Beanie level: Eunuch in drag

Junho, is it true? Are you finally back?!

Beanies, in case you were looking for a way to celebrate, learn from my mistake and do not watch Homme Fatale. It was awful. Truly. But it’s okay, Junho. You’re back!

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Seungyoun, you’ve done it again. *grooves*

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I finally got around to completing 18 Again not too long ago, and I just couldn’t let this drama go without giving it some well-deserved praise on my wall. My gosh, Lee Do Hyun. What a great performance. The twenty-something year old actor nailed every emotional beat from a teenager struggling with newborn twins to the middle-aged father protecting and befriending his children while they are in high school. Not to mention those sweet scenes in between watching his children grow up – both full of joy and some heartbreak. Add a little romance in the mix and color me totally impressed.

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    He did better than zac efron honestly.
    Well, to be fair, LDH got more airtime (18ish hour in total) to developed his character compared to zac’s 1.5ish hour movie.

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    I started this one on Friday and I’m on episode 7 right now. I’m so impressed with LDH. I liked him so much in Sweet Home and he’s just proving now what a great actor he is. He nails the ahjussi teenager.

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Kale (@christina41218) and I have adventured back into the magical land that is Boys Over Flowers. Among many questionable outfits, I simply could not let this one go. I think I will call it The Burger Dress. Comes with lettuce, tomato, and cheese for you to fully enjoy! Yum!

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I have been following Lost in Translation since before it became an official Webtoon and have been able to watch how its creator, jjolee, has been able to grow a really amazing fandom surrounding her fictional Kpop group, Mayhem. Beanies, please check out the MV she made for Mayhem – it’s really wonderful and the song is great! Bonus for Day6 fans out there – Jae sings as one of the characters in the MV!

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Fini’s Third (Pretty Much) Annual Kpop Top 20 for 2020

I have an unwritten rule for myself to include only one song off of albums, but I tend to break my own rules in descriptions sometimes. I’m also really bad at ranking, so these really don’t have a particular order!

With that being said, what songs did you love this year, Beanies??

20. Forbidden Island – Ha Sungwoon | Mirage
I was a little late to the party with Wanna One, but Ha Sungwoon has since released several memorable title tracks, with Forbidden Island delivering a dreamlike slow build up to a funky, high-energy chorus that makes for an addictive listen.

19. Star/Voice – Loona | 12:00
A simple but endlessly enjoyable listen with its light and floaty atmosphere. Confession: it took me several plays to realize I could actually sing along to the entirety of Star.

18. O2 -Suho | Self-Portrait
Suho’s voice is like sitting by a warm fire under a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate. Cozy, a little melancholy, beautiful.

17. Ghost – Baekhyun | Delight
Instant favorite from this album. Super catchy beat that you can’t help but groove to. Paired with Baekhyun’s smooth vocals – perfection. WHERE ARE MY LIVES?

16. Bbusyeo – ONEUS | Single
This was exactly the kind of song I needed right now. Fun, upbeat, colorful, and quirky. Reminiscent of the days of Got7’s Just Right and Seventeen’s Clap, I always welcome these bright, laid back songs into the mix.

15. Ghosting – Tomorrow x Together | Blue Hour
TXT has embraced a dreamlike quality for many of their songs, and Ghosting wonderfully encompasses this airy, almost magical atmosphere. Here’s hoping this becomes something of a trademark sound for TXT.

14. Wish You Were Here – SuperM | Super One
SuperM, I chuckled at you with jumpin’ and poppin’ and then again with “we go hundred”, but the joke is on me. Super One is admittedly a solid album, with this track coming as a bit of a surprise. This song turns down the bombast for a chill, relaxing listen that lets the vocals shine through.

13. End of Spring – ONEWE| One
ONEWE’s vocalist has been one of my favorites this year. Combined with a super high-energy party rock anthem – I’m in love and jamming along.

12. Spring Breeze – SF9 | 9loryUS
Apparently, this was the year for cowboys and western inspired kpop songs. And you know what? I’m into it. Spring Breeze doesn’t take itself too seriously and just offers a fun ride along the way. Giddy up giddy up giddy up.

