Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Review: G-Dragon's One of a Kind (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of the review of G-Dragon's second solo album, One of a Kind. I'll be reviewing the remaining 4 songs. As you probably remember, I adore this album - let's start the reviewing!

4. That XX*

For those of you who don't know, the "XX" is "새끼", which romanized is "saekki", and means "bastard" or "motherf*cker", although i'm not sure how offensive it is to koreans. Korean officials are known for censoring things considered commonplace in american music, so there's a good chance this insult isn't as terrible as it seems. I find it especially funny that in "Light It Up", GD and Dok2 openly swear in english, but that's not censored. 

GD vampire style! G, GG, G, GD vampire style!
The song itself is soft and acoustic, and I think it showcases the best of GD's vocals, which are bell-like and clear. It actually reminds me of Seungri's part in Blue (<3), except with a flatter, nasal and unique G-Dragon sound. However what I didn't like when I first heard the song is that there is no climax. The soft singing continues throughout the song, making it a bit boring especially when you're an international fan like me, who doesn't understand the korean. But now when I listen to it again, and after reading the english lyrics, I feel like the point of this is to show the hopelessness GD feels, and how it hasn't or will not change. My favorite part was the rap part. It's not sexy fast rap, but it's a change from the pretty but unchanging singing. The slow beat makes me feel really sad, and I honestly feel like crying at this part. Another thing worth mentioning is the amazing english. In fact it's so amazing that I'm gonna quote some of it and put it in pretty but melancholy colors.    

"I don't wanna hurt you" 
"They say love is blind, oh baby you so blind"
"I don't know what to say no more"

*my ugly sobs*

The 2 roles of GD
The music video adds another dimension to the song, providing us with a bit more insight with what's going on. GD plays both the character of the XX and the narrator (presumably the friend-zoned guy). He illustrates how he feels like he's shut out of her life, and that's why he has to look at her through the keyhole to her bedroom. Also, the part where GD says she the girl is "blind", and the video shows a white veil being placed over her face. This is only for one second, but I liked it a lot because it's saying that being with that XX is actually making her blind, and ironically white veil's are used in weddings. The veil is also like a barrier between friend-zoned GD and the girl. I've seen him being called "good GD" as opposed to "bad GD", and although I agree the cheater boyfriend GD is definitely bad, I don't think you can say the other is good. In fact, the way he seems to almost stalk the girl - he definitely cares about her but does that make the him good? Finally, I love the effect they put on the video in the parts where cheater boyfriend GD was featured. the sharpening effect gives us the impression the guys is cold and inhuman, which is probably how friend-zoned GD feels. 

And finally, the girl in the music video, Jenny Kim! If you read part 1 of the review here,  you'll know that I am anxiously waiting for YG's new girl group, which is rumored to be debuting in January 2013. Jenny Kim is reallyy pretty, especially in the video :D Actually, the first time I saw her, I thought she looked a lot like my best friend, who's name is also Jenny! Do you think they look similar?

YG's Jenny and my friend Jenny.
If my friend wasn't smiling, I swear they would look exactly alike!
5. Missing You ft. Kim Yuna

The beautiful Kim Yuna!
This song is one of the most popular non-title tracks. It has a vintage feel, and G-Dragon himself said that it was supposed to reminisce the musical style of our parent's generation. I think the whistling sounds in the background and the harpsichord-sounding After hearing this, and the song, it reminded me of 70's couple in "Love Rain". Did you guys watch that drama? "Missing You" seems like the kind of song that would have been played during that time, in that generation. The song is about missing an ex-girlfriend, but actually gives off a happy and upbeat feel (the whistling especially). 

I hadn't heard of Kim Yuna before this, but it turns out she is a singer in indie group Jaurim. She has a lovely voice, not anything utterly amazing, but it suits the song really well. We get to see some manly GD! His voice is lower and manlier than usual, and because of this I think it sounded more unnatural and strained. 

6. Today ft. Kim Jongwan

Kim Jongwan was another artist I hadn't heard of until now. His high falsetto part in the song surprised me, but I have grown to appreciate me and I think it contrasts very well with GD's voice. As for GD's part, it wasn't really anything unexpected, but good nonetheless. The song's lyrics really threw me off. I thought that the song was about living life to the fullest "today", not putting things off, especially because in the song there is the chant-like part at the end, like everyone is cheering you on. But I was wrong. Turns out, the song is really about GD cheating on his girlfriend. He has a one night stand, and  does not go home, lying to his waiting girlfriend. He sings "the love room in my heart is filled today and guests can stay for free". I really didn't see that coming for a song with such an uplifting and fun-sounding feeling.  

There was one english line that confused me: "I don't care, cuz we wild and rolling stones." Does that mean anything to anyone? What is being rolling stones? Maybe it's some kind of deep metaphor that is too advanced for me but...I don't understand. Still, loved the song. 

7. Light It Up ft. Tablo and Dok2

There is something you need to know about me. Personally, I think that Tablo is the best rapper in kpop right now, partly because of his amazing lyrics. I also have massive respect for G-Dragon and Dok2. Tablo composed this song, and although lyrically it wasn't as poetic Tablo is known for, but the sick beat makes it impossible to not bob your head up and down. The song has a "grungy" hip hop type of sound, which was awesome, but I'm still not sure about the squeaking sounds in the background throughout the song. My favorite part was "Light one up for the fans, uhh. Light one up for the hands, up". I also find it amusing that "That XX" is censored, but there are open english swear words in this song, the one I especially like: "all these fake motherf*ckers dunno how to act". Maybe that's why this song is only available physically? It's ironic and a little bit amusing. 

The chorus repeats "Bubutchwabata" which means "light it up" in korean. It might make more sense in korean, and I understand the gist of what this means, but the english translation "light it up" could have been better...light what up? Essentially I think the 3 rappers are saying how much they are better than other rappers, overcome haters, and don't conform to pressure from other's. Tablo and G-Dragon (not that familiar with Dok2) have both gone through personal problems, that have been exacerbated because of their fame. Maybe this is their way of saying they are ready to move on from that part of their life. 

That's the message GD's been conveying throughout the whole album, don't ya think? So as usual, leave a comment, check a feedback box, and enjoy! I'm going to try my best to review Epik High's comeback album next.  

Check out the MV for That XX:


1 comment:

Cindy said...

I actually really liked missing you. One of my favourite songs! Please check out or follow my blog at