These days, “idol” groups are plentiful in South Korea. Their songs are seen as being “generic” and typical, but the songs aren’t always horrible and disgusting, because I sometimes like them too.

While the “idol” songs may seem to be the best/most popular songs in Kpop, they don’t always fully dominate all the charts as one would expect, as I have observed through the Daum Music Charts. Many times, 2~4 OST songs rank on the top ten of the charts, and those 2~4 songs tend to have a firm grasp on the [Daum] Background Music Charts and Phone (Ringtone) Charts [as in staying there for a very prolonged amount of time, sometimes months], while not so much the General Charts.

While the top OST songs on the charts are usually from dramas currently airing, Lee SeungChul‘s That Person (King of Baking, Kim TakGoo, KBS2) withheld its ground on the Daum Real Time Charts for about two months after King of Baking, Kim TakGoo finished airing, so it soon became time for newer OST songs [such as Baek JiYoung‘s That Woman (Secret Garden, SBS) and SNSD‘s Taeyeon‘s I Love You (Athena: Goddess of War, SBS)] to take over.

However, Lee SeungChul’s That Person hasn’t fully left the limelight, as King of Baking, Kim TakGoo hasn’t either. With an average of 38.6% viewership, and a high-esteemed peak of 50.8%, King of Baking, Kim TakGoo, is well considered one of 2010’s best/most popular dramas. That Person still has an enviable grasp on the Daum Background and Phone Music Charts, currently ranked at number seven, more than three months after the drama finished airing.

In addition, That Person has become the most downloaded ringtone of 2010 (Nov 30, 2009~Nov 30, 2010) in South Korea, with a record of 634,745 ringtones sold. Runner up 2AM‘s Changmin and 8Eight‘s Lee Hyun‘s I Was Able to Eat Well duet sold 602,800 ringtones, trailing That Person by 30,000 ringtones.

While not always considered a part of mainstream Kpop, these “generic” OST ballads come to mean a lot more when you watch the drama and find out what the lyrics are really saying. Many times, drama OST songs are left to be sung by top vocalists — not just any “idol” group, because it takes much more effort and talent to clearly evoke the sorrowful emotions of a song that will make the viewers on the verge of tears upon realizing that a main character has a terminal disease. These songs and their powerful inner meanings are not to be underestimated because they play a great deal in Korean dramas, and a small, yet significant role in the lives of South Koreans.

Videos: goyumcha + sment @ youtube.com

Sources: OSEN + Daum Music

Note: My observations/speculations are based primarily on the Daum Music Charts. There are many other Korean music websites/charts, but I prefer Daum Music because I find it the most convenient.