After their phenomenal comeback earlier this year Korean boy group, BIGBANG, have decided to release a special edition of the ‘Alive‘ album for their return to Japan. The leading single taken from the collection is titled ‘Monster‘, and the music video was released yesterday along with the album (which is available for purchase on iTunes). Anything that BIGBANG produce tends to cause a huge international hype, and so there was a lot resting on this single, but does it live up to the expectations?
Their Japanese pieces tend to differ slightly from the Korean, and this is notable in ‘Monster‘. It boarders on pop-ballad with their trade-mark hip-hop twist, but the colourful character is tamed as the dance beats and synths are put aside to cater for a different set of fans. There is a huge dose of captivating power that propels the song forward to grasp any listener’s attention, yet their bright characters are weak, as the boys adopt a more sophisticated tone. Taeyang’s and Daesung’s vocals are limited to the catchy chorus and often falling victim to some unnecessary auto-tuning. Their English lyrics echo throughout the track, the desperation strikes through as a dominating feature, building upon the power; “I need you, baby, I’m not a monster!”. Seungri returns to his child-like state with a timid yet enchanting verse, as he displays an impressive vocal range. G-Dragon and T.O.P. steal the show with a play on their rap sequences that bounce off each other to boost the tense atmosphere, making their contribution the most striking element of the song, especially at the opening. The music is reliant on a pretty piano accompanied by some haunting strings that is overall reminiscent of a previous Japanese hit ‘Tell Me Goodbye‘. It is built up by some steady beats but otherwise the backdrop is pretty minimal, giving it a very ominous feels that may leave you with goosebumps. The song’s pace is not consistent, but relatively messy at it rides the rhythm up and down and up and down as the writers try to give it a more authentic emotional effect; it is emotionally exhausting in this sense.
It is not a bad track, but it is not their most fierce. They have released love ballads before, but compared to the likes of ‘Haru Haru‘ and ‘Tell Me Goodbye‘, it lacks perfection and comes across as almost unfinished. Check it out below!