GD&T.O.P – Vol. 1
01 Intro [LIVE]
02 High High [MV] [LIVE]
03 Oh Yeah (feat. Park Bom) [LIVE]
04 Don’t Go Home [LIVE]
05 Baby Good Night [MV]
06 Knock Out [MV] [LIVE]
07 Oh Mom (T.O.P) [LIVE]
08 Nightmare (G-Dragon) [LIVE]
09 Today of All Days (T.O.P)
10 What Do You Want Me To Do? (G-Dragon)
11 Turn It Up (T.O.P) [MV] [LIVE]
Two of Korea’s hottest artists, G-Dragon and T.O.P join hands to release their first collaboration album to pump up fans before their official Big Bang comeback. The album is packed with eleven tracks, all of which are expected to get the party started for many K-pop fans. It includes six collaboration numbers and five solo songs showcasing each respective member’s musical skills.
Music lovers are in for a triple treat with three title tracks. The first one is “High High,” an electronica, dance number composed and penned by Teddy with the help of GD&T.O.P. When I first heard the song, I was not feeling it because I honestly thought the boys had so much more potential. However, after a couple more listens and viewings of the music video, I began to appreciate it more. Thank god, there were two more title tracks in store.
I was particularly curious about “Knock Out,” a GD&T.O.P and Diplo production because the duo’s performance at the 2010 Mnet Asian Music Awards caught my attention. It reminded me of some of Big Bang’s older works that incorporated more rapping and less singing – something I took a liking towards. The repetitive lines “bbuk ee gayo” along with the catchy bubble wrap popping noises in the background were appealing, and the smooth, fun lyrics (referencing the T.O.P coffee for example) were also entertaining.
The last title track is “Oh Yeah” a slightly slower dance track of the hip-hop genre. The strong house rhythms flowed well with GD&T.O.P’s fierce rap and Park Bom’s energetic vocals. Nevertheless, the song was kind of on the boring side for me. I guess if I were to rank the title tracks, “Knock Out” would come in first, followed by “High High” and “Oh Yeah.”
GD&T.O.P also promotes “Don’t Go Home” and “Baby Good Night,” tracks four and five of the album. The former is an upbeat dance number with some jazz elements. There is a good mixture of G-Dragon’s falsettos and T.O.P’s solid rap. “Baby Good Night” on the other hand is much slower in tempo with heavy guitar accompaniment. The smooth style of the song as well as the French(?) narration in the beginning and the end of the song fit perfectly in this “sexy” number. Like in “Don’t Go Home,” G-Dragon takes care of the falsettos while T.O.P perfects his rap.
The second half of the album consists of solo tracks from the duo. G-Dragon has two solos – “Nightmare” and “What Do You Want Me To Do?” “Nightmare” is a pop dance number that uses a lot of synthesizers. Listeners can definitely feel the yearning through G-Dragon’s rap and vocals as he sings about being obsessed over an unrequited love. The rock sounds further help bring out this mood. “What Do You Want Me To Do” on the other hand takes on a more old school route. This upbeat number which sounds like it came out of a musical however, is not my cup of tea – probably the least favorite track in the album.
T.O.P on the other hand has three solo songs, including “Turn It Up” which had been previously released as a single. From the three, this is probably my favorite. This T.O.P and Teddy production really brings out what the singer is known for – his fierce rap and manliness. The beats and rap were catchy on first listen. Sadly, I wasn’t too impressed with the rock influenced “Oh Mom” or the dance number “Today of All Days.” Maybe I’m just not used to T.O.P’s “singing” or his “engrish” which I think he should stay away from.
Wrapping it up, I must say the group tracks in the first half of the album stood out much more than the solo songs in the second half. Not only did the quality of the songs seem better but the synergy of the two artists made them enjoyable to listen. The solo songs seemed to lack the extra oomph, but who knows – turning these solo tracks into collaboration numbers might have made them a whole lot better!
5/5 – Even if you’re not a fan of this artist/group this album is a must buy.
4/5 – If you’re a fan of this artist/group, you must buy this album.
3/5 – If you’re a fan of this artist/group, you might want to add this one to your collection.
2/5 – I don’t think a fan would even buy this.
1/5 – You might as well just flush your money down the toilet