Album Reviews

  

[Album Review] G-Dragon 'Coup De'Tat'

September 14, 2013 @ 6:20 pm

Coup De T'at

RELEASED

September 5th, 2013

LABEL

YG Entertainment

SINGLES

Black

Crooked

Who You?

Nirilia

overall score7.0

Community score
744 votes

8.7
About allkpop ratings

Production 8

Concept 6

Tracklisting 7

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by contagion
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MBLAQ's "It's War" and B.A.P's "BADMAN", G-Dragon opens "COUP D'ETAT" by co-opting a voice of the Civil Rights Movement- in this case, the voice of Gil Scott Heron and his famous poem, "The Revolution Will Not be Televised"- rather ridiculous for a song used in a televised comeback. Furthermore, for a song announcing "This is my Coup De' Tat", "COUP DE'TAT" has very little to say except that G-Dragon is super famous and in high demand. What exactly are you overthrowing here, Jiyong? Uninspired in both its composition and delivery, the song at least manages to establish a foreboding atmosphere. Where the song truly succeeds, however, is in conjunction with its music video. A high-fashion editorial come to life, "COUP DE'TAT"'s MV tells the story of GD fighting his own demons, his past, and ultimately himself. Certainly not the dictionary definition of a coup, but at this point we're arguing whether or not Alanis Morisette really knows the meaning of irony- the definition may be wrong, but the full effect of the song and video together, along with the legend GD's built for himself over the years (the "too fast to live, too young to die" tattoo, the white faces from 'Heartbreaker', and so on) makes for a strong impact that goes beyond the song itself.



SEE ALSO: Paris Hilton reveals she's a fan of G-Dragon


"Nirilia" does the unexpected by referencing a famous Korean folk song by the same name (4minute performed a modernized version of it earlier this year on 'Immortal Song 2') in the same breath as a reference to J. Dash's "Wop", better known as the-song-Miley-Cyrus-twerked-to. It's pretty clear that the point of this song was to celebrate the fun of having Missy Elliott feature, and it does deliver in that department. We've seen the modern-music-blended-with-traditional-Korean-instruments thing many times before, but having a western artist on the song is a new twist on the genre. The song itself isn't terribly too exciting aside from Missy Elliott's feature, but like how "COUP DE'TAT" comes to life in MV form, "Nirilia" comes to life on stage, so we can all be glad that Missy and GD got the chance to perform it together for 'M Countdown in LA'.



"R.O.D." ft. Lydia Paek takes things in a weird direction, taking a simple, breezy track and putting it over a confusing, dubsteppy instrumental that strangles the charm of an otherwise cute song. Experimentation is great, but it's not clear what this experiment was getting at, and the result is more awkward and confused than catchy. The best part of the song kicks in around the three minute mark, when the dubstep dies for a moment and GD and Lydia sing mostly a cappela.


GD really shines as a storyteller, as evidenced on "Black" and "Who You?", where simple instrumentals accompany emotional delivery that never feels too cheesy or overwrought. While fresh-faced teenager Jennie Kim isn't particularly convincing as a world-weary, black-hearted woman and perhaps a different guest vocalist would have been more appropriate for "Black", GD himself finds a perfectly balanced depiction of sorrow and resignation to fate on both tracks. The storytelling continues on rock-infused "Runaway", which sees GD turning the creepiness of 'Heartbreaker''s "Obsession" on himself. The song retains sinister overtones while still sounding fun- or at least as fun as a song about being stalked can sound.


"Crooked" is a real highlight of the album. The song itself is a punky reminder of Big Bang's "Oh My Friend" days, and GD's portrayal of a young man strung out on his own grief with nowhere to hide is painfully convincing. While his use of symbolism can be a bit heavy-handed at times, the subtle career parallels in "Crooked" add to the story instead of overwhelming it- particularly the collapse at the end of the video and live performances. In the end 2012's "Crayon", G-Dragon collapsed from having had too much fun- in "Crooked", he subverts that image to bring us the darker side of getting one's cray-on.



