February 29th, 2012
Packaging/ Photobook/ Appearance:
As per usual, YG continues to impress and inspire wonder through their albums.
A real metal shell with a plethora of goodies inside. Everything is beautiful and pretty tasteful- the packaging was done with such zeal and grandeur that it absolutely shamed everything on the shelf around it at the music store we visit.
While this mini album is quite spectacular, is it special for Big Bang? When you take the “Big Bang Special Edition” compilation album and G-Dragon’s solo album “Heart Breaker” into account, Alive is just not at that level. Taking a step back from its initial glory, “Alive” is nice, but not Big Bang’s best.
As for this photobook, it proves TOP is a perfect human being (which we’ve mentioned before). He looks so good in everything; in every single photo, he conveys a suave sophistication and an old world elegance that is all but dead in this current day. We do have to say though, that, as perfect as he is, his make up is a bit rough around his cheek. The make-up artist slightly overdid it with the low lights under his cheekbones, making his whole complexion look unnecessarily dark.
There are two group shots, and as we look at them it makes us thankful that the music store had TOP’s version of this album. Taeyang doesn’t look any damn different. We like Daesung’s hair, but not enough. G-Dragon’s hair- just why? It’s alright for this comeback, but if he tries to play it off some more, we’re going to have a problem. As for Seungri, all we can say is: Live long and prosper.
03. 사랑먼지 (Love Dust)
04. Bad Boy
05. 재미없어 (Ain’t No Fun)
06. Fantastic Baby
07. 날개 (Wings)
This mini-album is one of the best things to have come out in a long time. It’s well flowing and practically all of the songs are enjoyable and stimulating. The only real problem with the album is that it was slightly overproduced, and most of the songs felt unresolved and mostly unfinished. All of the songs are great though, and each one maintains Big Bang’s unique flavor. Some of the choruses were a tad dull though, and after about the third repeat we could listen no more.
This entire mini-album is fabulous. The songs are perfect in the order they are in and it all seems to flow incredibly. The only song that is a little weak is “Ain’t No Fun”, but it’s not necessarily bad, it just lacks an intrigue that the rest of the album has.
By far the best song is “Bad Boy”. The perfect blend of relaxing and fun, its reggae influences make it a splendid little song.
“Love Dust” has, in no offensive way at all, a gay intro. It literally sounds like an introduction for some kind of techno remix of a song. There is nothing wrong with that- it’s just a misleading start to the song. It kind of prepares one for a more electronica based song, not the sweet pop song “Love Dust” really is.
Though this album is one of the more impressive things that have come out in a while, it is pretty normal for a YG artist to make something of this caliber.
Alive was a brilliant mini-album, as to be expected.
I am, however, a touch torn by “Fantastic Baby”. It is kind of generic. At every chorus I expect shuffling or something, whether from Big Bang themselves or just listeners.
I am a huge fan of “rappers” in K-Pop groups singing. I have no idea why- it’s just something so intriguing for me when a person whom normally doesn’t sing starts singing some notes. Also, in my opinion, there’s no such thing as horrible singing; when you have your heart set on it, your voice won’t sound awful to me. That being said, hearing G-Dragon and T.O.P. sing in both “Blue” and “Bad Boy” killed me. I could’ve died happy, but I’m still here, enjoying their live performances.
In my opinion, “Blue” and “Bad Boy” represent the two sides of this album. “Alive” is Big Bang’s comeback, after about a full year, and in that year, we all know the best of things didn’t happen. Big Bang suffered two scandals that many worried would break them apart, but here we are today, and there they are, still one piece, possibly stronger than ever. “Blue” represents the sorrow, the pain that Big Bang went through the past year. At first, I wasn’t too fond about it- “Blue” was way too slow in my opinion, and for it to be Big Bang’s first song after the year of torture was a bit disappointing. But, looking back on it, I realize now it was perfect. At the time, I’d imagine I wanted something more “Fantastic Baby”-esque, with it being truly outlandish and classic Big Bang. But how weird would that have been? If Big Bang just came out as obnoxious as before, seemingly forgotten about the year they went through. By releasing “Blue” first, it was almost as if it was them addressing the scandals, the year, and the hardships they went through.
And while fans were crying over the meaning behind “Blue”, Big Bang went ahead and released something to cheer them up- the adorable “Bad Boy”. Now, if you know Big Bang’s style of music, you’d know that “adorable” isn’t really their thing. And it was so great and refreshing to see them try it out for once. Granted, I really doubt they meant for it to be so cute, and maybe it’s just fans taking it that way, but “Bad Boy” is definitely a lot more light and mellow than their usual songs.
Great comeback. It could have been greater, but I wont be picky. G-Dragon’s solo album is coming out later this year, and I am very expectant.
Overall Rating: 8.75