Songs with a [♥] are my preference/a personal favorite
K-pop songs that feature the classic sound of an acoustic guitar.
1. Taeyeon - 11:11
'11:11' is suited for your inner contemporary musician. It has a simplistic acoustic composition: there's a constant strum of a guitar and soft notes of a piano. Unlike the typical pop song, '11:11' is stripped of all audio bells and whistles, but perhaps it's too bare? Taeyeon's vocals and the melody are rather stagnant and never reach a significant intensity. With that said, there are two sides of a coin: some people may find this song boring where others may find it to be relaxing!
Review: Song - 3/5 MV - 4/5
2. Blackpink - Stay
With 'Stay', Blackpink has added dimension to their discography. It's not too often that you see a rookie group take such a big musical risk. 'Stay' is a folksy pop-ballad, with rap verses from Jennie and Lisa packed inside. It gives me a campfire song feeling, perhaps because it's somewhat cheesy and a fun sing-along. I can see that it was intended to be a double-edged sword of uniqueness and trendiness, but didn't quite amount as apparent by the relatively low sales compared to Blackpink's other releases.
Review: Song - 2.5/5 MV - 3/5
3. Winner - Color Ring
The term 'color ring' refers to how the phone keeps ringing because their ex isn't answering. "The melody flowing out of the phone is sweet but why does it sound painful to my ears." I noticed that Winner are able to portray very strong emotions without a strong sound. The lyrics and the overall vibe is very expressive despite the low, subtle melody.
Review: Song - 3/5 MV - 2.5/5
4. HA:TFELT - Peter Pan
Hatfelt's, or Yenny from the Wonder Girls, song 'Peter Pan' narrates the classic story. The tune is ambiguous in that it could be interpreted as either happy or sad. Happy, as it's a cheerful anthem of wanderlust: Wendy wants to escape with Peter Pan and be young forever. Sad, because it all is a hopeless fantasy.
Review: Song - 2.5/5
5. Big Bang - If You
It has been said the this out of their 10-year career, 'If You' is the saddest song Big Bang has released. In fact, they purposely didn't release a music video for it so people can completely focus on the music and lyrics. I do agree that this a very (beautiful) heartbreaking song. Instead of a serenade to draw someone closer, it's a serenade to painfully let go.
Review: Song - 5/5
6. Chanyeol & Chen (EXO) - If We Love Again
These two members from the boy group EXO sing about not wanting the make the same mistakes in love again. Apparently, loving someone too deeply or making too many promises can bring pain, Chanyeol, who is a rapper, proves his ability as a vocalist. His deep voice contrast with Chen's higher, smoother voice and makes the song a nice listen.
Review: Song - 3.5/5
7. 2NE1 - Lonely
Around the time 'Lonely' was released, 2NE1 was in the habit of releasing music with a very processed sound. So, fans were taken aback with this bare and basic acoustic number. It has no auto-tune, no bass, and not even a rap verse from CL. However, 'Lonely' proves that less is sometimes more: it's one of the group's most haunting songs and is a long-time favorite of mine.
Review: Song - 5/5 MV - 3/5
8. Twice - One In A Million
Unlike their popular songs Cheer Up and TT, 'One In Million' is a mid-tempo, mellow song. It relies on its sweet melody, rather than a catchy chorus. The meaning is rather uplifting: Twice make sure that you know you're one in a million!
Review: Song - 4.5/5
9. Solji (EXID) - 3%
The probability of Solji dating her boyfriend again is very slim, 3% to be exact. I think it's very suitalbe as an OST for a K-drama. It's very emotional and expresses the pain you feel when someone betrays you. "You are like a different person The person I knew, the person who used to hug me..."
Review: Song - 2/5
10. Eric Nam X Jeon Somi - You, Who?
In the past couple years Eric Nam has did duets with a variety of female singers including Red Velvet's Wendy and Park Jimin of 15&. It's always nice to see how his voice will complement and be complemented by that of others'. This time he collaborated with Jeon Somi, and though their voices don't quite match each other like I hoped, the music video is so cute!
Review: Song - 2.5/5 MV - 4/5