After 8 years from their previous album Remember, Big Bang has released their next full length album called MADE. Written and produced by GD, T.O.P, Teddy as well as Taeyang this album really does hit hard. Not because of the music but the lyrics and how personal and honest they seem to be. With the atmosphere and topic they seem to be going for, MADE is a great title. Being in the music industry for so long, I am sure they have realized for a long time that the industry did create their image in the world which has become a part of their lives. With this album they expressed those initial feelings, as well as all the feelings and thoughts that come with fame and fortune. One aspect of this album I did not think we would get is the topic of actual genuine feelings of love that they have felt, either in the past or in the recent years.
One thing that was very fascinating is how they composed some of their songs. Most of the tracks really emphasized on the vocals and lyrics without the need of too much instrumentals and beats. Apart from “Bang Bang Bang”, “Sober” and “Bae Bae”(in some parts), every song contains simple beats. With the addition of the acoustic guitar and the piano/keyboard it adds simplicity to the album. Without interesting sounds and complicated musical ideas they kept the intention of the album clear making the vocals and tones they sing in set the atmosphere and flow of their tracks. With the incorporation of a few beats and instruments they have beautifully accomplished songs that make MADE a successful album.
The songs that definitely had the biggest impact lyrically and musically would be “Last Dance” , “Girlfriend”, “Loser” and “Bae Bae”. The weakest songs would have to be “Zutter”, “Bang Bang Bang” and “We Like 2 Party”. “Zutter” for it’s repetitive beat in the background without any slight changes, “Bang Bang Bang” for its weird transition when it comes to the chorus that no matter how many times you listen to it sounds like it does not belong. And “We Like 2 Party” for its generic sound, something that can be heard in any 90’s to 2000’s pop song.
The biggest reason for “Last Dance” to be one of the top songs is because of the powerful and personal feeling of the lyrics. As a ballad, the simple use of the keyboard and acoustic guitar are perfect for what they are trying to express. Half of this song is about how each member feels about their lives and a great addition is how they ended the song. While T.O.P is singing the last verse, the sound of a vast audience cheering is in the background like he was expressing his thanks and love to his fans as a remembrance to him leaving for a while.
Without a doubt “Girlfriend” had to also be one of the top songs. Although it is as stimulating as the fast beat songs, it definitely has a memorable chorus and rhythm guitar. Even though this is a laid back song it has power mostly due to the vocals as well as the drums. As mentioned above, the lyrics that make this song are very beautiful and sweet. From what G-Dragon and T.O.P wrote, it really does seem that they have genuinely really loved someone.
The track “Loser” was one of their promotional singles released in the beginning and is yet another great composed song. Like “Last Dance”, “Loser” has lyrics that have a huge impact. In fact “Loser” is more effective when you take into account both the music and the lyrics. The drums and acoustic add a melodic aspect to the song that make the vocals and notes chosen more impressive. What also worked very well on this track was the overlapping vocals throughout every chorus but specifically the last chorus with Seungri, Taeyang and G-Dragon.
Most people might disagree but “Bae Bae” is a song that is a lot more aesthetically pleasing than “Bang Bang Bang”. The reason “Bang Bang Bang” is widely known and very popular is because of the upbeat sound that anyone can dance too. Although “Bae Bae” does not have the same effect, what really stood out were the variety of genres they incorporated. From hip hop to a trap sound to acoustic pop chorus this song was experimental which weirdly worked well in the end.
I would like to address songs on the album such as “에라 모르겠다 (FXXK IT)” for its creativity. This song is surprisingly very memorable. It is surprising because although this is some kind of upbeat song it barely contained any music. Apart from the specific sounds such as a clapping sample as well as some other samples, a few keyboard chords faded in the background and the bass, it was just vocals. The background vocals were also very well done. “Let’s Not Fall In Love” for its great acoustics and natural transitions from slow to fast pace sections. The overlapping vocals of GD and T.O.P were outstanding, both with completely different tones. “Sober” for its raw sound like an old school rock/pop song that can pump you up no matter what.
Even though MADE is not considered a concept album, it does have the potential to be even to the point of being one. I do not know if their initial attention was to set up their last three songs to be featured on the MADE album first, but it would have been more effective if they were the last tracks on the album. It would have been a completely different meaning and look to the album. Looking at the order the tracks are arranged, it seems that the theme they set up for in the beginning faded away completely. Well that is if it was a concept album.
Overall I would give this album an 8.5 out of 10 for it’s creativity even though most of these songs are simple. Surprisingly these songs are extremely memorable without the need to emphasize and over exaggerate on the music. The composition of the lyrics are beautiful and phenomenal displaying their thoughts clearly and honestly. Each and every song is different with there own feel with a wide variety of music genres. The fact that Big Bang tries and experiments with their music and actually make it work, shows how much work and potential they put in.
Keep on grooving to that Big Bang!