Ah, if anything could break me out of my dead-blogger streak, then it’s Big Bang. My favourite quintet dropped the first single ‘Blue’ from their new mini-album ‘Alive’ four days ago. And despite the many reservations felt when their concept photos were released, I’m finding myself really enjoying this wistful tune.
I know this has been discussed ad nauseum, but last comeback it felt like Big Bang just went through with it for the sake of having a comeback. The whole platter of material we were met with just seemed so anti-climatic, and something tells me that the whole promotional cycle would have completely gone through a neutral K-pop fan. I mean, it felt like miss A dropped more bombs during their promotional cycle than Big Bang did — miss A. But whatever, that was the past, this is the present. And the present is sounding good.
Contrary to popular belief, I don’t want Big Bang to completely revert back to their old sound per say. Music evolves, and what sounded in time 10 years ago wouldn’t sound in time now (not to mention YG’s sound as a whole has completely changed, and Big Bang would stick out like a sore thumb). As much as we’d love artists to never change, for a mainstream idol group like Big Bang, adjusting is necessary. A good example of adjusting would be Brown Eyed Girls — they fit in with the time, but never really lost the spark that made their material theirs.
Last comeback it felt like G-Dragon wanted to record a minimalist electronic track and just grabbed four soloists together and made them sing. Big Bang? What Big Bang? They got some of the flare back for ‘Love Song’, but as a whole everything seemed almost insincere. But, if the year of scandals did anything for Big Bang, then it gave them a good smack around the head because the magic is back for the most part.
‘Blue’ is a very self-effacing song. It doesn’t attempt to blow your mind, nor does it attempt to imitate another song. The melody is stead-fast, and the structure and style is consistent throughout; the verses, the bridge, and the chorus all have the same smooth delivery. It’s a restrained and doleful tune, but Big Bang deliver it with such conviction it doesn’t need to hit you over the head with a hammer to demand your attention, G-Dragon’s croons of ‘I’m singing my blues’ does a good enough job.
Something which I love about ‘Blue’ is the fact it’s innovative, a quality that set Big Bang apart back in the days, and a quality which they somewhat lost during their last comeback. ‘Blue’ is different from a lot of the sounds we’re hearing from K-pop today. For one, when was the last time a mainstream idol group released a mellow song as a title track? Secondly, ‘Blue’ is probably the closest Big Bang has come to returning back to their older style, but at the same time it sounds so 2011/2012 — which is a good thing. It’s them kind of adjusting their style to fit the ‘now’, and the ‘now’ really isn’t all that bad. It sounds fresh, it’s different, but it isn’t a style that’s so beyond the Big Bang we’ve come to know. Which is something I greatly appreciate from any band I love.
As for the music video; what the frack? YG videos are always impeccably shot and styled, but a quite a few of them lack direction. This is one of those music videos that basically go nowhere. And seeing how tainted my usual eye-candy has become (Spockri, do not want), there’s even less redeeming this mess. Whatever YG, whatever. This might as well have been shot for a New York tourism ad.