Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Big Bang – Bae Bae

Cue people saying we shoulda done “Loser”…


Madeleine Lee: Big Bang have spent the three years since “Fantastic Baby” constantly touring, but with no new group material since Still Alive, it’s felt like they’ve already skipped to the reunion tour, wringing as much cash as they can out of their collective glory years while doing more adventurous things individually: choosing terrible hairstyles, making great solo singles, collecting chairs. Now they’re finally back, with a pledge to release two new singles a month (because that went so well last time), and this is… OK. The blend of surf and western is nice and not overused, and everyone sounds good and like they’ve grown since we last heard them, but it doesn’t thrill me the way the Tarantino-style tour trailer did. That felt energetic and unpredictable, while the title “Bae Bae” only feels inevitable, and the song sounds like what it is: a way to pass time until a better Big Bang single comes.

Alfred Soto: Some of its hairpin turns work, like the Young Thug mimicry in the second verse and the guitar hook throughout. I have to keep resisting the temptation to sing Billy Ocean’s “Suddenly,” though.

Jessica Doyle: Pure speculation, but this seems like it was written in the same session as 2NE1’s “Come Back Home” and “Missing You“: three cases of experimentation packed into the verses and the chorus playing it safer. This one feels even more disjointed than the 2NE1 songs because of T.O.P.’s part. I can get on board with GD channeling his admiration for Missy Elliott into a love song that’s as much about self-congratulation as sexual tension, and the other three backing him up with more conventional crooning. But while I’m as much a fan of Cranky Restless T.O.P. as the next person, when he says things like “your eyes are pretty like a deer” in that tone, I figure his next move is to reach for his hunting rifle.

Maxwell Cavaseno: This is not about the other guys — especially not T.O.P, who phones in this verse and judging from his inexplicable new costume might be preparing for the end. It is about GD. All whirling dervish, G-Dragon bites Young Thug’s cadences and mannerisms expertly while spinning them into a pop realm Jeff doesn’t have access to. Unlike how Drakk turned Thugger’s crests into the sounds of crashing planes, Big Bang are the sounds of impish leaps, wolf-whistles and “AWOOGA”s, complete with GD piping all through the adlibs like the infectious disease he is (but only in the best way possible). Those medieval fanfares, the pillowy snap music sections followed by the striking guitar strut, the way they’ve seemingly evolved and regressed — it’s a testament to how complete their style is. Big Bang don’t just sound like their influences (or victims in Dragon’s gluttonous terms), they transcend them.

Patrick St. Michel: Sex this up all ya want and have G-Dragon rap about his boner, but this is a ballad, and a typical one save for the trap touches.

Scott Mildenhall: Old-fashioned in a way that seems to rely upon that as a virtue in itself, which it isn’t. Big Bang don’t quite put the bad into troubadours, but they also don’t put in too much imagination or a particularly worthwhile chorus. Nothing seems to happen, and then it ends.

Reader average: [5.75] (4 votes)

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