I felt a bit of a K-drama slump this year, but there was no shortage of wonderful OSTs. To be honest, I made this separate list of favorite OSTs mainly because of my top two. But it was also great to come up with this list as it reminded me of some great series this year and their great music. The best OSTs are ones that capture and encapsulate what each series brings to life. So you’ll see those words quite often in this list. (lol) And yes, there’s 16 tracks! As usual, I can never whittle my lists down to a set number. lol
16. “Shooting Star” by Nam Woohyun from Sh**ting Stars
Sh**ting Stars was a fun rom-com and Nam Woohyun’s “Shooting Star” theme song perfectly encapsulates the good vibes of the series.
15. “Your World” by Seol Heoseung (Surl) from Twenty-Five Twenty-One
14. “Your Existence” by Wonstein from Twenty-Five Twenty-One
Twenty-Five Twenty-One‘s bittersweet and romantic nostalgia is so effortlessly captured in its excellent OST. These two, along with “Very, Slowly” by BIBI at #11 are my favorites. Press play on any of these songs, and you are instantly transported to 1998 and all its angsty, wistful nostalgia.
13. “My Secret Friend” by Every Single Day from Once Upon a Small Town
Once Upon a Small Town was a warm, charming series and the pop-rock “My Secret Friend” really captures its great mix of romantic comedy and small-town nostalgia.
12. “Lost Game” by GSoul from Revenge of Others
GSoul’s “Lost Game” is the perfect main theme to the dark, broody Revenge of Others. The mix of atmospheric drama and slick action can be heard in this great track.
11. “Very, Slowly” by BIBI from Twenty-Five Twenty-One
For me, this track best exemplifies the emotions that Twenty-Five Twenty-One drew out from everyone who watched the series. The feelings of looking back at happy, bittersweet memories; it’s all here in this wonderful track.
10. “Love Letter (With You)” by Big Naughty from Alchemy of Souls
9. “Scars Leave Beautiful Trace” by Car, the Garden from Alchemy of Souls
Alchemy of Souls is another series with an impeccable OST. And these two songs are my favorites from the series. Both capture the exciting action and romantic epic that the first 20 episodes of the series were. It’s easy to get immersed in the series’ vibrant world when you have perfect songs like this.
8. “In Time” by O3ohn from Seasons of Blossom
I think there’s a running theme in my OST list this year. “In Time” is another emotional track that perfectly captures the beautiful, bittersweet nostalgia that Seasons of Blossom so heartbreakingly depicted in the excellent series.
7. “Promise” by Da-ICE from Kamen Rider: Beyond Generations
As disappointed as I have been with Kamen Rider in the last year, one of the few bright spots was the Beyond Generations movie. And its theme song “Promise” by Da-ICE is probably one of my favorite Toei toku theme songs ever. I tweeted this after I first watched the movie:
omg?! Is there a creditless version of the end credits for Kamen Rider: Beyond Generations? It's just so beautiful and emotional and nostalgic. Especially with Da-iCE's excellent "Promise" playing. I love it! #MaGMCM #仮面ライダービヨンド・ジェネレーションズ pic.twitter.com/YrkMC4r4Sx
— DryedMangoez (@dryedmangoez) June 12, 2022
The song playing at the end of the film with the history of Kamen Rider flashing by was just so perfect. Emotional and nostalgic, I love this so much.
6. “When the Door Opens” by JT&MARCUS from Going to You at a Speed of 493km
If any song best captures youthful hope and dreams, JT&MARCUS’ “When the Door Opens” might be it. The soaring track really gets you in the mood. And if you watched the series (which I highly recommend!), you will know how wonderfully it captures the romantic, coming of age vibes.
5. “Behind Cut” by 2x from Behind Cut
I know to always expect something great from 2Z. And “Behind Cut” is no different. As much as I enjoy when the band has rocked out with more upbeat tracks, my favorite songs from them have been their more mellow and perhaps more emotional ones such as “All I Need” (my favorite). “Behind Cut” fits into the latter category and it’s a song I immediately love. The song begins with a piano perfectly evoking that mellow feeling before it builds and crescendos into a wonderfully soaring emotional climax.
4. “Without You (Dear Gaga)” by Komatsu Junya from Kamen Rider Revice – Dear Gaga
Kamen Rider Revice as a whole might have frustrated me. But it did have some very high highs. And the two-part special Dear Gaga was one of those highs. It was a beautiful, emotional story about character Hiromi returning home to spend time with his mother and remembering what had motivated him up to this time. Junya sings a special version of the OST “Without You” and when it plays at the end of the two parts, it really just hits home. Really a wonderful, heartfelt track and performance.
3. “Diamond” by Yonghoon of ONEWE from Going to You at a Speed of 493km
Going to You at a Speed of 493km is definitely one of my favorite dramas of 2022. But Yonghoon’s contribution to the OST “Diamond” quickly also became one of my favorite tracks. The excellent pop rock ballad definitely encapsulates the feelings of youth from the drama. Just listening to the song’s encouraging lyrics as performed with the always stunning vocals of ONEWE’s Yonghoon is truly one of the best musical experiences of this year.
2. “Fever” by Mook from Light On Me
1. “Spark” by A.C.E from Light On Me
Both of these tracks from Light On Me were released last year as the series first aired. But I only got to watch it at the beginning of this year. And honestly, the two songs I listened to the most this 2022 have been “Fever” by Mook and “Spark” by A.C.E. I just love both songs. I can’t even describe it. It’s just such a great feeling when listening to these songs. I think both songs are big reasons why I enjoyed Light On Me so much more than I might otherwise have. These songs have been on repeat ever since I first heard them playing at the end of those episodes. And like the others on this list, the songs perfectly capture and encapsulate everything awesome about the series.