Random Shuffle Review: Bigbang – Love Song

With over 3,000 songs on my iPhone’s “K-Pop Singles” playlist, I thought it would be fun to add a bit of unpredictability to my song review posts. So as a result, we have the “Random Shuffle Review” feature.

The rules are simple. I fire up my playlist, press “shuffle,” and whatever song plays first gets the full Bias List treatment!

Year Released: 2011

One of the most charming things about Bigbang is their ability (and willingness) to shift between genres. I think a lot of that comes down to leader and primary songwriter G-Dragon, whose own music also pulls from a variety of influences. One moment, the group delivers a heavy hip-hop track, and the next they unleash a gorgeous pop/rock track like Love Song.

Back in 2011, the group had already established themselves (and agency YG Entertainment) as a powerhouse in the industry. Love Song is the icing on the cake of mini-album Tonight, which arrived after an extended hiatus where the members focused on solo endeavors. Repackage songs can sometimes feel extraneous, but I think Love Song eclipses title track Tonight in every possible way.

The song has a warmth to it, built upon a surging instrumental that melds chugging, U2-esque guitar and dynamic percussion. When it comes down to it, Love Song is a modern rock track. We don’t hear this often in idol group music, especially without other genres working their way into the equation. Rather than the stop/start structures popular with EDM, the track builds organically, with both the pre-chorus and chorus growing naturally from the verses rather than existing as separate peaks. This gives Love Song a snowballing effect, as if we’re constantly gaining steam. The chorus feels incredibly cathartic, capped off with a nimble, guitar-led breakdown and touches of falsetto. It’s at once gentle and rousing, which can be a difficult balance to strike. And with a suite of vocalists as strong and diverse as Bigbang, the performance is polished and compelling and quite moving.

 Hooks 10
 Production 9
 Longevity 10
 Bias 9