With over 2,900 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: 2014
Whether this is accurate or not, I’ve always considered GD & Taeyang’s Good Boy a turning point for the K-pop industry. And although I like the song, I can’t help but feel that its overall influence has been negative. Good Boy’s combination of EDM and hip-hop had global roots, but had never been thrust into the mainstream of the K-pop market in such a concentrated dose. The song’s skeletal hook and repetitive, trap-meets-club instrumental was ubiquitous at the end of 2014 and into 2015, and K-pop agencies definitely took note.
Rewinding a bit, Good Boy is the summation of a long-lasting friendship between G-Dragon and Taeyang. The two had been YG trainees since their early teens, originally pitched as a duo act named GDYB before going on to form Bigbang. And though the two would go on to feature on each others’ solo albums, it would be many years before GDYB would came to fruition. Good Boy itself isn’t an emotional track, but the history behind it definitely adds a layer of sentiment.
Musically, Good Boy is not the kind of thing I gravitate towards. It thrives more on attitude than melody, even if both performers manage to bring a sing-song appeal to each moment. Highlights include Taeyang’s rapid-fire pre-chorus and G-Dragon’s reliably G-Dragonish flow, which oozes with charisma. The lowlight is undoubtedly the hook, which relies too heavily on a grating electronic loop. The energy is great, but a less repetitive structure would have taken Good Boy to another level. If it wasn’t for the strength and magnetism of its performers, I’d probably write the song off completely. Unfortunately, the next few years would see a glut of this same sound, as trap and EDM became permanent fixtures within K-pop’s ever-evolving landscape.
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