11. Zombie – Day6| The Demon
As much as I enjoyed all of The Demon album, I had to stick with the title track as my top choice. A bit under tempo, somewhat instrumentally depressing, and lyrically relatable – Zombie is THE mood song for 2020. You always get me, Day6.

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    Ahhh I love Zombie! But I gotta say, my fave in the album is Afraid.

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      My favorite on their album was by far ‘Love me or Leave me’. It was 3rd most listened to song of last year.

      I actually went back yesterday and listened to some of their songs and finally dowloaded ‘Afraid’. Weird how it takes some time for a song to grow on you.

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        That’s true. Sometimes, it depends on your mood. Some songs I didn’t like before become faves later on when I listen to them again. Kind of like dramas.

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        Loving all this Day6 love!

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      Another good one for sure!

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    You have some of my faves too! I looooooove Ghost by Baekhyun. It’s on repeat so often. And Star/Voice is awesome!

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      Yes! I liked Candy as well, but Ghost just caught my attention right away! So good!

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    For sure, Zombie. There are others, but I would have to look up names. And I gots no time for that. 🤣

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      Oh, lee hi, Lonely. That’s the title right?

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      Bahaha, I feel you. I was almost not motivated to make my list this year, but it is fun to go back and see later what all I liked at the time and what I’ll have forgotten about by next year. Pft. 🤣

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Fini’s Third (Pretty Much) Annual Kpop Top 20 for 2020: A Continuation

10. Love Me Harder – Woodz | Equal
With UNIQ inactive and X1 disbanded prematurely, Cho Seungyoun was out to prove that this was still going to be his year. Love Me Harder has an insanely catchy whistle hook, strong vocals, fun choreography with a sexy twist, and an incredibly charismatic MV.

9. Go Away Go Away – Punch and Chanyeol | Romantic Dr. Teacher Kim 2
I didn’t even watch this drama, but I adore a good duet. Beautiful harmonization, melodic guitar, clear vocals, and soft rap make for a wonderfully peaceful listen.

8. Criminal – Taemin | Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 1
“Destroy me more.” You did, Taemin. No other words are necessary for this song. Brilliant.

7. Bump Bump – Woodz | WHOOPS!
Woodz delivers a nostalgic punk rock vibe with just the right amount of upbeat quirkiness. Playful and just downright fun, Bump Bump has a captivating key change that keeps the song fresh until the very end.

6. Goblin (Favorite Boys) – A.C.E. | HJZM : The Butterfly Phantasy
I was confused upon first hearing this song. It seemed to throw a lot at me all at once. But the more I heard it and digested it, the more I grew to love it. The song spotlights great moments for A.C.E’s rappers, has a high-energy chorus, and sports some top notch choreography.

5. Open Mind – Wonho | Love Synonym Pt.1: Right for Me
A super solid solo debut that makes me excited to hear more from Wonho. All muscles aside, Open Mind has a great funky groove that’s both smooth and sensual. Refined and elegant choreography bring the entire song up a notch.

4. Dolphin – Oh My Girl | Nonstop
This song is SO charming and will get stuck in your head like nothing else. I’ve been “da da da-ing” for days with no signs of stopping. Simple hook, but incredibly effective.

3. YooA – Bon Voyage | Bon Voyage
A late addition to this list, but I heard it once and instantly added it. This song is a breath of fresh air in which minimalism and nature meet fantasy and vibrancy to create a unique Disney-esque vibe in the world of kpop.

2. Hwasa – LMM | Maria
Such a stunning piece. Hwasa has incredible control and range as she effortlessly traverses both a light falsetto and power vocals in just the right places for an emotionally packed track.

1. Kai – Nothing On Me | KAI
This album is flawless. Pick any track – they are all masterpieces. Kai’s growth as an artist is tremendously evident and the care he put into cultivating each track is palpable. Nothing On Me’s dark synth instrumental is both hypnotizing and sexy with Kai’s vocals finally getting their chance to shine.

