There’s like a mountainful of stuff going on in KPOP lately. So many new releases (Big Bang’s Japanese album, Brave Brothers, upcoming 4minute album), comebacks (Jewelry, Park Hyo Shin OMG) and competition has never been at an all time high. It’s taking a little more time for me to make reviews because I usually have this really weird method LOL. After I get my grubby hands on the new songs I load them up in my IPOD and listen to them while I jog on Four Mile Square Park near our home (am I revealing my location too much? LOL). Here’s my so-called criteria:
If my pace speeds up and endorphins spike up then the song is GOOD.
If it’s a ballad then I suddenly break into a sad MTV moment like those you see at cheap Karaoke videos, then the song is GOOD.
If I trip, slip or fall into a ditch then the song is HELLA GOOD.
She’s Gone feat. KUSH– If you’ve been to a live hip hop concert, this track seems like it was recorded right out of it. I’ve been to a Common/Talib Kweli concert once at the House of Blues with my guy cousins. Since it’s hardcore hip hop the people were all cool bopping their heads to the beat and doing hand motions. I’ve never looked so out of place LOL. The drum beats are so strong, the vocal sounds are so raw it’s as if the mic was so close to GD’s mouth or it’s like he’s using those hand speakers while screaming into your ear. VERY STRONG TRACK. GD sounds so angry, like he’s about to throw a bitchfit and break a friggin guitar like a rockstar. If you’re not into loud hip hop, it might take time for you to like it, but it really shows GD’s passion and attitude.
1 Year Station – Very upbeat, trance-like, electronica sound. It kind of reminds me of the song “Wonderful” by Big Bang when they performed in one of the year-end music specials. I was expecting him to sing “You’re wonderful!” after the chorus. At first listen it didn’t really appeal to me that much. But it really grew on me and I’m loving it. It’s got that 80’s dance vibe going on. Actually the beginning beat is very JPOP. We all know that most JPOP songs are still stuck in the 80’s era. LOL. And this time GD’s doing ALL of the singing and rapping.
A Boy – It’s very much like GD’s solo song in one of Big Bang’s albums called “But I Love you,” especially with his falsetto voice when he sings “Remember back in the day…” Even the beat is very similar. Aside from that, I think people tend to forget that GD can actually sing. He’s always taken the role of the rapper in the group, so it’s good that he’s able to show his singing potentials this time around. Like he said, “It’s time to shine…”
Heartbreaker – Back track a few posts for my MV review. I’ve been playing this song non-stop since its release. The chorus is just so damn catchy. Best heard real loud! And he’s just crazy beautiful in that MV! LOVE IT!
Breathe– VERY COOL SONG. I can imagine this playing in clubs—lots of synch and disco sounds. But it kind of sounds like something Big Bang will sing in Japan. And I can feel a little Lady Gaga style lurking in it! Well, it’s a fact that GD makes most of their songs, but it would’ve been cooler if he changed it up a bit.
Butterfly feat. Jin Jung – VERY SWEET SONG. It’s the kind of song that’s meant to be played while going on a long drive in the middle of nowhere. It’s very calming, very much unlike 1 Year Station. It’s like the ultimate breather to the whole angst-ridden, fierce-overloaded album. But unfortunately it does sound a bit like Oasis’ “She’s Electric,” only a little slower. And man, I love Oasis. They’re like one of the longest standing and amazing bands in the UK.We don’t know yet for sure if there are legal issues to this. But despite that, both songs are good and they should stand on their own.
Hello feat. Dara– This is like GD giving tips about Dating 101 for guys “who don’t have a girl right now,” because “they don’t have no game.” Put on something nice. Don’t be nervous. Be yourself. LOL it’s so like GD to give advice on clothing first and foremost. VERY CUTE TRACK. Must be because of Dara’s cute vocals. I heard a lot of people preferring Park Bom, though. But I think GD purposely chose Dara to play up with different charms and mix her cuteness with his rapping. I’ve never really seen Dara as fitting the whole hip hop style, my first impression of her was that she’s cute, a little edgy, and she could fit in with, say, the Wonder Girls (*gets bricked by 2NE1 fans). But she showed that she can add a different flavor to the THUG-IMMA-BEAT-YOU-UP image of YG.
The Leaders feat. Teddy and CL – This is the type of song I can imagine playing in those cars that have loud, echoing stereo whopper sounds that bop up and down. CL the one and only baddest female in the house! Teddy was in-your-face badass. Not my thing though. The lyrics are quite witty, and they’re going for the whole thug, tough, “We’re hot and you’re not” vibe and “We don’t care…. Ready or not here we come” attitude… But ugh, it’s just TOO MUCH! Like, okay guys we know you’re fierce already stop rubbing it in. Maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to put in three powerful people in one song.
Gossip Man feat. Kim Gun Mo – I read the lyrics translation and the message is really meaningful. And I like how Kim Gun Mo rounds up the age gap between him and GD. But as for the song itself… Hmmm… I have to be honest, I pressed next after the chorus. DIZZY.
Korean Dream feat. Taeyang– My most anticipated track! The smex that is Taeyang!!! But I was a bit disappointed. There was too much synthesizing I couldn’t tell whether Taeyang was already singing his part by the end of the song! DIZZY. I hate to compare among Big Bang members, but Taeyang’s collaboration with T.O.P. in their song “Friend” was so much better. Korean Dream made me feel exhausted and out of it, really.
Overall, GD’s Heartbreaker had me running in some parts, while I stop in my tracks in some songs trying to remember where I’ve heard it before. Props to him for working hard and dealing with all the pressures of going solo, composing and producing. He even revealed in GD TV that he goes to more meetings than YG CEO himself that he’s been nicknamed director. And I’m sure by now people are disillusioned with him being original. He takes a lot of inspiration or samples, which may work to his disadvantage. There were just some songs that can get so exhausting to listen to! But I did like the fact that he added “Butterfly” and “Hello” to soften things a bit.
One tip though, GD’s album takes time to listen to. Don’t gulp it all in one take, otherwise it can get a little overwhelming and exhausting. Sometimes he really needs to moderate.
Wanna own your very own G-Dragon Heartbreaker CD?
AA-CHAN is holding a competition with a free copy of the album for the three winners. There will be three categories for entry – pictures, lyrics and videos. It’s really a great idea guys, and it’s gonna be lots of fun! For more details, visit http://aa-chan.net/blog! Follow him on http://twitter.com/aa_chan!