Song Review: B.I – Cosmos

B.I - CosmosSince debuting as a soloist earlier this year, B.I has been quite prolific. It’s amazing what creative freedom and a break from YG’s restrictive release schedule can do for an artist! He’s delivered a breadth of sound I hadn’t expected, and new single Cosmos continues to push his music in new directions. Though hip-hop remains the base for the song, it bounds along a melodic through-line that lends it a light touch.

Funny enough, this is the most “YG-esque” song I’ve heard in a while. The rugged pop rock beat has shades of classic Bigbang, though it’s augmented with a few striking flourishes. I love the backing vocals in the chorus. They’re well-aligned with the sprinkles of synth, giving the track a spacey, choir-like appeal. This approach expands during Cosmos‘ climax, which swells with an alt-rock chant that feels cinematic in the best way.

But even with all these musical treats filling the mix, B.I never loosens his grip on the track. His voice drives every moment, usually perched between rap and singing. He’s not a polished vocalist, but I appreciate the rough-around-the-edges performance. Like former agency-senior G-Dragon, there’s pathos to be found in imperfections, and Cosmos’ verses have a satisfying slurred sound that offsets the ebullient instrumental. Cosmos may not feel like a monumental comeback, but I have a feeling it will age very well. After all he’s been through, it’s gratifying to hear B.I make music on his own terms, unfettered from genre restrictions.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8


9 thoughts on “Song Review: B.I – Cosmos

  1. There are a lot of little olde tyme goodies in here, not just 80’s revival but 80’s revival of 50’s revival. In the background on the chorus, there is a little bouncing synth organ chord motif. Coupled with the bass and drum line, it gives extra revival flare flavor to it. Like how Madonna “True Blue” channeled the 50’s, or the whole Grease soundtrack esp “This Magic Changes” did as well.

    The first few lines of the verses in particular, go on, sing “I’ve had other guys, I’ve looked into their eyes …”



  2. For me, personally, there have been two big themes to this musical year.

    1. Fourth-gen groups taking further advances forward, commercially and critically, and emerging from the shadows of third-gen: Stray Kids winning Kingdom and charting on the Gaon Digital Chart for the first time; aespa being by far the most successful fourth-gen group yet in Korea and dominating with Next Level; TXT finding their sound in pop-rock and having their biggest hit yet in Zero Times One Equals Lovesong Parentheses I Know I Love You End Parentheses.

    2. Idols, ex-idols or quasi-idols releasing self-produced solo work that mashes up genres to glorious effect (but often with a strong rock influence): DPR Ian, Woodz, B.I. I have loved pretty much everything those three have done this year and I am so excited at what they’ll do next with all this intoxicating freedom.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I like it! It doesn’t really fit on my current rock playlist, which leans heavily toward softer acoustic stuff, but the synths are funky enough that I’m going to see how it does on my funk/r&b/soul playlist. I’d love to get more uptempo rock from k-music – right now we seem to get a good amount of harder- and softer- rock or pop rock, but not a lot of these peppier tracks.

    I was listening to “Damdadi” this morning, which is currently languishing on my partly dismantled summer/bubblegum/tropical playlist that I almost never listen to because it’s a mess, and thinking we could do with more like that. Two songs aren’t enough for a new playlist but it’s a start! Maybe “Take Me Higher” would be happy there too.


  4. In case anyone missed it, B.I released an English language slightly revised/remixed version of “illa illa” last month that I actually like better than the original. The lyric video could easily be a b-side MV too, which is a nice touch.

    Liked by 1 person

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