Song Review: Taeyang – Vibe (ft. Jimin)

Taeyang - Vibe (ft. Jimin)Some songs arrive with fanfare even before a single preview has dropped. Vibe represents not only the long-awaited return of Bigbang’s Taeyang, but a colossal meeting of two K-pop generations. During the early 2010’s, Bigbang helped construct the international crossroads that made K-pop such a global success. Years later, BTS paved those roads in platinum, redefining that same global success for a new generation. As representatives of these two titans, Taeyang and Jimin make headlines upon their names alone.

With such weighty underpinnings, it’s hard to imagine Vibe living up to expectations. Part of me came into this project fearing the worst. After all, the idea of “vibe” in pop music has come to represent a lack of ambition that can be quite frustrating. But though this may sound silly, the song is a pleasant surprise. I didn’t expect it to be as groovy as it is, and I certainly didn’t anticipate it drawing so heavily upon elements of new jack swing.

These are two of the most recognizable K-pop voices of the last decade, and Vibe is smart to give them lengthy solo spotlights. Taeyang remains unbeatable, opening the track with effortless charisma and control. His vocal drives the introduction before the beat drops, casting a beguiling tone that instantly pulls us in. From here, Vibe gradually constructs a brittle funk groove driven by splashes of rhythm guitar and a swinging snare. The scope of this percussion is incredibly refreshing. We’ve gotten so used to skeletal hi-hats thrown over an entire track that we’ve forgotten how powerful the middle range can be. Vibe’s instrumental utilizes a full spectrum, including a ton of empty space.

If anything, the song could stand to develop further. Like so many modern pop tracks, it’s too short. Just as the final hook grits its teeth and delivers extra texture, Vibe sputters to a halt. The track is begging for a climactic finish – a dance breakdown that sends us off on a high and forces the replay button. But while it’s not the insta-classic it could have been, I’m impressed by the overall direction and the caliber of star power on display.

Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

Grade: B+


29 thoughts on “Song Review: Taeyang – Vibe (ft. Jimin)

  1. I absolutely loved this song! I do agree this song is a little too short. It’s probably my favorite release this year so far till the next txt or NCT 127 album come out later this month.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. yeah this is pretty good, and that combination of rhythm guitar and new jack swing beats really sold it for me, though i wish it built to a better climax at the end

    see, this is my problem with having to keep your songs three minutes or less in this day and age, it often doesn’t give the song much of an opportunity to build to grander heights

    Liked by 5 people

  3. To be honest, when the spoilers and the teasers about Vibe started spreading around, I was expecting kinda k-pop variation on Michael & Janet Jackson’s Scream theme. Instead, we have a flat and basic duet that – for less than 3 minutes – follows the pattern “You – Now You – Now both of you” without any kind of blend between Taeyang and Jimin (were they at least together when filming the MV?). Not that the song itself is disappointing in any case, but even the choreo looks like “Ok guys, we all know you’re good dancers so just dance how it comes”.

    I’m actually on board and I like the funky mood, but envisioning an eventual and historical match between Bigbang and BTS, this is not exactly the “Wow! Effect” I would have waited for in a whole decade.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I straight up don’t like this… that’s a shame because I was really looking forward to this release. I even avoided watching the teaser so that I didn’t spoil myself.
    The song just sounds so empty and lacks a climax to look forward to when listening. I guess I should have expected that seeing that the song itself is called ‘Vibe’.
    Oh well. At least everyone else seems to enjoy it. It’s just not for me I guess.

    Liked by 5 people

      • >>It only needed to be longer w/a sharp dance duo finish! Orig. O.G. Idol dancer + #1 Idol dancer-4 yrs needed to be shown! A few VIPs worried b4 vid release that Jimin (face, voice?) seemed too “soft”?? If they only knew > he won many Teen Freestyle Poppin’/Hip-Hop Battles + Competitions, excels in *4* Martial Arts> Taekwondo +Kendo=2 BlackBelts +Hapkido + Chinese MA +Boxing +Sports +Working out-known for abs, thighs + #1 Contemp./Ballet +crazy Acrobatics +still has #1 Top Streamed (+Orig.) Song in Soundcloud History, etc (+IQ=128 > #1 Academics-Maths, Scien- ces, etc +All BTS going for their Masters Degrees),etc! Need no response. 🙂


      • Ok, I’m back and this song is good. It’s grown on me and I’ve come to love the smooth groove of this song. My initial thoughts are still valid and I wish there was more harmonization between the two but overall it’s good.