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Also, I cannot be expected to move on from Brahms without having these dimples grace my wall.

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Breaking my fan wall silence to sing my praises and have a final gush about Brahms. Brahms is such a unique drama in that it seems at the outset to be an inspirational piece about fulfilling one’s dreams and ambitions. That is…until you realize with each passing episode that that is the opposite of what this show set out to tell. Brahms conveyed what other dramas may shy away from: the inability to reach all of your dreams and the possibility of having to move away from something you love. As depressing as that sounds on paper, Brahms really was able to leave both its characters and us viewers in a place of hope (and a whole lot of love for our OTP).

The main leads of Brahms are going down as two of my favorite drama characters of all time. Joon-young and Song-ah are the introverted, sweet, and caring OTP that I didn’t know I was missing in dramaland until they appeared. Joon-young and his swoopy hair had me swooning from the first episode. I adored his consideration for Song-ah and his instant desire to have a connection with her – even just to be friends. The pure comfort in their relationship was just wonderfully palpable. (No bickering stage at all. Thank you, Brahms!) His arc from performing piano as if he was bound by chains to finding joy in playing the music he wanted to was lovely to see.

And Song-ah. Song-ah was such a relatable character to me. Not a brash or spunky FL, but a quiet and reserved one. And still, Brahms was able to give these two leads such spark and chemistry every time they were on screen together – in their smallest interactions and in their moments of stillness. Maybe Song-ah was frustrating to some as she did bottle up her emotions, but she was also communicative in the moments that mattered and determined where it counted. When she realized she was hurting herself, she stepped back and re-evaluated. Although it was heartbreaking to watch as her dream slipped from her fingers, it was also encouraging to see her take what she had learned and embrace a new path. And it doesn’t hurt that that happened to come with a hot world class pianist boyfriend at all, does it?

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    Beautiful take on DYLB 🥰

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      Thank you! ☺️ I just had to write something for this lovely show! 💕

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        Right? And I won’t get tired reading all of them too! Haha! Show has a great narrative to think about and ponder on 🥰

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Happy Birthday to the lovely @jaelegant! I think we can all enjoy a little Shinee spam to celebrate on your day!

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I don\’t typically swoon over grabbing food from the mouth kisses, but uh, this one got me.

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    BTS is cuter..

    they are playign their real life characters..

    When he did this.. she is stunned right.. in BTS..she is stunned but then asks him, why he had to take the whole pastry, she couldn’t taste enough 😛 .. it is funny because he was being cool about his semi adlib scene..and then her question was clearly not what he expected or how he expected her to react

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      In an interview they did she said she was so shocked because she wasn’t expecting him to basically kiss her in the scene. She said it wasn’t a kiss scene but he was like “yes it was! I can show you my script!” 🤣

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      That was too funny and cute! I mean, how dare he take the whole thing! Haha 🤣

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    This scene was super sexy. I wouldn’t mind sharing my cake with him 🤭

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    What series is this from?

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Incoming long post that turned into an essay about my recently finished drama: Goodbye My Princess. My relationship with this drama was complicated. It was both beautiful and frustrating – gorgeously shot and acted, but also full of hopelessness. As a fan of romance dramas, it became increasingly clear throughout the show that I had to put aside my inherent want of a happy OTP – or really any OTP at all. I went into Goodbye My Princess knowing that it was a tragedy, but not really knowing WHY it was one.

The ML of Goodbye My Princess, Chengyin, is a conundrum. He begins the show aware that he is a pawn in the play that is palace politics, but nevertheless remains happy, satisfied with his position as the 5th prince, and has a good relationship with his older brother, the Crown Prince. Of course, all that changes when his brother is killed and he learns The Secrets of His Past that throw him into the middle of these power plays and seed his thirst for revenge. Typically with such a setup, I would expect to root for our ML as he breaks free of his life as a pawn and, of course, finds love along the way. However, that is simply not the story Goodbye My Princess was going to tell. Instead, the show gives us his simultaneously climb up the imperial ladder along with the utter destruction of both his own and our charming FL’s happiness.

