The Fangirl Lane


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On My Playlist ~ A Song For Me (문제아) [Hong Joochan]

Ugh. The last thing I wanted to happen was to find myself falling into smitten kitten land over yet another artist, but sometimes these situations are unavoidable. It seems someone made a lasting impression on me and it took me all of about a minute to discover that Golden Child main vocalist Hong Joochan had some solo work floating in the K-pop ether waiting for me to collide head and heart into. Fresh from my GolCha Playlist Roulette rant over Without YouI’m back to take an introspective trip with Joochan via his solo digital single, A Song For Me.

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On My Playlist ~ Don⁷t Call Me [SHINee]

On November 15, 2020, SHINee’s tall, lean Marine machine, Minho, was discharged from the military. He was the third member of the group to complete his mandatory service that year; so, in my simple mind that equated to one very important thing: a potential SHINee comeback. Admittedly, as a baby Shawol, this is what I have been eagerly anticipating. The only question, when would it happen? Well, with Minho just barely out of requisite camouflage, the group pulled it off in a matter of three months. And not only that, they managed to release a full album, their seventh. On February 22nd, Don⁷t Call Me dropped with the explosive title track of the same name. Were any of us really ready?

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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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On My Playlist ~ Encore [GOT7]

Ok, this has to be one of the greatest bait and switch moments recorded in K-pop history. For the K-pop stans out there, can you name any group that fulfills their contractual duty, decides against re-signing with the agency that debuted them, leaves said agency retaining their name, trademarks and the like, begins pursuing individual career opportunities, even signing individual contracts with various agencies; BUT THEN in a month’s time, releases a single complete with MV? If you answered GOT7, you win! The prize? A beautifully Jinyoung-penned declaration to Ahgase worldwide that the next chapter is indeed the group’s Encore. That is, that they are not (nor will they be) leaving the stage, or each other.

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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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Playlist Roulette ~ Cry [MBLAQ]

I am going to need a moment. Maybe even several. I do not believe in coincidences; therefore, I am not going to say that it is coincidental that over the past week I have been musing over the fact that in addition to exploring newer groups as of late, many of those newer groups have been in fact older generation groups/artists that were new to me. Examples would include SHINee, Highlight (Beast), and B.A.P, to name a few. However, one of the older gen groups that has been a mainstay and significant part of my own personal K-pop journey has been MBLAQ. So as I mused, MBLAQ also crossed my mind and in true serendipitous fashion, Boom . . . the Strictly Korean playlist shuffled out as this week’s Playlist Roulette offering which is perhaps one of MBLAQ’s most iconic songs ever, Cry. I am somewhat overwhelmed and equally thrilled.

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Playlist Roulette ~ Miracle [GOT7]

Oh my . . . how oddly fortuitous this pull while at the same time quite sentimental and timely given the recent turn of events regarding my beloved GOT7. If you are at all familiar with the extensive discography GOT7 has built over these past seven years, you can easily understand and surmise that the Strictly Korean playlist could have shuffled out any one of so many possible tracks (G7’s entire discography minus their Japanese albums is contained on that list) and yet it conspired with the K-pop gods to give me the gentle and very meaningful ballad, Miracle, the title track from the group’s repackaged third full studio album, Present: You> & Me. Sigh . . .

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On My Playlist ~ What I Said [Victon]

Letting Victon marinate in all of their underrated talent and finesse was bound to result in an explosive comeback worth waiting for. Releasing their first full length album, Voice: The future is now a mere eleven days into the new year was, in my opinion, strategic and smart. Even though their adoring Alice (the fandom) were expecting a comeback this past December, I think it far better they ushered in a fresh new year with fresh new music, and lots of it. And forget about starting slow and easy. Nope, not with Victon. The title track, What I Said, is a powder keg of sound complete with silky vocals, rapid fire rap (is Hanse even human?), and a whole lot of swag.

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