…and dare I say it, better than ever? Here’s a little play-by-play review of the group’s 5th album “ALIVE.”
After my embarrassing little fangirl moment with the dropping of the “Blue” MV, I won’t even begin to tell you how ridiculously obsessed I was with Big Bang again. It seriously felt like a 2007 deja vu moment that just so happened to last an entire week. And I can assure you, after today’s mini album AND MV release for “Bad Boy,” I have a feeling I’m going to be stuck in this rut for the rest of the month, all the way until the end of March, and I obviously wouldn’t have it any other way.
So let’s have a start. First track off the mini happens to be the intro, entitled “Alive.” It’s very club beat inspired, with a lot of fast word-work from Taeyang mostly, random “Living the good life,” inputs from T.O.P and “I’m still alive,” from G-Dragon.
Next up is “Blue.” Nothing new to say, aside from after giving the entire mini a quickie listening to, I’ve concluded that Blue remains as my number 1 favorite track off their latest release. It’s absolutely quality, and Seungri’s vocals throughout the chorus manage to just blow my mind, since I’ve never found him to be a great singer. Quality, folks, quality.
If you were looking for something more upbeat than “Blue,” the next track might strike your fancy. “Love Dust” happens to take light beats and doesn’t sacrifice on vocal quality from Seungri, Daesung, and Taeyang. The song doesn’t have any major pinnacle points vocally, and there’s not much dynamic throughout the track that makes it particularly exciting, but for those that wanted something to dance to, this should suffice for the time being. I am starting to wonder if the producers listen to my bitching online, since for whatever reason, in this album so far, I am loving Seungri’s parts like crazy.
I don’t think I can do any particular justice reviewing the next track. It almost surprised me just how solid it was, and it almost replaced “Blue” as a top contender for all-time favorite off this album. Almost. I love how ridiculously reminiscent this song is of the group’s older stuff, and my God, don’t even get me started on how much I miss old school Big Bang. It’s a song about a guy who’s a “bad boy” that can’t love his honest good girl whole-heartedly. Even though they are probably better off apart, she still loves him and he still loves her and neither want to part, but that sad misfortune is probably the only solution. Lyrics aren’t as quality as “Blue,” but the composition more than makes up for it. I love it. Taeyang’s “lay-lay-lady” part is just to die for. The MV for “Bad Boy” just so happened to be released today as well, so I might as well talk a wee bit about that while I’m here.
The boys are back in NYC, hitting up the streets in even more questionable attire. I’ve never been a fan of G-Dragon and his new hairstyle isn’t winning him any points at all in my books, however the fact that he wrote and composed this track (among several others) always manages to make me pull back from the haterade and just fall one step short from hating on the man entirely. With everyone’s ridiculous new styles in the MV, it’s hard to concentrate the hate all on one person. G-D’s hair is an issue in and of itself, but Daesung’s bleach blond hair is just not flying with me either. And T.O.P’s blue hair continues to get ridiculous the more I look at it. Sadly, I couldn’t even rely on Taeyang (the ever perfect one :P) as a glimmer of hope. I wasn’t too keen on his tats (are they real or not???), but I guess that’s a minor detail I can live with.
The MV reflects the lyrics of the song pretty well, though I can assure you, Big Bang, real bad boys don’t dress like that. But I love you guys, so it’s ok. The color scheme of the set isn’t as blue as “Blue” but it’s still a rather muted monotone and it just works. Keep it up, boys.
“Ain’t No Fun” is another track written by G-D and takes the beat up a notch again. Lovin’ that piano instrumental that plays throughout the song. The beat isn’t too obnoxious and club-like, which is another plus. The retro feel I’m getting from the instrumentals is reminding me of GD&TOP’s “Don’t Go Home,” but a lot more subdued and a lot less memorable. This song is another “Love Dust” for me.
“Fantastic Baby” is something for those Big Bang fans that were missing the group’s pumped up club dance tracks. Auto-tune galore and synth beats here, there, everywhere. Personally, never been a big fan of their club-inspired tracks, but this is probably the only one in the track, so I’ll just let it slide. The more I listen to it, the more I feel like G-Dragon had been listening to too much LMFAO when composing the track, but he never had much of a reputation for being original, anyway. Besides, it’s a helluva lot more exciting than “Ain’t No Fun” and “Love Dust.”
The album finishes up with a solo from Daesung called “Wings.” The musical composition has a similar formula to the group’s “Love Song,” with a lot more emphasis on a string arrangement and less on the electric guitars. It’s a lot more rock than any of his other solo releases and to be quite frank, this is light-year’s better than his other tracks. I’ve always found Daesung’s vocals to be a lot more versatile than either Taeyang’s or Seungri’s, and I particularly enjoyed his voice in the group’s song “Oh My Friend.” The track fits the bill and I think this is the very first Daesung solo I’ve liked, ever. You know you sang along to the “YEAHYEAHYEAHYEAHYEAHYEAH” and “LALALALALALALA” parts, too.
All in all, a pretty solid release from the group. Never straying too far from their typical YG sound, but managing to tap into different branches, expanding horizons, and still hitting up their roots like true artists. To be completely honest, I was expecting another disappointment since their last album release wasn’t exactly something I particularly enjoyed; hearing “Tonight” still manages to make me shudder like you wouldn’t believe. Though I rag on their 4th album release non-stop, I still believe that was their most inspiring release in terms of expansion of musical genres. The album wasn’t too adventurous or daring, and some tracks are very skip-able for those with mp3 A.D.D., but there’s a song for just about all types of music fans out there, and for those that have been reminiscing the group’s earlier days, they’ve got you covered exclusively.