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

By contagion   Saturday, September 14, 2013   65,448   433   0



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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: G-Dragon presents the luxurious attractions of 'Jeju Shinhwa World' in new CF

"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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xanxhi Friday, October 11, 2013

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.

ygbad_boy xanxhi Tuesday, June 7, 2016

it's not that because they aren't praising GD is mainly because it's not even an actual review, Point in case, the reviewer (and probably you) missed the point of the whole album which is a criticism to those who hate/slander GD and even BB but mostly his personal life both Coup d'etat and Crooked are the main examples of that. Coup d'etat isn't about GD self-congratulating himself as the author says, it's about the fact that such fame has burden him, If you actually look for it most of the lyrics in the song are quotes taken directly from media articles praising and criticizing him, thus the irony of the song and MV itself. Crooked is just depressing because he is talking about the loneliness that fame brings with it. If you didn't like the album that's fine to each their own but to say the album is flat (with the fact that here's like 9 genres for each song in it) it's truly what the author and yourself doesn't to get the album.

missygreen1432 Tuesday, October 1, 2013

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

missygreen1432 Tuesday, October 1, 2013

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

aceinspirit Sunday, September 22, 2013

​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..

bep0p Saturday, September 21, 2013

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!

AmikoMei Thursday, September 19, 2013

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. ;

yifeirox Wednesday, September 18, 2013

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' .

PuiNikkiShowron Wednesday, September 18, 2013

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

farahanani Tuesday, September 17, 2013

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

oneexo Tuesday, September 17, 2013

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

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