Early Times Best Album [Asia Best 2006-2009] / BIGBANG

Release Date: August 19, 2009

Track Listing

  1. Haru Haru
  2. Make Love – English Version –
  3. Lie – Korean Version –
  4. Number 1
  5. Lollipop feat. 2NE1
  6. So Beautiful
  7. Stylish
  8. La La La – Korean Version –
  9. Remember – Korean Version
  10. We Belong Together – Korean Version –
  11. Together Forever

Review

Big Bang is a Korean boy band signed to YG Entertainment.  The group has 5 members.  G-Dragon, T.O.P.,Taeyang, Daesung and Seungri.  Asia Best is a compilation of the their hits  from 2006-2009 and is a perfect introduction for those new to Big Bang (like myself) and K-Pop in general.

Much like 2NE1, Big Bang was recommended listening from those more knowledgeable in K-Pop than I. Their sound is described as Hip-Pop with a dash of R&B and Dance.  I found that to be a reasonably fair description of their music although I tend to notice a much stronger dance influence than anything else. Perhaps that’s just me who notices that, I don’t know.

Their songs are definitely catchy no matter what genre they’re working in.  I had heard their song Lollipop on the 2NE1 mini-album and thought it was pretty lame.  But now that I’ve had some time to sit down & listen to it again (& again & again…) the song isn’t as bad I had once thought.  In fact, it’s some pretty hot stuff.

Other tracks worth noting are mostly the more up tempo dance-like tracks such as Haru Haru and Lies. Both songs have some nice piano melodies and are not heavily influenced by electro-pop like some of the later songs on this album.  Speaking of that, songs like Number 1 and So Beautiful are prime examples of that influence.

Those are not too far off from what you would hear from a North American pop artist (complete with auto-tuned vocals). Both songs have some really sweet hooks and are well constructed pop songs.  It’s difficult to pick which one would be worth listening to more but I tend to lean more towards the smoother groove of Number 1.

The final song worth investing some time is the ballad Together Forever.  It’s sung completely in English and is a sweet slice of R&B goodness.  The group harmonizes quite well.  It was nice to hear something that shows off their vocal abilities (sans auto-tune and all that).

The groups English pronunciation is spot on.  I know it’s a dumb thing to pick up on but with many Asian artists incorporating English in their songs I appreciate those who take the effort to sound somewhat coherent.  It makes me wonder if any of the members perhaps speak English?  I dunno… Just wondering.

Anyway… I liked what I heard on this album.  Great stuff.

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