When done well, theme songs and instrumental music are able to draw me into the events happening onscreen, even if the acting is bland and/or the story is sub par (sometimes I find that the worse a drama is, the better its OST). I may not have watched some of the dramas on this list, but that didn’t stop me from putting their songs on replay.
I’m a fan of ancient dramas, hence my playlist is usually dominated by melancholy ballads. Which drama soundtracks made an impression on you this year?
Phoenix Street 朱雀街 by Song Bingyang (Moonshine and Valentine)
Unsullied 不染 by Mao Buyi (Ashes of Love)
I swear, not a single episode went by without this song. Sa Dingding’s rather dramatic Upwards to the Moon grew on me over the course of the show as well.
Schemes 心机 – Wang Xiaomin (Rise of Phoenixes)
I was enthralled when I first heard it in a teaser, and the track came in at just the right times during the show.
The Plum Blossom Fragrance Remains 梅香如故 – Zhou Shen, Mao Buyi (Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace)
There’s nothing extraordinary about the arrangement, but the lyrics are a perfect description of the eventual separation of Ruyi and Qianlong: “If we can share another lifetime together, I only pray for us to be reincarnated as an ordinary couple.”
Waiting A Lifetime For You 一生等你 – Tia Ray / Yuan Yawei (Bloody Romance)
This is the only clip I watched from Bloody Romance, and I am floored by Li Yitong’s acting here.
Sigh 叹云兮 – Ju Jingyi (Legend of Yun Xi)
A Thousand Years 千年 – Jike Junyi, Jin Zhiwen (The Destiny of White Snake)
Bodhi Verse 菩提揭 – Liu Xijun (Legend of Dugu)
Bloody Romance most definitely won best OST this year. My honourable mention goes to the OST of Guardian – especially the opening and ending theme.
BLOODY ROMANCE TOOK IT THIS YEAR!! YOU COULD FEEL EVERY EMOTION FROM ALL OSTS OMG, THAT DRAMA JUST OMG THE OST WERE JUST ON ANOTHER LEVEL *yes, Im yelling in all caps because that’s what each ost deserve*
I love the Blood Romance opening song as well.
Also really love this ending song from Story of Yan Xi Palace: https://youtu.be/PBH7JY3Ldgk (Sound of Falling Snow 雪落下的聲音)
Oh dear, Bloody Romance has probably the best musical score of this year! Due to budget constraint, they can only afford 4 songs, but each is meaningful and perfectly played out in moments to create ambiance and feelings. Waiting A Lifetime with You is the best opening song ever — not one viewer of BR that I know who skips the opening song. Another fan favorite from Bloody Romance is One (一), which is associated with the separation of the OTP. This in an emotional drama, LOL.
A couple of my other favorite soundtracks are from Ever Night. “Ever Night (永夜)” gives me nuances of adventure (which may sound strange because it’s a ballad) and inexplicably reminds me a lot to Eddie Vedder’s songs for Into The Wild’s soundtrack. I also love Take Your Life (取你的命), which is like folk songs, with cheerful arrangement but with lyrics about killing people :)))