Review

Random Shuffle Review: Bigbang – Love Song

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

One of the most charming things about Bigbang is their ability (and willingness) to shift between genres. I think a lot of that comes down to leader and primary songwriter G-Dragon, whose own music also pulls from a variety of influences. One moment, the group delivers a heavy hip-hop track, and the next they unleash a gorgeous pop/rock track like Love Song.

Back in 2011, the group had already established themselves (and agency YG Entertainment) as a powerhouse in the industry. Love Song is the icing on the cake of mini-album Tonight, which arrived after an extended hiatus where the members focused on solo endeavors. Repackage songs can sometimes feel extraneous, but I think Love Song eclipses title track Tonight in every possible way.

The song has a warmth to it, built upon a surging instrumental that melds chugging, U2-esque guitar and dynamic percussion. When it comes down to it, Love Song is a modern rock track. We don’t hear this often in idol group music, especially without other genres working their way into the equation. Rather than the stop/start structures popular with EDM, the track builds organically, with both the pre-chorus and chorus growing naturally from the verses rather than existing as separate peaks. This gives Love Song a snowballing effect, as if we’re constantly gaining steam. The chorus feels incredibly cathartic, capped off with a nimble, guitar-led breakdown and touches of falsetto. It’s at once gentle and rousing, which can be a difficult balance to strike. And with a suite of vocalists as strong and diverse as Bigbang, the performance is polished and compelling and quite moving.

 Hooks 10
 Production 9
 Longevity 10
 Bias 9
 RATING 9.5


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13 thoughts on “Random Shuffle Review: Bigbang – Love Song

  1. I desperately want to make a Top 100 K-pop Songs of All Time but I have to organize everything and everything before I rank songs such as Love Song in the place it deserves!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, you gave it a high score.

    I would give it 8.75 or 9. It is good, and I like the simple pop strengths of the song, it provided a nice breather between the more ambitious BigBang singles.

    The U2 comparison is pretty much the best way to describe the song. That said, I wish there was more inner oomph in the chorus to keep the song running. The “I hate this Love Song” segment focuses on building to it, so I wished the breakdown was more fun and airy.

    Like

  3. I love this love song. It uses their individual timbres so well. Even the baritone rapper has to sing a few lines. Just enough dance, not too much, and leave the heavy lifting to back up dancers. Said baritone rapper even sings his few lines live reasonably in tune (to a backing track), arguably better than the lead singers in the group. (see for example ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2cg1QPAfXc)

    I also love the video – simple idea, carried through. And then in one final take, drop a burning car in the middle of the desert. That’s awesome.

    The only nitpicky thing is that the repeated I hate this love song” doesn’t vary enough from repeat to repeat. I believe he does sing it every time, not a copy and paste, but he doesn’t lean in and out from it as much as he could.

    It gets the U2 flavor not only from the pinging of the guitar but also that video, because it harkens back to the classic Anton Corbijn black and white desert pics from The Joshua Tree era. Back in the day, 1987, as people were still transitioning from vinyl to CD’s, the retailers still had almost all vinyl shaped shelving – those deep wood boxes. To bridge between the size of two formats being sold, CD’s were packaged in a long outer box that was as tall as the vinyl record but as narrow as the CD. So for the Joshua tree, the “CD cover” in the store was an extra panoramic shot on a long box with more mountains to the right. See for example this

    There aren’t too many mint versions at all of the long box of any artist because we all cut them open and hung up the landscape pics on our walls.

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    • As much as T.O.P. is not a singer, I just really love his voice. One of the rarer moments where the voice type and style of singing completely makes up for lack of vocal technique for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know! As long as they keep him to a limited range of roughly low C plus or minus 3 or 4 notes, he does GREAT! This song and also “Let’s not Fall in Love” come to mind, perhaps “Blue” too.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I am amazingly excited for The Comeback but I am even more proud about Jaehyun’s successful recovery!

    I am gonna be so pumped up for this one and Jaehyun coming back only makes it better!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have never heard this song by Big Bang before (although that is to be expected because I have came in fairly late into the kpop music scene). I have decided to make my resolution to never skip listening to a new comeback or skip any song that appears in a review.

    On that note, I really do appreciate the instrumental in this song. To me, it subtly pushes the song forward. Without it, I would have not been as interested. The begining was a little slow for me, but then again this is SUPPOSED to be a slower song, so can’t really critique that. My favorite part has to be the bridge. The rap verses added a lot to me.

    Overall, I am glad I gave this song a listen. I probably will not listen to it unless it comes on, but there is something so healing about the melody that I would never dare skip it.

    Like

    • Yes, there was a reason Big Bang was so popular back when: Charisma coupled with quality songs.

      If you like this song, may I also suggest from Big Bang
      Koe wo kikasete (in Japanese) ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQjcJBGIFsA where there is gorgeous melodic portion, and then in the rap they do a good(?) attempt at rhyming in English. Girl-world-unfurl do rhyme.
      and also
      Love Dust
      Let’s not fall in love

      Like

  6. Omg thank you for the suggestions!!
    After I listened to Koe wo Kikasete, they did a GREAT job with the English rapping. Everything was so well enunciated and still impactful despite the language change.

    However, Let’s not fall in love takes the cake for me. The way they sing the lyrics is really emotional.

    Even if Big Bang isn’t my favorite group, I have to say their vocals are PHENOMENAL. They are so expressive and their verses are so well thought out. I can see why they are so big. My favorite song from them has to be loser.

    Like

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