I apologize for the lack of posts this few weeks. The past two weeks have been the most hectic yet of my college life and I fear I’ll have more of those in the coming weeks. Nonetheless, if anything can break me away from my work, it will be BIG BANG, my favorite group ever. I’ve been counting down their comebacks, watched all their teasers, awed at the their majestic teaser photos, and pretty much waited with bated breath for their new music video.
It has been quite a hectic year full of change for the group and last year was both triumphant and tragic. Their triumphant comeback after a 2-year hiatus was cut short by the tragedies that befell both Daesung and G-Dragon. Nonetheless, it was revealed during interviews that those tragedies saved the group after all; had it not been for their difficult time, the group might have broken up.
Anyway, here they are with their new song and video from their new album, “Alive”.
The song is called Blue.
I want to break my review into two: one for the video and one for the song.
Firstly, the song. I have to say, as much as I love BIG BANG, this was probably the first song where I was left feeling unsure of how to respond. Usually, I responded with awe and adoration for all of their previous lead singles. I loved the freshness of “Lies”, heartbroken by the emotional nakedness of “Haru Haru”, thumped to the fantastic sound of “Tonight”. But here, I don’t know how to feel. There is lots to admire in this tune, for sure. As with every BIG BANG song, the production is top notch, and I have to say this is the first song that felt atmospheric. It’s guitar-tinged instrumental mixes harmonically with the electronic sound that BIG BANG has employed thus far.
I understand thematically what is going on with the song. I get the blueness of the tune and the coldness that it leaves you with is supposed to be there. That said, I was not thoroughly engaged by the singers as usual. The best part of the song is Taeyang, delivering the kind of emotional layers needed with such a depressing instrumental without sounding just plain mundane and bleak. Props to TOP for not being a terrible singer by all means and by possessing the charisma that I fear he loses whenever he sings. Seungri isn’t given much to do although he does imbue a coolness to the chorus, while Daesung has a nice rich tone that I wished would have received more lines or parts. Finally, G-Dragon does a great job of balancing the charisma with the emotional beats of his rap.
Overall, the song works well for me after a few listens. I get the tiny nuances in the track and the vocal performances. I’m hoping that it fits in more with the entire album because as a standalone track, I’m a little empty, though I suppose that is what Big Bang wants to leave the audience with.
Second, the music video perfectly captures the atmosphere of the song, although I think they took it too literally when they tinted the screen blue. It definitely is a beautiful poetic video, a little reminiscent of the video for “Lonely” by 2NE1. I adore the styling on this video, and their hairstyle, as ridiculous as some of them look, they work well to highlight the weirdness of the group and they do not overpower the singers themselves.
Both of these, the song and the video, leave me with a few questions. What is the overall theme of the album? How does the song fit into that narrative of the album? Why the fuck can’t we get more Daesung?
Rating: Song (A-)/Video (A)