Sweetest Thing – Seventeen
Tree – Car, the Garden
Always Be Here – Jung Jin-woo
Always Be Here – Ha Jin
Just Look For You – Ailee
Greeting – Kassy
Special – Yubin
Alone – Hui
I’ll Be Going – Ha Ji-woong
Right Time and Right Place – Stella Jang
Sometimes a soundtrack just “gets” the right tone and mood of a show. When it comes to Korean drama Chocolate, that’s very much the case. Split across 10 parts, this original soundtrack features a range of poignant and heartbreaking melodies, combining both English and Korean lyrics throughout. Out of all the elements of this beautiful drama, it’s the soundtrack that ultimately stands out the most.
The album itself opens with the sickly sweet ‘Sweetest Thing’. It’s a catchy and upbeat record that does a great job easing into the style of the album before diving into three heavy-hitting vocal tracks back to back. ‘Tree’ and ‘Always Be Here’ are ultimately the big hooks of the soundtrack and these are the tracks many people will fondly remember the most. The former is a purely Korean record, combining the heartfelt lyrics of Car, the Garden with an impressive range and timbre, capturing that raw and regretful tone perfectly during the scenes it plays in.
By contrast ‘Always Be Here’ is the big anthemic track of the entire Korean drama and clearly the show-runners know this too. It’s such an anthem infact, that it actually appears twice, back to back, on the album. While the male rendition is the more powerful and emotional, the female version is equally as appealing too. From here, the rest of the album swings between gentle melodies and more K-Pop orientated tracks, ending on the suitably upbeat ‘Right Time and Right Place’ that sandwiches the album together and mirrors the uplifting and hopeful tone that rounds this show out.
For all of its positives, the album is not without its flaws. The track placement of ‘Always Do You’ is questionable, with both playing back to back when perhaps it would have been better to spread these out across the album. The track placement in general feels a little out of sync too, but to be fair it’s a minor gripe in what’s otherwise a pretty solid soundtrack. The vocals are clean, the beats well produced and the tone of the entire album perfectly captures what makes Chocolate such a wonderful drama.
While it may not be the strongest soundtrack of the year, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable one nonetheless and well worth a listen, even if you haven’t seen this show.
Verdict - 7.5/10