My Top 16 Favorite OSTs of 2023

“Perfect,” “encapsulate,” “capture,” “evoke”; I’ll use those words a lot here. But it really is those things that make a song well-suited to be part of a TV or film soundtrack. Here are 16 of my favorite OSTs of 2023!

16. “Never Ending Story” by Kim Min Seok from A Time Called You

“Never Ending Story” is one of the most enduring and timeless songs from the legendary Boohwal. Like most of Boohwal’s songs, it is the perfect encapsulation of the time it was originally released in. So of course it was the perfect song to center the drama A Time Called You around. MeloMance’s Kim Min Seok offers up his excellent vocals to give a fresh take on the emotional track, fitting perfectly with the drama’s emotional roller coaster of a ride.

15. “Wind” by Chimon Wachirawit from Dangerous Romance

It was wonderful to get to watch Chimon Wachirawit with his first lead role in the series Dangerous Romance. A well-deserved opportunity and a long time coming as well. The series’ theme song “Wind” is performed by him. And Chimon’s soft vocals are perfect for the sweet and sincere track.

14. “Let’s Try” by Khaotung Thanawat from Only Friends

Khaotung Thanawat’s “Let’s Try” is the perfect song to represent GMMTV’s Only Friends. Khaotung’s vocals kicking in at the end of every episode was the perfect way to have you cool down and absorb the hot, wild and fun soapy mischief the boys of Only Friends delivered that week. And it’s a song that evokes a sort of exciting freedom you could experience with that special someone.

13. “Living For You” by Phuwin from Never Let Me Go

Rounding out this Thai trio is “Living For You” by Phuwin. All three tracks are great, but I guess I’ve been with “Living For You” a bit longer as it served as the theme song to Never Let Me Go which aired earlier this year. The sweet track captures the dramatic, though ultimately sweet journey of the series’ main characters played by Phuwin and Pond.

12. “Nobody is Perfect” by Mckdaddy from Unlock My Boss

Unlock My Boss is one of my favorite dramas of the year. And “Nobody is Perfect” by Mckdaddy played a big part in it. Once the bouncy, energetic track starts playing in an episode, you know things are about to get exciting. And the song matched the series’ escalating action.

11. “Everything is Magic” by New Thitipoom from Cherry Magic

Episode 2 of Cherry Magic Thailand definitely continued the great vibes of the premiere. And that continues with the full release of the series’ next OST, “Everything is Magic”. The song is even more special as it is New’s first ever solo OST. And it perfectly captures the sweet and wholesome vibes of the series as well.

10. “Hindi Tayo Pwede” by Katrina Velarde from Minsan Pa Natin Hagkan Ang Nakaraan

I only got a chance to watch a few episodes of VIVA’s TV5 teleserye Minsan Pa Natin Hagkan Ang Nakaraan, but the stunning theme song definitely made an immediate impact. Katrina Velarde’s version of “Hindi Tayo Pwede,” originally by The Juans, is just amazing. Her powerful vocals are unmistakable. And the song evokes both the romance and pain of the series’ main characters played by Christine Reyes and Marco Gumabao.

9. “Lie to Me” by Sion from Unlock My Boss

If Mckdaddy’s “Nobody is Perfect” supported Unlock My Boss‘ rising action, Sion’s “Lie to Me” captured the series’ more emotional and heartbreaking moments. The series was able to balance the action, drama, comedy and heartfelt stories in such a great way. And “Lie to Me” was perfect in supporting those quieter, more introspective moments.

8. “Kung Ang Puso” by Zephanie from Lovers & Liars

I have no idea why GMA Network and Regal Entertainment have not released the full version of “Kung Ang Puso,” the theme song to the series Lovers & Liars. I only just learned that the song is a remake of a track by band Unit 406. And their original version is that perfect OPM rock ballad that also could suit the teleserye as well, no question.

