With over 2,300 songs on my iPhone’s “K-Pop Singles” playlist, I thought it would be fun to add a bit of unpredictability to my song review posts. So as a result, we have the brand new “Random Shuffle Review” feature.
The rules are simple. I fire up my playlist, press “shuffle,” and whatever song plays first gets the full Bias List treatment!
Year Released: 2009
For as popular as they are in Japan, BIGBANG never released all that much original material in that market. However, from 2008 to 2011 they recorded a number of exclusively j-pop tracks, most of them composed by European hitmakers. Let Me Hear Your Voice (声をきかせて) is the exception, written and arranged by in-house YG producer Teddy. In this way, its sound is closely aligned with the group’s Korean work of this era — albeit more melodic and pop-oriented.
Comparing Let Me Hear Your Voice to any of BIGBANG’s recent tracks reveals the sound of a different band entirely. From its gentle, synth strings-assisted beat to the sentimental vocal performance, the song lacks the edge and attitude we’ve come to expect from the group. In its place is a beautiful, lilting melody that embraces generic pop tropes without shame. This makes for a pleasant — if not particularly galvanizing — mid-tempo. There isn’t a whole lot for TOP or G-Dragon to do beyond the cheesy angst of their English-language rap verse, but the three vocalists pick up the slack. Daesung is especially suited to this style, foreshadowing his successful Japanese solo career with a an assured performance during Voice‘s pre-chorus. Three years later, the group’s Love Song would build on this sound to stunning effect.