In the first arc of the drama, Chengyin believes he can have it all. He has fallen in love with the FL Xiaofeng, yet seeks to destroy her family as they had destroyed his in the past. He manipulates Xiaofeng, and his betrayal ultimately leads to the death of her mother and grandfather – throwing the two literally into the River of Oblivion (i.e. yes, amnesia) to erase the pain of their love. With the memories gone, it is to their misfortune that they will meet again and marry one another as the new Crown Prince and Princess Consort. We see that Chengyin falls once again for the princess, and yet he is forced to treat her with coldness in order to prevent her from becoming involved in the ever scheming palace that is a constant threat to both of their lives. And here is where we start to see the true downfall of the Crown Prince at his own hands. He is horrible to Xiaofeng. Of course we see that all his actions have a reason, but he cannot quite be forgiven (props to the actor for making us almost want to though). We start to see that we shouldn’t be wanting these two together. We see Chengyin struggle with what he must do, but then we see how even his good intentions ultimately harm Xiaofeng. Ironically, she is no damsel but rather smart, strong, and capable. Had Xiaofeng not been kept in the dark and the two worked together, there may have been a happy ending.

Now it wouldn’t be a drama if the FL didn’t fall in love with the ML in return due to some small moments of affection and a lingering sense of their past, and Xiaofeng is actually able to forgive Chengyin for killing her family as she understands it was a military move between two warring states. However, when Xiaofeng regains her memories, what was once forgiven can no longer be so, for what truly hurt her was that Chengyin did all these things KNOWING it would cause her immense pain and went through with it anyway. Now it’s her turn to treat him with coldness, and we see now that Chengyin can no longer truly distinguish between his cold play-acting for her safety and being downright cruel to her. Chengyin’s actions eventually go beyond the point of no return, and even when it is finally, finally safe to admit his love openly to Xiaofeng, she can no longer accept him. And here’s the thing: SHE SHOULDN’T. In true tragedy form, we end in death, but not for our ML. His tragedy may just be worse. He has gained all the power he could ever want, but he is left to live his years in emptiness. An emptiness entirely of his own doing.

tl;dr – Did I enjoy GMP? Yes. Was it an easy watch? No. I really need the two leads to do a happy romance together, because despite it all, they had amazing chemistry (I just need to be able to root for them, okay?)

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Love, love, love. Why’d you have to make it so short, Jae?? 😭

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Heirs. For better or for worse, Kale(@christina41218) and I have completed you. You had it all: shirtless beach showers in California, cringe-worthy English dialogue, youthful escapades such as stock trading and underage engagements, broody misunderstandings, at least one good slap every other episode, horrendous father figures, tears, tears, and more tears, and unjustified redemption arcs to easily solve all our problems at the last minute. What a ride you were.

After all this, that’s not to say you didn’t have addictive qualities, an enjoyable sismance between our leads’ moms, and a certain nostalgia factor that comes with a young Lee Min Ho, Park Shin Hye, and Kim Woo Bin. But the best part was none other the shining gem that was Krystal’s character. A character that stole every scene she was in in the funniest way: by turning petty jealousy into acts of kindness and friendship while pretending to be huffy about it. Plus, this line will forever crack me up now.

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I can finally put The King: Eternal Monarch behind me. *sigh of relief* I feel as if I’ve just been played by this drama. I don’t know if I’m just dense or distracted by PPL, but this show felt as though nothing had a point and all I’m left with is untapped potential, leftover chicken, and questions:

