Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Taeyang – 1AM

1AM: Bedtime or peak hour? Discuss.


Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: At the start of this decade, Taeyang eased into his role of being Omarion for the Korean Market (having taken over from Rain). He was a strong singer, a graceful dancer and he was being handed well-written powderpuff R&B: add abdominal exercises and you have a full package. Last year’s comeback single “Ringa Linga” split the difference between G-Dragon’s electro-rap burr and Jason Derulo’s populist, mutant Guetta&B. Taeyang’s new album Rise is an album-length slide into full Derulo territory, which means there’s no room for powderpuff R&B anymore. “1AM” is the closest Rise gets to his old material, with its chipmunk soul sample, but we’re dealing with a different artist entirely, one unaware that he is denying his strongest suits as a performer. The upside: the Korean Omarion post is vacant and accepting applications.

Madeleine Lee: Some people miss the old “Only Look At Me” Taeyang and his eternal faux-hawk; personally, I prefer the new “Ringa Linga” Taeyang, even with the gross white braids. Much like the greased-out, half-dyed pile on his head towards the end of the video, “1AM” gives us the worst of both, a staid ballad with an artless sing-rap chorus.

Patrick St. Michel: A twinkling thumper centered around heartbreak, but even with all the nice sonic touches running through this, it ultimately just sort of plods along. 

Megan Harrington: Taeyang is clever; “1 AM” spins from intense melancholy to carefree joyrides and back. It’s majority break-up song, but I find myself bouncing around, identifying only with the “hands in the air!” portions and relieved of the burden of ghostly ex-lovers. 

Will Adams: That sinkhole of a chorus — unmoving melody, lack of explosions — jars with what is otherwise a big-eyed and sparkly ballad. No doubt Taeyang’s studies under YG and his involvement in Big Bang have made him a charismatic vocalist, so why not give him a better canvas to show that?

Brad Shoup: The piano-and-twinkle intro got me set for some sellout-Springsteen-level bombast, but things level out for Taeyang’s obsessive, thoroughly bummed reading. He’s sad but not creepy, dazed but not totally out. A perfect match for one grand weep of a production job.

Reader average: [2.5] (4 votes)

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5 Responses to “Taeyang – 1AM”

  1. Taeyang apparently wanted to make an arty/downer RnB album like The Weeknd or Frank Ocean, but his label held his completed record hostage and forced him to go in this direction instead :( The song on the album that sounds closest to what he originally wanted to do is Love You to Death – which I think is only okay, but at least has a killer title.

    Meanwhile, the actually single from the album, Eyes Ears Lips, is currently #1 in Korea, adding insult to injury.

  2. But at least the mandatory-feature (also required by the label) turned out well, even though he kind of cheating by getting GDragon on it and not finding a non-other-half artist to work with.

  3. Oh man there are typos all over those comment… sorry guys, blame jetjag.

  4. These are ALLL important facts Sub, thx.

  5. YG continues to make bad management choices, water continues to be wet, etc.