[kpop] BIGBANG’s “Blue”: a spur-of-the-moment, this-is-just-too-good review

I don’t have much to say, because I am absolutely blown away.

BIGBANG is not a strong vocal group and will never be, if we hold TVXQ as our vocal standard for male groups. But I find I don’t care. Particularly, G-Dragon’s singing starting at 0.44s is just so heartbreakingly perfect and well-paced with the midtempo bass. Sometimes I can’t stop myself from melting.

The song itself– it builds on Korean ballad idioms, but it moves away from it, a bit like SM The Ballad did with “Hot Times“, as it is less concerned with sounding so sad and emotive, having excessive held high notes. What we get is a song that is melancholy, but at the same time, uplifting. “Blue” is something to curl up to on a rainy day with a cup of hot tea and a biscotti or two.

I lied slightly, I am a bit bothered by the voice qualities, for example, sandwiching TOP between the smooth chorus and BIGBANG’s token smooth singer, Taeyang. However, I’ve always had a problem with the cohesiveness of BIGBANG’s sound, so this is nothing new. I am also bothered by the token white girl, which they also had in the MV for “Tonight.” I know they are trying for an international flavor, but the video could have been handled just fine without a token white girl, who is just like a thin layer of frosting on top of an already very substantial cake of interesting sets, and an interesting song. Heck, if you have an interesting song, all you need is a video of yourself singing it, and that is about all the music video you need. If YG insists on putting a token international girl in the videos, then I better stop seeing these waif couture models, and maybe, I don’t know, a really sexy italiana? An African-American? Pouty dark-haired French?

Despite those small bothers, I can say for certain this song can be certified as one of the best things that has happened to kpop in the last two years, probably even better than SHINee’s Korean “Lucifer“. Listening to BIGBANG, I am immediately reminded of EXO, the new group of SM that is in the stage of pre-debut with its never-ending teasers, who also pre-released a midtempo ballad, “What is Love?” Everyone kept commenting how similar it sounds to TVXQ’s “Before U Go“, which actually were both produced and written by Yoo Young-jin, one of the perennial favorites in SM’s arsenal of songwriters. But listening to BIGBANG’s “Blue”, which G-Dragon wrote and produced, I can honestly say that I have never heard anything like this before from G-Dragon. Of course, their previous comeback hints at the electro thump, but this sound, it’s completely fresh.

It is fresh– something that is rarely said in kpop nowadays. As we clear away the conventional EXOs and BAPs and missAs, I’m glad that we still have BIGBANG to look forward to.

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10 thoughts on “[kpop] BIGBANG’s “Blue”: a spur-of-the-moment, this-is-just-too-good review

  1. I have to agree with everything you said. I am really excited to hear more from the new album.
    I love the melancholy feel of the keyboard melody & the nice guitar strumming. The whole mood of the song is very appealing to me. I like this mid-tempo feel.

    I have to say the longer I listen to Kpop, the more I am realizing Big Bang is the real deal & I kinda wish I had gotten into them sooner. They constantly impress me. As far as them not being a strong vocal group – I always thought they guys had really nice voices. They really appeal to me tonally. I don’t always need “belters” or tons of harmonies, although that is wonderful, too, (& this song has some lovely harmony,) But I see what you are saying.

    The video chick – Yeah, why even have her? I think anyone in their right minds can assume that Big Bang can “pull” any chick they please, regardless of race, so why is it so important to show the (in MY opinion not very cute, sorry,) white girl? Reminded me of the VAMPS video Devil Side – I was like, “Really? Why did you pick those boring white ladies?” (Please understand I HATE to even say these kinds of things because I think women should stick together & not tear each other down especially when it comes to appearance & obviously there’s nothing WRONG with these women & they are all beautiful, obviously more beautiful than me & thinner, to boot, but it is bothersome for some reason, still.) Why not have more than one girl & show a “rainbow” of beauty? Maybe that girl touches on someone’s ideal, but she doesn’t do much for me & that’s where the problem comes in. I would rather it be just them, like you said. The only thing I can think is that maybe the white girls are as “exotic” to them as say, a Korean woman would be to a white guy in his video?

    • I def I agree with the girl situation, btw who is she ? I wonder how she go the job, a craig list posting maybe LOL

      • lol, I think they probably went to a modelling agency and got one for cheaps. there’s quite a lot of cheaps models in NYC! ^^ that sounds so sketchy, but I meant that there are so many girls trying to make it big, so I assume YG just got one those people. I’m sure someone can find it out, though, I have no idea who she is..

        Michelle

    • (: I just have a problem with the current fashion model trend, really, it’s the boyish, tall, ridic skinny figures who look like death/angel fairies that are dominating magazines and runways and music videos, and I honestly can say I just don’t see many of those types of women around.. yes, I agree that it may be that it is rather exotic for Korean videos, and in that way, I’m glad she isn’t used as a stereotypical Westerner like in missA’s ‘Goodbye Baby’. Hm.. but it sort of bothered me that the women who got the screentime in GD&TOP’s “High High” music video were largely white and blonde-ish and model-tall-ish, and the woman in “Tonight” as well! It’s time to mix it up!

      I am so excited for their album to release as well.. though I wonder how they will handle promoting four tracks simultaneously, seems a bit much to me.
      Michelle

  2. Hate to ruin the parade, but that woman is far from boring. She resembles a doll in some way and has certain ideal facial features to many Korean men and women. Furthermore, it’s a total “western” trend to have some random girl in a video with a few shots. I barely see anything but a few flashes of her vs. the majority of them; I don’t see how it is so bothersome or why everyone hates her. It’s annoying to me. We can’t hate fat people, so we should hate skinny people instead? Why not just find beauty in all races, colors, shapes and forms.. There are beautiful and exotic faces in every race and shape. Come on.

    • ?? You are not raining on anyone’s parade.. I pretty much said your last few sentences and I never said the model is boring or that I hare her. However, I did say the model fills the waif stereotype that we see nowadays and just as you said, we should celebrate even the skinny people, but that is easy to say when all the skinny people are getting the roles. And that is the problem.. just because it is a Western trend condones Big Bang’s use of it? Is Big Bang simply a follower of Western trend?

      Michelle

  3. Pingback: [review/kpop] BIGBANG’s mini-album, ALIVE. but it seems more like half-awake.. | the innocent lam

  4. Pingback: [music] top 10 kpop songs of 2012 | the innocent lam

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