Last year, I wrote that the KPOP enthusiast in me was on a hiatus. This year, however, it made a comeback (get it?) and I went full-on KPOP for a good ¾ of the year which would explain why most of the music and artist I listened to may not be familiar to you. Don’t worry though; I was still updated with what was going on in the pop punk scene and some local bands – and they write songs in Bisaya, Tagalog and English!
The thought that the songs are in a foreign language may cause other people to skip over BTS but I urge everyone to try and take a listen to their three-part album series. Even though I listened to KPOP before, I was not able to get into this group until this year.
Spring Day is a song from BTS’ repackaged album You Never Walk Alone. I first heard the song on Produce 101 season 2 when a Vocal team covered it for a challenge. I searched for the original version and I felt like I struck gold because that’s what it is. The instrumentation and the lyrics fit well with the sentiment/ feel of the song. The music video is stunning. It was the one that got me into the group and will remain as my number 1 BTS song of all time for a long time.
Each album in the series contains your typical high-energy, fast BPM, hype songs but to balance it out, there are also slow, laid-back songs and ballads. Since the songs are in another language, I searched for the translated lyrics and to my surprise, their songs also dealt with topics that some of my favorite bands have written about. Youth – the pressures of society, doubting/ believe in one’s self, change, achieving dreams, etc. I personally call the 화양연화 album series as the KPOP counterpart of The Wonder Years’ album trilogy.
- AGUST D mixtape
- The Rose – Sorry
- Red Velvet – Peek-a-boo
- TAEYEON – My Voice – The 1st Album
- Seventeen – Don’t Wanna Cry (pahabol fave because I just heard them for the first time at KBS Gayo Daejeon)
- Neck Deep – The Peace and the Panic (personal faves: Heavy Lies, 19 Seventy Sumthin’)
- Knuckle Puck – Shapeshifter (personal faves: Want Me Around, Everyone Lies to Me)
- Mid-2000s OPM bands’ hit songs
I have taken an effort to read more paperbacks rather than e-books this year. Not that I went on a book shopping spree, but I bought a hard copy of most of the books that I had a strong intent to read. I do still read epubs especially since it’s convenient when I need to pass the time on the road. Here’s my list this year:
- Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
- Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
- The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan
- It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne
- The Quarter-life Breakthrough by Adam Smiley Poswolsky
- Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami (cos Kafka on the Shore wasn’t available in store)
- Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (started around Christmas time but I have yet to finish it)
TV and Movies
Honestly, I was not able to watch as many movies as I did in 2016 (because most times I was just sad and spaced out) but I think I most of the shows and films that I was able to see were good and/ or entertaining. I can’t really remember every movie and show I watch but the ones on this list are the ones that easily come to mind.
- Girls’ Generation 1979 – Korean drama adaptation of a novel by Kim Yong-hee. This is the stand-out pick from everything this year. The cinematography and the setting were outstanding. The plot was interesting and relatable. Click here for the teaser for the drama.
- Coco – it’s not just a kids movie y’all! Everyone in the theater was at any one point in the movie in tears. The takeaway that I got from the movie is to give importance to remembering loved ones, alive or otherwise.
That’s it for last year’s round up! See you in the next post. Peace out!