The Fangirl Lane


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On My Playlist ~ IYAH [Kang Seung Yoon]

After what seems to have been an eternity (because basically, it was), Winner’s leader Kang Seung Yoon released his first full solo album, Page and with it the nostalgic and heartfelt title track, IYAH. I am reeling in the wonder of it all. Thrilled, proud and excited, I am also incredibly moved by the thoughtful and honest way in which Yoon sings about his journey as an artist not only through the title track, but with every song (all written by him) on this long-awaited opus. Both his solo release and my thoughts about it are long overdue.

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On My Playlist ~ Do or Not [Pentagon]

The beauty of being part of Pentagon’s Universe is knowing that nothing  (and I mean, NOTHING) gets in the way of them releasing consistently good music, especially in the wake of hiatuses. In fact, I am not sure Pentagon even allows the word hiatus into their vocabulary. I suppose therein lies the beauty of a group with many members as, even when one or two are away, the music keeps coming. And let me point out that neither quantity, and more importantly, quality, are ever sacrificed in the wake of it. On March 15th, Pentagon dropped their 11th (yes…11th) mini album, Love or Take, with the effervescent and cheeky title track, Do or Not. And let me tell you, effervescent and cheeky is exactly what I need right now.

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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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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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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 ~ 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 ~ Wish You Were Here [SuperM]

I generally follow the rules when it comes to comebacks. That is, I jump all over the title tracks and want to shout their brilliance into the stratosphere. With SuperM’s latest release Super One which is their first full studio album since the group’s inception last year, I feel more compelled to talk about a B-side which happens to be my personal favorite on the album, Wish You Were Here.

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On My Playlist ~ Nemo [Taemin]

Truth be told, every song on Taemin’s Act One: Never Gonna Dance Again is in shuffle mode looping endlessly as I pass these quarantine days in this current work from home environment. It has been my constant companion since its September 7th release. At this point, I should simply succumb to the desire to gush over every track and am considering it because as far as I’m concerned, each deserves its moment in the spotlight. However for now, I choose to honor Nemo because in a recent commentary, Taemin intimated that it is his favorite track on the album.

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On My Playlist ~ Criminal [Taemin]

I do not throw the word ‘masterpiece’ around lightly, or even often. But I think SHINee fans, and specifically, Taemin stans, would agree that while Taemin repeatedly creates artistic masterpieces, he himself is one as well. Since 2 Kids, the pre-release from this third album, Never Gonna Dance Again, I have been entranced, enthralled and captivated by this brilliant young artist. The title track, Criminal, is a metaphoric masterpiece of being a willing victim of a criminal whose crime is an intense, painful yet magnificent love.

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