  5. Very smooth. I’m biased as hell when it comes to Taeyang but he sounded amazing and I liked how funky it was. A bit more interplay between the two of them would have been nice and it’s definitely missing an outro or final chorus. I blame tiktok

    Liked by 2 people

    • See my reply above, espec. Jimin’s deceptive “softer” face.. Taeyang was always Jimin’s inspiration + I agree: should’ve been longer, with more isolation hip-hop dancing between them w/a big dance ending…Need no response. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh thank god for once a solid pop song, enjoyable as long as we don’t overthink it. But I share some similar thoughts as others above, such as

    Me, now you, now me+ you. It really isn’t a duet, it could have been an all Taeyang solo easily.

    Look at me, look at you, gah there is other lyrical content.

    For having two great charismatic dancers, it is missing that dance break. Or singificant dance at all. No distinctive moves. Almost all an ad lib freestyle. I want to see the two of them, side by side, grooving out, a la Ten + Taeyong, feeding off each others energy (video below).

    I appreciate that vibe is partly due the languid pace, er vibe, but it is vastly improved by clicking 1.1x speed. Actually, now that I have heard 1.1x speed a few times over, the 1.0x speed kinda sucks.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. They really ended it so abruptly after they added the guitar into the last chorus that made me go, “Oh, now we’re talking!”??? I’m a bit grumpy about that, heh. Too short. I enjoyed both of the vocal performances, and I fall on the like side of neutral, but I’m not completely sold on the song. Yet.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I always think it’s odd when a soloist’s big comeback single has a guest on it. I felt the same thing about Justin Timberlake’s Suit & Tie in 2013, which featured Jay Z. Like, the return of a huge soloist should be enough of a draw, no help needed!

    Also, I get huge Paula Abdul vibes from this.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I agree with all the other comments about this song ending a bit too quickly. Otherwise, though, it’s fun and I wouldn’t skip if it came up on shuffle.

    Jimin has one of the most distinctive vocal tones in the industry, and while I usually really love it and think he sounds great on his verse, he edges into unpleasantly nasally territory during the bridge. It doesn’t ruin the song or anything but it does grate.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I enjoyed the song, but any video that can’t focus for longer than 1/75 second on two of the finest dancers and visuals in K-pop should be reshot. Also, ITA with everyone, most songs could use another 30 seconds these days or at least be allowed to be remixed into something longer.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I loved the song! Their voices go so well together and the new jack swing influences were everything!

    But still I agree with a lot of people who said that this song’s too short. A dance breakdown and a more polished final chorus would make “Vibe” more amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. This song is so good. They compliment each other so well. I’m a sucker for the funk and R&B sounds. My only complaint is that this feels like the clipnotes version of a 5 minute song. I want the extended version of it. There’s so much more space in this song that they didn’t use. It also sounds like they cut it short and in an awkward spot. Like they had the longer version and had just stopped it when it hit 3 minutes instead of finding a more natural spot for it to end at. Its probably a good problem though if my one complaint is that the song is great but I want more of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Eh, it was alright. I kind of expected more. Oh well, I’ll see what Jimin has in store in the future. I’ve been liking most of their solo albums recently maybe that one will be better.


  14. In a year that has started with a string of disappointing choruses, I think this is the worst offender. They really didn’t give TAEYANG more of a melody than that? I also want more from my duets than just two people singing at different times. Give me harmonies!


  15. I listened to the song without seeing the MV the first time and it was underwhelming. After seeing the MV, I liked the music better, but it is not worthy of the millions and millions of views which are probably mainly from the same group of people trying to make a mountain out of a molehill of a song. The MV was good and entertaining.


  16. So, I know I’m late for commenting but I listened to this on the release date and thought “oh yeah shit’s good.” Then I forgot about it. Before listening to it again I did not remember how it went or what the lyrics were or anything. I think that sums up my opinions of this song, it’s forgettable. Sorry Jimin I do like your voice


  17. This was quite disappointing for me, I didn’t feel excited at any time, I felt it quite flat and even anticlimactic. I know it sounds cool but just that, maybe the expectation of Taeyang’s comeback plus a collaboration with a BTS member was too much.


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