But when I first heard a snippet of the track in a promo for the teleserye, I was blown away. And then I was annoyed that there was no full version of it anywhere except for this ripped version by a kind YouTuber from a recent episode. But based on the “music video” (that isn’t) released by GMA above, it’s definitely not the full song. Absolutely crazy because the song is breathtaking.

I haven’t really listened to Zephanie’s music and only seen a few performances of hers. But Zephanie’s powerful performance here really adds that extra dramatic flair that, if we got the full version of, could easily match the grand, all-time teleserye theme songs of the past. The type of song that outlives the series for which it was part of the soundtrack. One that could stand on its own for a long time into the future. Paging GMA Network and Regal Entertainment!

7. “Love You Again” by MeloMance from The Good Bad Mother

The Good Bad Mother is a beautifully emotional series. And MeloMance’s “Love You Again” is the perfect soundtrack to the heartbreaking and emotional story of Lee Do Hyun and Ahn Eun Jin’s Kang Ho and Mi Joo. Capturing the youthful hope of love and the harsh realities of the everyday world that could come to hurt it; really a wonderful track from an excellent series.

6. “Let Me Go” by Jemma from Oasis

Oasis was a flawed series, but a dramatic and affecting series nonetheless. That’s thanks in part to the excellent cast as well as its great soundtrack. I’ve used “perfect” a lot with these song blurbs. But I guess that’s what makes a good soundtrack song. Set amidst the tumultuous backdrop of 1980s Korea, “Let Me Go” by Jemma perfectly captures the heavy emotions of the series and its main characters.

5. “Dreaming of You” by Wanna from His Man Season 2

Season 2 of Korean reality dating show His Man was such a pleasant surprise. And even more so is the OST “Dreaming of You” by Wanna. The bright, romantic song is such a feel-good track and, yes, perfectly captures a few of the sweet relationships that end up forming on the series.

4. “We Are Still” by Primary, Meego from D.P. 2

Primary and Meego delivered the stunningly haunting “Tell a Lie” in the first season of D.P.. And they return for season two with the equally affecting “We Are Still”. An absolutely breathtaking track, evoking the difficult emotions that are part of the stories told in the excellent series. The song definitely hits hard when you listen to it. And rightly so.

3. “Change My Future” by Koda Kumi from Kamen Rider Geats x Revice: Movie Battle Royale

It’s interesting how my favorite things to come out of both Kamen Rider Geats and Kamen Rider Revice are the ending themes of their movies and specials. Both seasons have produced some amazing music. And the latest (last?) from these two seasons is Koda Kumi’s “Change My Future”. Though it is the OST from the Movie Wars, I first heard the track at the end of the final episode of Geats and was immediately blown away. What a beautiful and emotional song, I thought. It absolutely did not match the series that had just concluded, but I loved the song nonetheless. Lol. I only recently watched the movie and the song fits a bit better with it. But the song is so good, it really almost redeemed the entire season for me! Almost.

2. “Loudest Love” by Tay Tawan, New Thitipoom from Cherry Magic

I can’t say enough great things about the Thai adaptation of Cherry Magic so far. The three episodes have been wonderful. And then there’s the amazing theme song performed by Tay and New. “Loudest Love” is just the most feel-good song you will enjoy all year. If it were released earlier, it would’ve made my favorite songs list overall. A fun, sweet and warm track that is so well-suited to Tay and New and to the series’ wholesome vibes. It’s certainly going to be on repeat for me well into the next year.

1. “Alright” by Ha Hyun Sang from Crash Course in Romance

Just transferring over what I said about “Alright” in my Top 50 list. But really, this track from the soundtrack of tvN drama series Crash Course in Romance (일타 스캔들) is just beautiful. Ha Hyunsang’s soft, yet powerful vocals glide across this emotional British rock track. Just a dreamy and romantic song that sweeps you away into your own K-drama-worthy world. It’s been on my repeat playlist all year. And certainly my favorite OST of 2023.

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