What was Lee Rim dyeing red in the initial episodes?
Why did it seem that Lee Rim was gathering an army of people who traded lives with their counterparts when they essentially amounted to nothing? (And what did their lightning scars ever matter?)
Why did it take so long for Gon to find Tae-eul at the end but now they can easily go on weekend universe vacays and find their way back, no problem?
Will Gon ever have an heir if they just stay in their respective worlds? (super important question, I know)
Luna had at one point said she’d gotten her name from a cat, but then she says it’s her name still when everything is set right. So…did they writer just throw away her real backstory at some point?
Why were there so many characters that really didn’t have a point? I’m sorry Sinjae, but you were just…there. And after so much mysterious buildup, Luna wasn’t much to speak of either. And the Prime Minister’s ex? Who knows.
In what universe can a show just wish away a plot hole by having a character say “let’s just skip that?”
How did this show expect us to cheer for the “OTP” when their relationship was based on nothing, they had minuscule time to get to know each other, and then suddenly they are proclaiming their love upon each and every tear filled reunion?
What was the point of time stopping? It never felt like an urgent issue and again was just….there.
How did changing the past prevent Luna from getting cancer?
What was the point of the grandmother being from Korea?
And finally, why were these two world arbitrarily connected when apparently there are now infinite worlds that they can wind up in?

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for listening to my rant, have a shot of Lee Min Ho at least and…may I suggest checking out Where Your Eyes Linger instead?

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    I wondered about the heir thing too. How long would he be able to do that or was he just going to let his uncle’s granddaughter be the next in line?

    I assumed Tae Eul could remember everything because she was outside time itself. If so why did the uncle disappear while still in magic land?

    Time was stopping because the time stick was broken. It wasn’t supposed to do that, that was reason he wanted to get the other half quickly. It would eventually stop both worlds forever. That was the point.

    Seeing as how Luna was still an orphan could she have gotten her name from a different cat? I wondered about the cancer thing too. Maybe because Minister Koo’s mom took her in she was cared for and that prevented the cancer?

    I think Lady Noh being from Korea was just to show that the time stick was used by previous generations.

    I think the two worlds being connected had something to do with the stick being broken. I think Gon said as much.

    Sin Jae turned out to be just a means to an end which was a little disappointing.

    I wanted to know what Rim was doing in that abandoned building too. Like did he just pour stuff from one cauldron to another?

    Lastly, I don’t question how and why people love. Two reasons, one 8s 0ersonal and the other I saw on Oprah. On Oprah there was a woman that said she met her husband in Vegas and married after having knowing him for only 45 minutes. They were currently on the 30 something year of marriage. My parents met at a NYE party and were married that June. Friday will be their 55th anniversary. Sometimes things just click or from the first moment you just know. Some people build a foundation for commitment and for some people the commitment is the foundation.

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      @thatstp 55 years is a long time! Happy Anniversary to them both 🙂

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      Happy anniversary to your parents – that’s wonderful! Certainly love works in different ways for everyone. I really like your last sentence on commitment – sometimes things happen gradually over time and sometimes it happens in an instant. My qualm with the portrayal in the King was more to do with how I didn’t feel the chemistry between the actors and it simply came across as following a script for me. However, that’s just my opinion and others may have thought they worked great together!

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So now Young K has a trumpet just hanging out in his throat.

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And it was on this day twelve years ago that Key realized he was, in fact, famous. Happy Anniversary, Shinee!

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Happy birthday, Junho. Everyone have some Ice Cream to celebrate! 🍦

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Finally finally out of the land of noble idiocy. Phew. It’s been way too long of a stay. Yay, for Eunuch in drag!

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Fini’s 2nd (Potentially) Annual Kpop Top 19 for 2019

I love going through and making playlists with Beanies’ top songs of the year. It’s a fun way to see what everyone is listening to and also a great way to discover new songs.

This year I roped Kale (@christina41218) and Jig (@crysta) into making a list with me (and they both completed them before me, of course) so be sure to check theirs out as well!

Without further ado, and in no particular order, here we go:

19. Noir – Sunmi | Single
Sunmi brilliantly relates the lyrics to the addictive nature of social media, the modern-day film noir. She eats candy hearts as she feeds herself on “likes” and attention, but she ultimately destroys herself in the process.

I feel so high. Everything goes blurry one two three. Now I’m blind. I don’t know why […] We are in noir.

18. Fish in the Water – AKMU | SAILING
Country-inspired kpop? Never in a million years would I think this is what I needed, but here we are. This song just makes me want to go outside to bask in the sun and enjoy the little moments of each day.