The album ends with "You Do", which seems on the surface to be an ode to success through hard work and dedication. However, as the spunky handclaps of the intro give way to a sharp snare and GD's lazy, drawling rap, the tone takes a turn. "You can be somebody, man," he says. "A Superman... Tony Stark, Bruce Wayne." It seems positive enough until he brings Kurt Cobain's name into things, and that's really where GD's message comes through. Too fast to live, too young too die- the desire to do everything coupled with the fear of burning out. The attainment of success and the question of whether it was really worth it. You can be somebody, man- but do you really want to be somebody? The song ends on an ambiguous note, with G-Dragon simply asserting "GD, that's me. Who [are] you? Not me," leaving us to wonder how he feels about having "built this for more than ten years," as he reminds us in the second verse.


When GD doesn't bury himself under the pressure to go hard or remind us of how great he is, he's got a real talent for finding heart- and, in songs like "MichiGO", "Nirilia", for example, the humor- in all corners of the human experience. Even on a cheesy song like "I Love It", he's got a certain amount of charm that's hard to ignore. For now, it seems that he's at his best when G-Dragon the Legend can make way for Jiyong the Person to come through and shine in his work.

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Comments

There are 641 comments

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xanxhi
· Posted October 11, 2013 @ 6:50 pm

I wonder how many people hate on this review because it's not telling them that all of GD's songs are absolutely marvelous... I honestly didn't like this album at all, and no, I'm not a GD hater, however I wasn't feeling majority of the songs and it fell flat for me compared to other albums that came out at the same time. I agree with this review in the area that the song only really had color when you were watching something with it - just saying my opinion.

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missygreen1432
· Posted October 1, 2013 @ 11:07 am
I really like the album and I really like how Lydia's voice sound on ROD some people say her voice isn't hard hitting enough (compared to cl) but I think it's good and I like black
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missygreen1432
· Posted October 1, 2013 @ 11:07 am
I really like the album and I really like how Lydia's voice sound on ROD some people say her voice isn't hard hitting enough (compared to cl) but I think it's good and I like black
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aceinspirit
· Posted September 22, 2013 @ 6:26 am

​idk why u seem to be biased abt this review. i'm not a GD fan. but comparing his previous solo albums with the current one, i'm definitely gonna buy this album..

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bep0p
· Posted September 21, 2013 @ 8:34 pm

The pleasure of being nasty to get more readings and critical and silly noise and so on. Same thing in Brazil. I got lazy this... But I read all. Congratulations, you've got it again.

Depois do meu péssimo inglês, agora em bom português: G-Dragon é maravilhoso!

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AmikoMei
· Posted September 19, 2013 @ 10:17 pm

Every time GD oppa releases an album or a single, there're always a new concept! I love how talented and how he always shows us a different sides of him through the lyric/mv. 

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yifeirox
· Posted September 18, 2013 @ 9:33 am

I wonder if this author, so called "contagion" is an anti-GD? You tried to make a balance review, but is not sincere at all. You have hidden meanings in btw the lines and every recognition u gave, u just rebut it again. Why not you write us a whole album of songs, and I will have the privilege to do this 'review' .

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PuiNikkiShowron
· Posted September 18, 2013 @ 1:58 am

I think this is one of the best albums of 2013.

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farahanani
· Posted September 17, 2013 @ 11:55 am

I think he's an awesome artist who refreshes his image everytime.

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oneexo
· Posted September 17, 2013 @ 8:55 am

At first I didn't like Coup D'etat, but then it quite grew on me :)

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fire89
· Posted September 16, 2013 @ 12:47 pm

we know you went out with a girl really really bad but this is not to say that you will we resortir Comback each new group or solo.
Each one of the last comeback artist artist that is having YG. I always wonder what he will try to sell us, and the same answer every time a beautiful album pochéte the disaigne still beautiful and marketing development site (which is doubtful overcharged lol) thanks to it actually more attention to its content.
or when you release a song they claim to represent a revolt, and to say I always expected this revolt and rebellion.
ho pardon rebellion is represented by the look of the new Value artist
I feel there a rebellion.
But I love black and I finally understood the message of this song.
"blllllllllllaaaaaaaacccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkk"
"cccccccccrrrrrrrrrrooooooooooocccccccccccckk" LOL
I was a fan. it's good you can throw stones lol

