While 2021 was really not much better than 2020 as we all had hoped, the release of lots of new K-Dramas and music helped make it not only tolerable but even enjoyable.
So, to conclude the year, we’re recognizing the OSTs that made our favorite dramas even better by ranking the best of the best. You can’t have a K-Drama without music, after all.
Who better to consult than a team of geniuses when ranking so many good songs? Genius Korea is a “collective community project focused on the promotion of Korean music.” Working as a subset of the popular lyrics website Genius, Genius Korea strives to make Korean songs accessible through transcribing, translating, and romanizing them. It also hosts a public forum for K-Pop fans to discuss each other.
They’ve recently been posting their top music artists, songs, etc., of the year based on certain criteria listed below.
So, with that being acknowledged, here are the top 10+ K-Drama OSTs 2021, based on these criteria by Genius Korea!
10. “I’m Missing You” — Sunjae
Honestly, it was better times when tvN‘s adaptation of Webtoon True Beauty was running. Still, anytime we hear this song, we can’t help but get emotional!
9. “Loveable” — GFRIEND’s SinB
A Love So Beautiful is a sweet adaptation of a 2017 C-Drama, based on the novel To Our Pure Little Beauty by Zhao Qianqian. SinB’s “Loveable” perfectly captures the essence of first love!
8. “Starlight” — SF9’s Chani
Another hit from True Beauty, “Starlight,” became an instant favorite OST. Chani’s solo especially topped even Spotify‘s Global Viral 50 chart in its debut (as it should)!
7. “Adrenaline” — MAMAMOO’s Solar
Song Joong Ki led K-Drama Vincenzo was one of the biggest dramas of 2021. With a charming cast, daring story, and killer soundtrack to match, it had us all hooked. MAMAMOO’s Solar performed the English version of “Adrenaline,” while the original was performed in Italian by Aalia. Both were chilling interpretations, but Solar’s especially was a fan favorite.
6. “Breaking Down” — Ailee
If you’ve seen it, you know that Seo In Guk and Park Bo Young‘s Doom at Your Service is quite an emotional K-Drama. Ailee is basically the “queen of ballads,” so she perfectly delivered the drama’s themes through OST “Breaking Down.”
5. “It Starts Today” — Hwang In Yeop
Hwang In Yeop stole our hearts in True Beauty as he brought Seo Jun to life. He was perfect for the role, and he truly gave voice to this rookie idol character.
4. “Wish” — Choi Yu Ree
The healing K-Drama of 2021: Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha. This soundtrack, like True Beauty‘s, is filled with numerous beautiful songs from Car, the Garden‘s “Romantic Sunday” to Stray Kids‘ Seungmin‘s “Here Always.” Nonetheless, Choi Yu Ree’s “Wish” ranked highest on Genius Korea’s list.
3. “Love Sight” — TXT
Everyone, let’s thank the team behind Doom at Your Service for their service in providing us a phenomenal OST by TXT. The members truly proved their versatility and vocal abilities with this beautiful ballad.
2. “Love So Fine” — ASTRO’s Cha Eunwoo
Of course, this ranking wouldn’t be complete without Cha Eunwoo’s True Beauty OST “Love So Fine!” If you weren’t an AROHA (fan of ASTRO) before, you had to be after this!
1. “Yours” — BTS’s Jin
Last but certainly not least, we have the one OST to rule all of 2021: “Yours” by BTS’s Jin! This was one of the most highly anticipated OST releases of the year, and it certainly did not disappoint. Jin’s vocal abilities literally sound like he was made to for OSTs. Since he is a trained actor, he treats each of his songs like an actor’s monologue, sincerely communicating the lyrics as he sings.
You can check out Genius Korea’s full top 50 list below:
Genius Korea also recently released a ranking that included OSTs from both K-Dramas and movies. Check it out below: