Saturday, May 21st, 2022

Big Bang – Still Life

Is this the way the band ends?


Thomas Inskeep: The boy band’s return comes not with a bang, but a meager whimper.

Micha Cavaseno: To say that there’s some irony in “Still Life” being the title for the termination of Big Bang’s existence is understating the issue. We’re looking at a song that features a young man who literally attempted suicide and endured drug addiction as a result of the pressures of being an “idol” of Korean society. And similarly, there’s a glaring, Burning Sun-sized hole where another member should be. The jig is up; all the years of Big Bang’s peacocking have been revealed as nothing more than the jism of the South Korean government, YG Entertainment and its pedophile svengali, and organized crime. If G-D offered anything more than the most weak and tossed-off of ballads as a farewell for him and his brothers, it’d be more appropriate for the memory of this group who are aborted. Stillborn. Dead as FUCK. But that’s not appropriate for us. So go off, into the night, boys. T.O.P will hopefully be allowed to live and breathe in freedom, while mayhaps Seungri will end up UNDER the jail for a chance to let his nation feign innocence from the sins of their favored son. Good music? That’s for the ghost of Big Bang. This is what necrosis sounds like.

Tobi Tella: I know this is schmaltzy, PG slow jam fodder, but something about those plucked chords and the seasonal imagery has charmed me past the point of better judgement, damnit. Being manipulated into sentiment feels good sometimes!

Ian Mathers: The kind of swelling ridiculousness that works despite itself. Or at least, I don’t think the rapping astronaut or the boat-on-dry-land-with-a-bible-verse behind it or the shoutout to Tchaikovsky are intended to be farcical. Big Bang are big enough that those things probably register for fans or anyone else inside their sphere of influence as not even faintly baffling. Even from out here there are some nice moments.

Alfred Soto: An interminable plaint whose arrangement choices bespeak anxiety, “Still Life” can’t decide whether to mourn and move on or move on and celebrate, a tension that might’ve produced a fascinating single if the sentiments weren’t so drippy.

Anna Katrina Lockwood: I understand why so many people have read this as a farewell song from the mighty Big Bang, but I don’t believe that to be true. There’s a doleful, valedictory atmosphere, to be sure, but to me it’s the feeling of being in your mid-thirties and realizing how many books you’ve already closed; the friendships that have morphed and lapsed; the internal worries that have turned into external — family, work, possessions. Of course there are fresh joys in maturity but it’s a different tenor now, and that’s difficult to explain until you actually get there. “Still Life” does get a minor demerit from me for being chorusless — I would say it meanders more than it propels, though that languidness does add to the general vibe. The noodling guitar and chanted la-la-las are amusingly melodramatic and T.O.P is tremendously good, as are both vocalists. GD’s doubtless pointed decision to keep Teddy out of the track was surely an appropriate one. It’s not exactly the party anthem that we know best from Big Bang, but “Still Life” sure feels satisfyingly apt at this time. 

Reader average: [6] (2 votes)

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