K-Pop Artist of the Month: Taeyang (태양)

Everyone knows who Taeyang is. If you been a big fan of K-pop, he is one of the members of the band called Big Bang. Taeyang has been successful both in Big Bang and as a solo artist. It’s been 3 years since his song “Eyes, Nose, Lips” dominated the charts and now Taeyang is back with his 3rd mini album White Night. On this album, Taeyang worked with famous Korean rappers such as Teddy, Kush and Zico. The musical arrangement and lyrics of his songs were all done by Taeyang. This album showcased how great he is as a songwriter. His album includes eight (8) new tracks for your listening pleasure. Will Taeyang’s new album, White Night, meet our expectations from his previous albums?

Album Review

Track 1 – “White Night”

This is a one-and-a-half minute track and it’s a great introduction for the album. It sets the mood and gets you excited for what this album has to offer. The music builds up throughout the song, ending in a way that it leads nicely to the next song. Taeyang showcases his impressive range as he sings and hits the falsetto in the track. This track is one of my favourite tracks and I wish it was a full-length song.

Track 2 – “Wake Me Up”

This is one of Taeyang’s two title tracks. This track is a power ballad and it sounds amazing. The best part of the song would be during the chorus, as it gives a serious intensity to the track. I am a fan of the use of techno effects within this song and how the track has been arranged to make the musical style feel fresh. From this track you can feel the emotions from Taeyang’s singing, it’s so beautiful. I love how the track is arranged in such a way that is easy to follow and allows you to get lost in your own world and emotions.

Track 3 – “Darling”

This is the second title track from White Night. This track is a piano-based pop ballad but it’s very different from “ Wake Me Up”. It has the piano playing in the background and there is no techno effects. It really showcases Taeyang’s voice and gives this tune some weight. I found this track quite cute as a love song that you would play for your significant other. It picks up momentum about halfway, through the use of violin and guitar. This is a welcome change as it created a new dimension to the song and feels that it fits anytime of the day to listen to.

Track 4 – “Ride”

“Ride” is totally an R&B song. This song is a more upbeat song which includes body swaying music. It’s a track where you want to stand up and dance. It gives a funkier rhythm to the album. It sounds very smooth like it’s supposed to and seems like it’s a standard R&B song that you will enjoy listening to. Taeyang’s vocals are on point and the main impression from the song is that he sings to his girl telling her that he wants to take her on a ride. If anyone is nostalgic and listens to old R&B, this song is great for you. The song is very different to the other songs in the album and it’s a nice addition to album.  Also, I think it is quite a sexy song and really suits Taeyang’s style of music. Who does not want Taeyang to ask you out for a ride? This is a great song for a date night.

Track 5 – “Amazin”

This song feels like a club banger, where it can be played in clubs. It’s very groovy and gives off a Michael Jackson vibe. The beat actually makes your feel good, if you feel down, it can help brighten up your mood for the day. This can be a summer track where you are able to ride along the grove. However, on the downside, “Amazin” needs a better chorus as the repetition of a single word is just not working for me. I feel that this is something that persists across the whole song and it’s more of a function of Taeyang’s personal writing style.

Track 6 – “텅빈도로 (Empty Road)”

This track is similar to “Darling” as it allows Taeyang’s vocals to stand out from the arrangement of the song. What’s unique about the song is not the piano, but its electro-acoustic guitar which leads the song. When listening to the chorus, it offers more complexity in terms of the beat. It sounds like it is leading unto something powerful. However, it goes back to his soft vocals and the guitar sound, which contrasts well in the song. I feel that, with each and every chorus, it builds up the anticipation until the final chorus, when it burst out with a very strong drum sound. Near the end of the song, we can hear Taeyang powerful voice and it’s so beautiful when he sings with this much power. This is one of my favourite songs of the album as it’s such a soft, relaxing, but somewhat powerful number. This is the true highlight of the album White Night.

Track 7 – “Naked”

This song is sort of halfway between an R&B track and a ballad. This is a soft EDM- inspired track. It’s not as sexy as what the title suggests. It’s quite a powerful track and there are elements within the song which makes it exciting to dance too. When it reaches the chorus you can hear the synthetic beats stand out. It’s very forceful and fits the songs. The song describes Taeyang telling someone to get naked and spend the night with him. Who wouldn’t like to see Taeyang naked? That would be amazing. It not one of my favourite tracks and I feel that other tracks in the album is more punchy but it’s still worth a listen.

Track 8 – “오늘밤 (Tonight)” feat. ZICO

It was great that Taeyang was able to work with Zico and Kush on this track. “Tonight” is the probably a track that represents Taeyang the most and is my favourite track of the album. This song is rock-inspired as it gives off this type of feel. It’s a different genre of music than Taeyang has tried before, as it opens up with a loud drum beat. Along with Taeyang’s dominant vocal, Zico comes in with a rap which matches with the dark vibe of the song very well. It sounds like a Halloween track where it’s quite chilling and haunting in a way. The way the song is arranged is done in a way which is very charismatic in an addicting way. I really enjoyed listening to the outro of the track. I would say listen to the track and you will like it.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I am actually quite impressed with Taeyang’s album White Night. For me, I feel this album has allowed Taeyang to step out of his comfort zone without stressing the bounds of his singing abilities or making the audience feel uncomfortable, that’s why it makes him so successful. On this album, Taeyang is able put his emotions in the songs. I would recommend to listen to all the songs as each song has a different colour to fit whatever mood you are in. I would give this album a rating of 7/10 as it’s a great album to listen to. I hope he continues to have success in his future activities as a solo artist and with Big Bang.

Just the facts: social media edition

Here’s Taeyang social media accounts:

Please follow him, especially on Instagram, where you are able see his updates. I congratulate him with all the success he has so far. Until next time, have a great month and watch out for my next article.

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