Big Bang has returned again with a dance track called “Sober” in which they act anything but sober. On the opposite side of things, they released the audio (but no music video) for the perfectly emo (last time you’ll hear that from me) song “If You“.
But first, “Sober”.
I found the verses to “Sober” actually pretty boring and basic, but the saving grace for me was the chorus. While on first listen the chorus doesn’t really standout due to the lack of punch, over multiple listens it grew on me, salvaging the track to make it a solid if not potentially forgettable song. For better or worse, it really had this feel like it could’ve been put on a soundtrack or over a YouTube compilation video of sorts. I suppose to most people that reads like an insult, but for me, I actually think that’s the only thing that endeared the track to me.
The music video is manic and has G-Dragon trying way too hard … sooo a typical Big Bang music video, but at least it was fun to match the overall tone of the song. Still, I can’t shake the feeling that the track would be much better served playing over basically any devinsupertramp video or something of that nature.
“If You” was a complete change of pace from “Sober”, and it was the kind of emo, wrist-cutting tripe that KPOPALYPSE will no doubt put on his ‘Worst K-Pop Songs Of 2015‘ list…
…and I loved it. Look, normally I would be with him on the whole cliched “I’m so raw and emotional” horseshit that idols (try to) pull off, but this actually worked for me.
I normally hate these tracks because they’re so fucking boring and they don’t go anywhere. Either that or the end game of the song is the hook being done over and over until it mercifully comes to an end. With “If You” though, there was an actual raw and emotional start, which eventually built to a hook that just set everything off. The track basically succeeded because Big Bang finally resisted the temptation to go loud and louder with the instrumental, instead choosing to not overwhelm their vocals with bullshit noises, and that peel back was exactly what managed to engage my attention until the hook hit.
Still though, even past the hook, there’s a tendency for songs like this to get boring because the format gets predictable (Emotional Verse -> Vocal Chorus Runs -> Repeat Until Death), but they actually did well by mixing it up on the listener throughout by never falling into a predictable pattern. Just when you thought it was about to develop a pattern and repeat until it fades away, the song was over and sort of leaving you wanting.
Just as “Loser” was an adequate/solid emotional song, “Sober” was an adequate/solid dance/party track. However, for my money, it was “If You” that stole the show and ranks as their best track of this comeback and one of the better songs they’ve made in years. That is why, of course, “Sober” will go on to win 50 music shows awards and be all-kill for a dozen weeks while “If You” will absolutely bomb on the charts or some dumb shit like that.