TAEYANG – WHITE NIGHT
1. White Night
2. WAKE ME UP
6. EMPTY ROAD
8. TONIGHT (Feat. ZICO)
It's been three years since "Eyes, Nose, Lips" dominated the charts. Now Taeyang is back again with his 3rd LP 'White Night.' Working with Teddy, Kush, and Zico, the Big Bang singer gives you 8 new tracks for your listening pleasure.
The intro track, "White Night," is interesting as it's a great teaser for the rest of the LP. Here he agonizes about missing the girl, and the track itself showcases Taeyang's impressive range, as he sings, belts, and hits falsetto, all in the same minute and 34 seconds. Honestly, I wish this track was a full one because this is the one I like the best.
The title track "WAKE ME UP" is a power ballad, and unabashedly at that. It sounds particularly majestic during the chorus, giving this thing some serious intensity. I love the techno effects they stuck in here, and I'm amazed at the lengths they go to in order to keep this musical style fresh. Still, it's a good tune, and definitely title track worthy.
"DARLING" is the second title track, and it is all ballad. Taeyang's expressive voice gives this tune some weight. It picks up some momentum about halfway in, but other than that there's not much to distinguish song from every other similar one.
"RIDE" is a stab at R&B. It sounds smooth like it's supposed to, and seems to be pretty standard R&B all the way around. "AMAZIN' " is every inch the club-banger, with super-smooth pre-choruses. In some case,s I think that's what Taeyang really does best. The soft rock piece on here is "EMPTY ROAD," and it is absolutely top-notch. If you think BlackPink's "STAY" with an electric guitar instead of acoustic, you'll have a good idea of what it sounds like. "NAKED" is of particular note, sort of mid-way between ballad and club-banger, with the best elements of both. I like the synth stabs here during the chorus, very forceful, and punctuates the point he's getting at nicely ("I want you naked").
"TONIGHT" (Feat. ZICO) is probably the most avant-garde tune on the LP. It's very cacophonous, the pounding drum and the other instruments give you a sense of crashing as you listen to it. It has kind of an industrial bent, but it really is its own animal. Taeyang's desperate vocals are sharpened by Zico's rapid-fire flow, all while everything seems to shatter around them. And it's probably the best full track on the album.
So I've probably given you enough to get an idea of what this sounds like. It's pretty good, and he manages to cross genres effortlessly. He's got a multi-purpose voice, and he uses it well here. There are a couple throwaway tracks, but there are some outstanding ones on here that make up for that. Frankly, I think Taeyang's got another jewel to put in his crown.
MV REVIEW – "WAKE ME UP"
This MV could have been maudlin. And it certainly started out that way. It appears that she's gone, and so Taeyang goes about his day, and that's when the magic happens. He kicks up a couple flares and holds them as they belch spark into the verdant green forest. Eventually, he's covered by these sparks (well, okay it's really glitter), and after that, we're treated to more bizarre images.
It's not the first time an MV has defied rational description, and it won't be the last. It actually is quite striking, the way they filmed this, and makes for a rather fantastic viewing experience. All this despite the WTFery.
No, there's no dancing, not even much of a plot. But the visuals make up for it. You may not entirely be sure of what's going on, but you certainly won't be bored figuring it out.
MV REVIEW – "DARLING"
This MV takes advantage of the rather stunning locations it's filmed in. Indeed, as the camera pans out to encompass a picturesque scene, it seems like the landscape takes center stage.
The song is sad, and the MV echoes this with tears and gestures of desperation. There are some dizzying scenes as the camera travels around Taeyang. There's no dancing, but that would be inappropriate here.
We see all sorts of awesome scenes, such as a desert, a snowfield, a cityscape, even a helipad high atop a skyscraper. Not sure what all this has to do with the song, but he still ends up alone. But I should expect no less from an MV made around a lovelorn ballad. Regardless, this one gets my thumbs up as well.
MV SCORE: 8.3
ALBUM SCORE: 8.7