The Fangirl Lane


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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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Playlist Roulette ~ 안녕히 계시죠 [Wheesung]

Well it seems like the Strictly Korean playlist has its algorithmic mind set on solo artists for the time being shuffling out a B-side from singer Wheesung’s fifth studio album, eternal essence of music. 안녕히 계시죠 is a rhythmic, soulful groove that reminds me of those R&B ballads of the 60’s, and is a nice and gentle way to ease into a new week.

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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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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 ~ 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 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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