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Thursday, July 02, 2015

Bigbang - Sober

About a month ago, I wrote one of my more critical posts about Bigbang's Bang Bang Bang. Against all odds, that song has somehow made a rebound and become one of my most played songs of the summer so far. In other words, it took a long time to click. Sober, the group's newest single in their summer bombardment, clicked pretty much instantly. Doesn't mean it's any better or worse, but it is definitely one of Bigbang's styles that I prefer. In a lot of ways, Sober's rock influences make it sound like a sequel to G-Dragon's Crooked. In fact, GD had even performed a bit of the track as an intro to Crooked two years ago. Though the songs share a lot of aural similarities, Sober is nowhere near as good as Crooked (though to be fair, not much is). It's a high water mark, and I'm fine settling for a lesser copycat if it means we get more Bigbang tracks that sound like this. The song's under fire for plagiarism accusations of The Wanted's Glad You Came. Honestly, I don't hear it and I don't care. What I do like is the 90's alternative-style music video and the entire last third of the song, where it really travels into rock territory.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Beast - This Is My Life

Over the past few months, Beast have quietly been building one of the year's best batch of songs. Ever since March, they've been releasing one Japanese-language track a month. These have been remarkably consistent. In fact, I'd actually say they've been getting better each month. This Is My Life, released a few days ago, is my favorite of the bunch. This was confirmed almost immediately, with that gorgeous, funky synth opening. Then the song itself sets in and has a vaguely African feel (maybe that's just me, though?). As longtime readers know, I'm a sucker for African instrumentation in a pop song. Blame too many viewings of The Lion King growing up. The melody is also just exquisite, rising and falling with the flawless production. It's the kind of song that sneaks up on you and reveals its brilliance the more you listen to it. Now we just need a Korean comeback!


Monday, June 29, 2015

Benjamin - Young and Restless

I've been wanting to write about this track from rising Finnish pop star Benjamin for weeks now, but was unable to find any means of legally streaming it for you guys (hence the live performance below). But streaming or not, make sure you track down this song. It's simply too good to miss. The EDM + Country-esque combo has been super popular ever since Avicii hit it big with Wake Me Up. Usually, these tracks come off as just what they are: cheap knockoffs. But Benjamin has borrowed just enough of that sound for Young and Restless and, more importantly, fused it to an actual pop melody. He recently released his first EP, which is pretty solid. But this is by far the standout track.