PSY – PSY 4X2=8
1. I LUV IT
2. New Face
3. Last Scene (Feat. Lee Sung Kyung)
4. LOVE (Feat. Taeyang)
5. BOMB (Feat. B.I, BOBBY)
6. We Are Young
7. FACT (Feat. G-DRAGON)
8. Rock will never die
10. Auto Reverse (Feat. TABLO)
'4X2=8.' It's far from a math lesson, but you do get a lesson in great music from Psy's 8th full album. He's got 5x2 songs on here for a total of 10, featuring collaborations with Lee Sung Kyung, Big Bang's Taeyang and G-Dragon, B.I and Bobby from iKON, and Tablo from Epik High.
"I LUV IT" starts with all the bombast we've come to expect from this guy. The horns quickly make way for a repetitive synth riff that runs through the main verses. Psy is on top of his game here, as energized as the music will let him be. The hook "I LUV IT" is present quite a bit here. The chorus has a hint of those crazy horns. The whole thing is a fantastic time. You could probably guess that 'I luv it.'
"New Face" has those same horns as the title track, only this song keeps the horns. Psy amps up his flow here, spitting rapid-fire raps. The hook is prominent here, "New Face" repeated quite a bit. But not too much. Even if it does sometimes sound like he says "you face." The man shows he hasn't lost any of his steam. I was wearing a new face after I heard it too -- I was sporting a grin.
His collaboration with G-Dragon "Fact" features down pitched vocals and has a weird psychedelic soundscape. It takes some getting used to, as synth pipings never seem to go anywhere, and the barely-there melody is buried under the rap. It's not bad, and both men rap for all they're worth, though it definitely sounds a little low energy and depressing.
In a genre-bending take, "Rock will never die" starts out with blistering guitars and a metal sensibility, even with some of the faux-horns blasting during the tune. There's some strange synth stabs here, but they don't do much to destroy the song. It is definitely one of those party rock songs that you won't be turning off anytime soon.
Continuing the tradition of strange songs, "Auto Reverse" begins with some weird billowy ballad from an earlier time that occasionally surfaces during this track. At first, you're confused, but you should be content once Psy and Tablo work their magic as only they can. It's not an amazing job, but they still have some pretty sick flow, and together they're as good as ever. The hook "just like us" is gold.
With any luck, I've given you a general idea of how this album sounds. Psy crosses genres on every album, never quite settling for pure hip hop, incorporating all sorts of instruments and sounds. His guest stars like B.I, Bobby, and Taeyang do an excellent job, too, each of them bringing their unique styles to the songs. Psy injects hip hop with new life with each album, and this album is no exception. It's just a good time listening to it.
MV REVIEW -- "I LUV IT"
Psy's MVs always seem to straddle the line somewhere between farcical and freakish. This one is no exception. The video really has no plot. It's a series of vignettes meant to make you gawk or guffaw. There's no middle ground unless you have no sense of fun.
Watch Psy as he dances his way through this video. The dance moves are almost too varied as if he doesn't intend for them to go viral. He thrusts his hips, he picks up his legs, makes thumbs up signs, and drops to his knees. That's just in the first minute. In some cases, it looks awkward, but I think that's the point.
The costumes are wild and varied. From plaid pajama pants to suits, and shimmery costumes, this is a must see. The number of costumes he wears are simply staggering, and this, too, is the point. It doesn't at any point look too ostentatious -- this is Psy we're talking about, and ostentatious is his middle name.
He has two guest stars in this video, the amazing Lee Byung Hun doing a rather skillful pantomime, and Daimaou Kosaka in a cameo. If you haven't seen Kosaka's "Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen" yet, google that sucker, and understand where the internet gets its reputation for being weird. The guest stars do a bang-up job, though.
It takes a pretty decent video to keep me from losing interest, but the song and imagery go incredibly well together. This is happy, fun, and makes you laugh. What's not to like?
MV REVIEW -- "NEW FACE"
With "New Face," it's as if the rapper said "you thought 'I LUV IT' was weird? You ain't seen nothing yet." Watch Psy don a thick mustache, and see him in all kinds of crazy costumes. From a chef to a gambler, a bellhop, and whatever this is:
The dancing is even more animated than his previous MV, but often resembles "Gangnam Style." It's a little different, and the lasso thing is missing, but there are still some reminders. Still, he kills it, and unveils some new dances here that are different from "I LUV IT."
His guest star is none other than the ravishing Naeun from A Pink. She goes through as many costume changes as he does, but not to the extent that it changes her identity. She's still a lovely girl in all of them, sometimes his backup dancer, sometimes his date.
It's still a rollicking good time, and the MV itself is possibly even better than the other one, just because of the comedic elements. Both of them are funny, but this goes rather more directly for the laughs than "I LUV IT." I have to say, watching both of these MVs significantly brightened my day.
MV Score: 9.3
Album Score: 9.3