Though his solo work may not be as colorful or boundary-pushing as bandmate G-Dragon, Taeyang has proved to be one of Bigbang’s most successful members. Driven by his inimitable voice, he’s released three albums on his own and keeps getting better and better. With an emphasis on classic R&B over modern YG beats, he’s given us a consistent sound that augments Bigbang’s core style just enough to make it his own. So what are his best tracks?
10. Prayer (ft. Teddy) (2009)
An overuse of autotune spoils what would otherwise be a solid midtempo piece of modern R&B. That chorus still sticks, though.
9. Ma Girl (2006)
Before he embarked on his official solo career, Taeyang received some support from his fellow Bigbang members on this mostly-solo pastiche of 90’s Usher-influenced pop/soul.
8. I’ll Be There (2010)
Introduced with a dramatic, almost funereal electronic toll, I’ll Be There quickly segues into a lurching midtempo dance track, slicing Taeyang’s unmistakable croon into electronic fits and starts.
7. Only Look At Me (2009)
His “official” solo debut, and a song powered almost entirely by its addictive chorus. Though he would go on to record superior songs, Only Look At Me formed the template for his sound.
6. Where U At (2009)
Kicking off his second solo album, Where U At picks up the tempo a bit and delivers his best chorus yet, flanked by a ceremonial ensemble of brassy synths.
5. Wedding Dress (2009)
If Where U At picked up the pace, Wedding Dress allowed Taeyang to spotlight his smooth, romantic side. Its piano riff remains one of his most memorable production elements, building to the song’s big, emotive chorus.
4. Ringa Linga (2013)
Easily the most uptempo offering from his solo singles run, the track almost sounds more like something fellow band mate G-Dragon would release, focusing on hip-hop just as much as vocals.
3. 1AM (2014)
Haunted by its gorgeous, soulful vocal sample, 1AM is Taeyang’s most cathartic release, launching forward on a tense midtempo beat and series of continual builds. It’s supremely underrated.
2. I Need A Girl (2010)
The very best example of the 90’s R&B style on his first two albums. I Need A Girl sparkles with ultra-smooth production, managing to feel funky and laidback simultaneously. It’s the kind of track where every line feels like a hook.
1. Eyes, Nose, Lips (2014)
The modern Korean R&B ballad to end all Korean R&B ballads. From the moment its ultra-dramatic piano intro crashes in, the song takes hold of its listener, pulling them deeper into its melody. There is no better spotlight for Taeyang’s distinctive voice, holding back on production tricks in favor of straight up, raw emotion. There’s a reason this song had such incredible chart longevity in 2014. It’s impossible not to fall in love with its perfect simplicity.