With over 3,000 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: 2011
Though I’m sure many would argue that Epik High’s partnership with YG Entertainment led to a commercialization of their music, I firmly enjoyed their 2011-18 era. That might just be the pop side of my music taste talking, but there was something exciting about the group’s usual sound being tethered to big pop choruses performed by guest YG artists. And before the group released their first album with the agency, Tablo delivered a solo album of his own.
Being part of YG had its perks, giving Tablo the ability to snag Bigbang’s Taeyang as a guest vocal. The two make an undeniably strong pair, and their chemistry transforms Tomorrow into a total standout. Written and produced by Tablo himself, the track nonetheless carries all the hallmarks of a YG hip-hop ballad. Part of that is the Bigbang influence. Tomorrow sounds like a sonic sequel to the group’s Love Song. Even the black and white music video is remarkably similar.
Opening with Taeyang’s plaintive hook, the track slowly builds. While it starts with little more than voice and piano, a strong hip-hop beat soon joins the fray and gives Tomorrow great drive. Tablo’s emotional, rapid-fire flow makes a compelling contrast with Taeyang’s more measured chorus. This is the kind of track that’s sad without being mopey. It’s angsty, but retains a strong melody and consistent structure. Those may sound like easy feats, but it can be tricky to skirt the line so effectively. Even when Tomorrow slows for its hesitant bridge, the song kicks back into gear for a dynamic finale that briefly incorporates guitar before stripping the instrumental away. This sets up a wallop of a final chorus, which surges with the kind of catharsis that songs like this do so well.