderful world of SuperM, I find myself slowly becoming familiar and more importantly, intrigued by the artist, Kai. As November 2020 came to an end, it was served up with the release of Kai’s first solo album, KAI (开), and with it, a new season began. The title track and introduction to this new release, Mmmh, is a pretty convincing invitation to experience not only the season of Kai but the reason why it is finally his time.

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On My Playlist ~ Be Your Enemy [Taemin]

One afternoon about two years ago, I walked into my meditation room (yeah, I am new-agey like that) and was overcome with an intense floral aroma. It kind of freaked me out because there were no fresh flowers in the room, nor was I burning incense or any candles. I immediately jumped online and called upon the university of Google to ask what the cause of this phenomenon could be. Was I having some kind of existential or out of body experience? Why were the aromatics so intense and so beautiful? One of the reasons the new age professors at Google offered was the presence of an angel or angels in the room. I was completely on board with that and surmised that was the reason. It was brief, intense and to date, has not happened again. But, I kind of have a similar experience when I listen to Taemin’s gentle pop songs and ballads. They offer a fragrance of their very own. Case in point: the winsome and angelic Be Your Enemy.

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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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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 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 Playlist ~ Paradise [TRCNG]

I never considered myself a person plagued by any kind of serious compulsive disorder but maybe I should rethink that when it comes to music. Heh. I admit that I often get fixated on an artist or group, or even genre when it comes to music. As a result, that fixation will keep me in a holding pattern where nothing else sneaks in for even a second. This can last for hours, days, weeks, even months. But then every so often, I move out of that compulsive mindset and just hit the shuffle button and let the music chips fall where they may. That happened this past weekend and I was pleasantly surprised when TRCNG’s Paradise shuffled its way out first.

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On My Playlist ~ From Home [NCT U]

If there was ever a need to feel the healing power of music, it is now. So even though I feel overwhelmed by NCT’s latest full album release Resonance Pt. 1, I know it is a project that is a pleasing gift no matter where on the NCT spectrum one falls as a fan. If you are not familiar, NCT (Neo Culture Technology) is a conglomerate of 23 members. Within that conglomerate are three set groups (NCT 127, NCT Dream, and WayV). Then, there is the experimental and rotational unit of NCT U. NCT U is not a set group within the conglomerate and can be comprised of as little as two members. Eight of the 13 tracks on Resonance Pt. 1 are NCT U tracks. That means various members were paired together for those individual songs. One of those individual songs is the gentle and healing From Home. Let me tell you why I find this one and its accompanying MV particularly beautiful and special.

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