You must live, live to death, and play music for me […] Live like the way we sing.

17. Twit – Hwasa | Single
Blind love and adoration? How about lost individualism and living life for someone you’ve put on a pedestal. An addicting track that’s wrapped in a cheeky package tied with sassy bow.

You give so much, but why are you the only one feeling unhappy? Because you only breathe for me. You look so lonely.

16. I Wanna Be – Key | I Wanna Be
We got lucky with this song being on the repackage album this year so I could include it! It’s insanely catchy, and I’m obsessed with the key change towards the end. Plus, Mullet Key.

My heart that faces you, if you change it into a melody, this song won’t end today. But you know, even this isn’t enough. I’ll probably be humming this song again.

15. My Dear – Chen | Dear my dear
It’s not often that I fall head over heels for a ballad, but My Dear is stunningly gorgeous. A perfect, soothing listen before going to sleep. I feel like I’m floating on a cloud.

To you, beneath the moonlight showering down, become the star of this night. And promise to shine for me.

14. Waggy – Mamamoo | White Wind
Is this song about love for a puppy? Maybe. Am I questioning why this song is on my list? Also maybe. That being said, it’s just pure goofy fun with a whimsical and refreshing sound.

When I see that person, I start singing without realizing it. Like a good feeling afternoon sunlight, I think I’ve fallen for a refreshing person.

13. Red – The Rose | RED
My intellectual thought for this song is that it makes me want to jump up and down and sing along loudly to the Korean lyrics that I don’t know at all.

In this road I walk alone, I want to shine in this darkness. Throw your sticks and stones. So what if we’re different from others. Don’t mind anything.

12. Paper Cuts – EXO-CBX | Single
This song was love at first note. The live performance by Chen, Xiumin, and Baekhyun is so pure and full of palpable, overflowing emotion. It’s both melancholy and uplifting, truly beautiful.

In the fleeting moments that go by too rapidly, I live everyday life filled with what I can only do now

11. My Beauty – VERIVERY | Extraordinary You OST
Cute, cute song with a charming use of falsetto throughout that makes for a sweet song, reminiscent of first love. I’d never listened to this group before watching Extraordinary You, but now they’ll be on my radar.

Baby, every time you smile at me, I keep smiling like a fool. I keep falling. I can’t escape.

10. I Wanna Know – Roh Tae Hyun | biRTHday
Tae Hyun was an incredible performer on Produce 101, and I’m so glad he’s gotten a chance to show more of his talent and potential with a solo release. Haven’t heard it yet? What are you waiting for?

Stop all the suffocating work. You can go completely crazy, oh sounds beautiful. Stop sighing, there’s no rush. You need some time to rest.

9. 4x4ever – Mamamoo | reality in BLACK
I’ve had a bit of drought when it comes to girl groups lately, but Mamamoo released two outstanding, utterly enjoyable albums this year, so I decided to include one song from each. Super vocals set in a powerful track with a strong message about believing in yourself.

Love myself, myself 4ever. I’m going to try enjoying this moment. So I don’t regret it.

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    Yay, another list. Key’s is definitely one of my 2019 favorites and fell in love with Woosung’s Face which has led me to listening to some of The Rose.
    That AKMU reminds me of Alison Krauss and Union Station.

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      Yes! Face was *this* close to making my favorites as well. I love Woosung’s voice.

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    @jaelegant has also totally willingly decided to get in on the fun, so check out her top songs as well! Bonus points if you can guess her favorite group.

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      My favorite group is a result of earlier brainwashing and I’m typing this from the truck of Fini’s car (at least the music is good). Save me!!!!

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        Sadly, no one came to save Jules and she will just have to remain in my clutches. *crazy laugh*

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    So many Mamamoo tracks! They worked hard this year and I’m happy to see you enjoyed their song so much 😀

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      I haven’t been following too many girl groups recently, so I was happy that I found some awesome songs with Mamamoo this year. Both albums from this year are a lot of fun and I had a hard time just picking two!

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