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: 2009
As much as I complain about trends, K-pop has always been a slave to them. So many first and second gen classics sound like rewrites of popular global smashes, and that’s okay – especially if those global smashes were great to begin with. But, the industry hasn’t always been as overstuffed as it is now, giving these tracks more room to breathe and stand on their own. Such is the case with Taeyang’s Wedding Dress.
The song borrows from so many r&b tropes of its era. In that way, it’s quite generic. That familiarity helped it become an international breakthrough, back when “international breakthrough” still felt novel and surprising in K-pop. It’s easy to see why this song would have global appeal. The melody is timeless, nudged along by that gorgeous piano riff. The subject matter is clear even if you don’t know a lick of Korean, and Taeyang makes for an approachable r&b balladeer. In fact, I don’t think Wedding Dress would work without him. The song could easily come across as a faceless, but his vocals give it insistent character.
In my opinion, Taeyang’s solo peak wouldn’t arrive until his 2014 Rise era, but Wedding Dress is his second highest selling single in Korea, slotting right behind Eyes, Nose, Lips. It’s also enjoyed great longevity. Though the production feels dated, there’s something about the song’s straightforward nature that’s fresh even today. Much of the credit goes to Taeyang’s pleading vocal and rhythmic phrasing. He really drives the song forward with emotion.