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Annie2o1o
· Posted September 16, 2013 @ 11:55 am

the album is really daebak.. i like it a lot.. especially Black and R.O.D

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nathasiane-marco
· Posted September 16, 2013 @ 9:49 am

GD's always has his unique ideas plus with hard work that could really produced positive outcome in his career. CONGRATS KWON JIYONG!!! #Bigbangbackpack #oneofakindbackpack

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kjx02
· Posted September 16, 2013 @ 9:15 am

He is, without a doubt, one of the most hardworking artiste ever. How does he go on tour, and still produce & write that many songs. 

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zan-flame
· Posted September 16, 2013 @ 8:54 am

g r e a t   a l b u m. c r o o k e d  i s  t o t a l l y  a w e s o m e 

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eleana-meester
· Posted September 16, 2013 @ 8:24 am

I love this album! It really is his best one ever! I feel like it's a very REAL album, if you know what I mean. He shows us the real GD. And the songs are so different than his other songs. They are more... mature! Just like him.

And coup d' tat is one of my all time favourites now! I love the symbolic meaning of the video! It's not one of those usual videos that you see every day on TV or from other American og Korean artists. No, this was something really special and it Challenges you to use Your mind and read behind the lines and the scenes in this video. It is definitely my favorite Music video of the year. I also like the song. The song is dark, but has this catchy rhythm. The first time I heard it, I didn't like it as much. But after hearing it a couple of times, I became very fond of it. It's a very deep song.

Crooked, has this easier rhythm, but at the same time there is also an issue behind this song. Just look at his live performances and how he throws all his feelings at us. How he shares all his stress, all his frustration and pressure With us on stage. I feel like his performance is a private moment between him and his fans. He wants us to understand. And the video is like that as well. How he sits on the toilett, crying. Haven't we all done that some time in Our life? Been there in that position, thinking... what am I doing, what am I going to do?

R.O.D doesn't have the best dubstep, I have to say, but Lydia Paek has the perfect voice for this song. Such a mature voice and a Perfect English pronounciation. This song doesn't even sound like K-POP, it sounds more like an American song and I think it's really interesting how the effect With Lydias voice and the instrumental makes the song sound like that.

Black is Perfect. With both Jennie Kim and Sky Ferreira. I love the song, I love the fact that GD performs this With such a coolness. The boy is a great actor as well. The same with Who you.

Then we have Nirilia! What a huge honour having Missy Elliott on this song! I think her energy and GD's energy both on the song and on stage lifts the entire song to another Level! I think it was the Perfect song for those two to show how amazingly talented they both are!

And Michigo... let's just say that it's the party song of the year :D I also love training to it, the rhythm is AMAZING. The dubstep of that song is a killer :D


 

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frickcy22
· Posted September 16, 2013 @ 7:30 am

I am totally addicted to "Crooked" :)

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yuu-hikaru
· Posted September 16, 2013 @ 7:13 am

i actually really love R.O.D especially the chorus part. and Black is amazing. and right now, i'm so addicted to Window, the-only-in-cd-song.. amazing!

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palo011
· Posted September 16, 2013 @ 6:22 am

If Allkpop wants to continue posting Album reviews I would appreciate someone with some sort of musical background and understanding on music and not some silly "writer" with bias issues. If you are not willing to give us that then get rid of these reviews all together and be a little more professional allkpop.

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mikayela
· Posted September 16, 2013 @ 5:21 am

@contagion http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/16/arts/music/k-pops-antic-emissary-raids-the-cupboard.html?_r=0

this link will give you a good example how far Gd is..

his music and his style..not only his popularity or being in demand..

if you make reviews..make sure your veteran in every aspect when it comes to music industry..not spill some $h!t..from your mind..to your laptop..goes here with an article..

noctlightcloud
· Posted September 16, 2013 @ 5:27 am
what an awesome article to read! thanks, my friend ^___^
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