With over 2,600 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 “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: 2015
2015 was a huge year for Bigbang, with the release of eight title tracks as part of their MADE project. This came after three years of group hiatus, making their new material highly anticipated. I still remember a teaser in early spring of that year, which made it seem as if the guys would be releasing music on March 30th (the same day as EXO). It turned out that this was only a teaser for another teaser, announcing that the two new tracks would drop on May 1st instead. I nearly threw my laptop across the room when I saw this. It was the first time I really understood that YG Entertainment cannot be trusted when it comes to promotion.
When the new music finally did arrive, it came in the form of Loser and Bae Bae. I wasn’t as sold on Loser as everyone else seemed to be (the chorus feels too playground-taunt sing-song), and I barely even knew what to make of the psychedelic Bae Bae. After three years of waiting, it wasn’t really what I had hoped for. But while neither song ranks among my favorite Bigbang material, both have improved with age.
For better or worse (I’d argue worse), Bigbang and G-Dragon played a major role in bringing trap music into K-pop. Bae Bae fuses this style with a welcome dose of expressive guitar that hearkens back to the experimental rock of the late 60’s and 70’s. Upon its release, the song was praised for pushing musical boundaries. But, it’s surprising how standard it sounds in 2019, after so many of these musical tropes have fully saturated the market. If anything, Bae Bae endures thanks to Bigbang’s immense charisma. The vocals are gorgeous, and the contrasting tones of G-Dragon and TOP lend the rap verses plenty of interest. They pull the song off in a way no other group could.