The Fangirl Lane


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Playlist Roulette ~ Empty-Handed [H&D]

For someone who has never watched a single episode of any of the The Unit, Under Nineteen, or Produce 101 K-pop group survival programs, I certainly have a wealth of the shows’ alumni populating the Strictly Korean playlist. Late night Apple Music excavations are becoming a ritual fueled by findings such as this week’s Playlist Roulette pull, H&D’s Empty-Handed ~ yep, it’s a B-side from the duo’s first mini album, Soulmate. I think more people should be talking about these two. I’m ready to weigh in.

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Playlist Roulette ~ Raise Me Up [Lee Hongki]

I think at one time or another we have all felt that if we had that one single person in our lives who was always there, and who always had our backs unconditionally without judgment, that we could do or be anything we wanted. And because of that support and belief, we could make it through even the most arduous and difficult times because in essence, that person believed in us more than we did ourselves. Have you ever felt that or am I the only whimsical weepy one? Ha..maybe it’s just me. But, this is how I feel when I listen to this week’s Playlist Roulette pull, Lee Hongki’s Raise Me Up from the Korean drama Switch OST.

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Playlist Roulette ~ 내 눈에는 니가 (You In My Eyes) [Snuper]

I have to be honest, I am rather enjoying the buried deep in the Strictly Korean playlist pulls these days. Older releases from groups that have not debuted yesterday seems to be somewhat of a perfect fit for an awkward K-pop fan like myself. I may be awkward, but I like to think I have pretty good taste, especially when it deviates from the mainstream. This week, the Playlist Roulette pull decided on Snuper’s upbeat R&B groove, You In My Eyes, the title track from their October 2018 EP release, You In My Eyes (Snuper Special Edition).

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Playlist Roulette ~ Bandi & Luni’s [Ravi, Cold Bay, Xydo]

If you like Korean R&B as much as I do then it stands to reason you should (and maybe you already do) have Ravi and his gang over at Groovl1n on your radar. I know I am preaching to the Vixx choir, but for a newb like me who stumbled upon Ravi’s Groovl1n label by way of Xydo, I honestly was not too familiar with Ravi the artist. Of course, once Xydo landed in my realm it was only a matter of time Ravi and other Groovl1n family members found their way onto the Strictly Korean playlist and shuffled out a track to be spotlighted. I love that the Playlist Roulette pull this week is Bandi & Luni’s from Groovl1n trio, Ravi, Cold Bay and Xydo because it weds two of my favorite things: Korean R&B and books. Stay with me, I will explain.

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Playlist Roulette ~ Paranoia [Hong Eunki]

This week, the Strictly Korean playlist shuffled out the rather dramatic, dark and haunting B-side, Paranoia, from solo artist Hong Eunki’s first mini album, Undefinable:Love, and I am here for every glorious note of it. Like a mysterious doorway with a dangerous threshold calling to be crossed, Paranoia unwittingly lures with its theatrical undertones, nostalgic sound engineering, and Eunki’s striking and powerful vocals. Intriguing, to say the least.

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Playlist Roulette ~ Without You [Golden Child]

 

There are some days when I really consider hanging up my fangirl hat and becoming a food blogger or something completely removed from anything K-pop. But then when Sunday night rolls around I begin to feel an excited anticipation of what the Strictly Korean playlist will shuffle out and challenge me with in the new week. It is then that I realize I am not quite ready to quit K-pop, especially when it navigates me to a group, a song (or both) that I am unfamiliar with but ready to meet. Such is the case with this week’s pull, Golden Child’s EDM-infused Without You.

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Playlist Roulette ~ Universe [BLACK6IX]

After a rough week of just too much snow, Arctic temperatures and a should-have-been preventable back injury, I just wanted something light and feel good for this Playlist Roulette offering. When the Strictly Korean playlist digs deep, it digs deep. This week it shuffled out B-side, Universe, from Black6ix’s debut single album, Please, released way back in April 2017; and, it is every bit the refreshing uplifting balm needed to start a new (and hopefully better) week.

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Playlist Roulette ~ Tired [M.O.N.T]

When the Strictly Korean playlist shuffled out M.O.N.T this week my first thought was okay then, here we go into the K-pop hinterlands of underrated talent which, I might add, is one of my favorite places to go. I have been keeping my eyes (and ears) on M.O.N.T since becoming acquainted with them last year when I happened upon the upbeat, jazzy and playful, Rock Paper Scissors from their second mini album, Awesome Up! Tired was the second single release from that same album and is a scorching, Latin-infused dance track that feels very much the opposite of anything remotely tired.

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Playlist Roulette ~ Blue [Ha Sung Woon]

The Strictly Korean playlist is challenging me this week with an artist I am only somewhat familiar with but I have to say that I really like when it shuffles out an unfamiliar song from an unfamiliar artist. In many ways I feel quite lacking and stupid. On the other hand, I am completely excited and stoked when this happens. It has kind of been my hope (via the blog) to become not necessarily more knowledgeable about K-pop, but to have a more expansive mindset. To be more open to listening to a variety of groups/artists. Granted, I have a long way to go to fully expand, but my baby steps are enjoyable nonetheless. This week’s Playlist Roulette offering comes from Hotshot and former Wanna One member, Ha Sung Woon. From his second solo mini album, BXXX, Sung Woon has me feeling all kinds of Blue, and it’s a good thing.

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Playlist Roulette ~ Long Flight [Taeyong]

Journeys. Some feel that life in and of itself is one and sure, I can get on board with that. But break it down even further. Within this all-encompassing journey are probably some sub-journeys like education, career, love, and perhaps a more important one, the inner journey we take in discovering who we are and what our place is in the world. To me, all comprise the long flight we call life. This is what crossed my mind when musing on this week’s Playlist Roulette pull, NCT leader Taeyong’s digital single, Long Flight.

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