The Fangirl Lane


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Playlist Roulette ~ Breathe 한숨 [Lee Hi]

I was wondering when the Strictly Korean playlist would shuffle out a song from a female artist because really, I do have quite a few contained on this playlist. I am rather pleased that the first pull for the new year is a female artist. Of course, I was not expecting to be hit in the feels this early after the year we have had, but in many ways, it is the perfect way to begin; and that is, to simply have Lee Hi tell us to Breathe.

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Playlist Roulette ~ So Bad.. [Victon]

The Strictly Korean playlist really dove deep this week and surfaced with a B-side from Victon’s second mini album, Ready, which was released four months after the group’s November 2016 debut. So Bad.. is a jazzy pop number that opens with a rap verse and eventually settles into a playful groove fortified by solid vocals and some pretty impressive ad libs by rapper/vocalist, Seungwoo.

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Playlist Roulette ~ Retro Future [Triple H]

Here’s a K-pop quiz for you: Name a collaboration or subunit, past or present, that has the level of sexy, sparky,  and steamy chemistry as Triple H’s Hyuna, Hui and Dawn (formerly e’Dawn). I could not decide on just one adjective so I had to use them all. This week, the Strictly Korean playlist shuffled out the trio’s funkadelic old school track, Retro Future, from their second EP release, Retro Futurism, and I was immediately transported back to the early days of hip hop.

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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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[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 ~ 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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