A good original soundtrack / theme song always makes the drama-watching experience more enjoyable, so I’ve included the theme songs and instrumentals that have really impressed me this year. Which drama soundtracks made an impression on you this year?
Royal Nirvana: Instrumentals by Ah Kun
The Story of Minglan: Do You Know? by Yu Kewei & Hu Xia
I dropped the drama very early on because I’m not a fan of the inner courtyard intrigue genre and I didn’t like any of the male lead characters. That doesn’t stop me from liking the theme song though – the inclusion of Li Qingzhao’s poem in the theme song is pretty creative and the arrangement definitely does it justice.
Goodbye My Princess: Love Hurts by Xiaoshi & Gong Jun
I first heard a cover of the song several years ago in a fan-made MV and since then the tune has become synonymous with Eastern Palace / Goodbye My Princess. I’m glad the drama was able to use the song, though I think their theme song First Encounter (especially when sung in the Nuosu dialect) by Yannangui also succeeds at conveying Xiaofeng’s tragic fate.
The Untamed: Instrumentals by Lin Hai
I didn’t watch The Untamed, but I do have a soft spot for talented musician and composer Lin Hai – if you’ve watched The Holy Pearl or Perfect Couple, you will have heard his music. However, his best work is definitely the Palace of Desires 大明宫词 OST. My personal favourites are Behind the Prosperity and Warmth of the Tea Stove.
Ten Years Late: So Glad to Have Met You Again by Juno Su Shiding
The drama is so pretty and the actors are gorgeous. Unfortunately I just wasn’t in the mood to sit through a traditional melodrama that was simply rotating through a collection of clichéd plot devices.
Joy of Life: One Thought, One Life by Li Jian
I have zero interest in the main couple’s love line, but the supporting characters (Fan Sizhe, Wang Qinian, Chen Pingping, Fan Jian) and Ye Qingmei’s backstory are what makes this drama worth a watch.
- Legend of Madam White Snake: Waiting A Thousand Years 千年等一回 by Ju Jingyi
- Princess Silver: Like Snow 若雪 by Aarif Rahman
- Love and Destiny: Forest of Birds 鸟语林 by Shuangsheng
- A Little Reunion: A Little Reunion 小欢喜 by Liu Ruiqi
- Dreaming Back to the Qing Dynasty: I Came For You 为你而来 by Tia Ray
I also loved The Legends soundtrack. Xiaoyao’s theme is super powerful and I love that they have a friendship theme song for the two female leads. The instrumentals are also fun top -notch, especially for such a low-budget drama.