G-Dragon’s solo projects have always been a little much for me. It’s not that his music was bad by any means; in fact, Crayon and Light It Up are still bops that I knock to this day. But he seems to have a similar problem to a lot of artists who are also producers, he can’t filter himself. A lot of his own work tends to be massively overproduced and listening to everything on his projects at once can be a daunting experience to the ears.
Thankfully he dialed it back for this EP because we are loving it.
If you remember M.A.D.E., then you may have noticed that the Big Bang frontman has switched up his style some. Leaning away from the more EDM-heavy beats that have marked his style for many of the tracks, he has switched to a more lowkey hip-bop with slight electronic influences that are kept mostly to the background. The overall change is appreciably different; everything is far less harsh and allows for a more distinct vocal delivery. That trend continues here with more subtly complex beats that aren’t competing for space in your brain. A little softer where it needs to be; more controlled in its own ego.
There are a lot of people who do not like G-Dragon’s voice when he sings…I’m not one of them. He has personality and knows were his limits are. He tends to have a stronger emotional connectivity on tracks where the subject matter is sad and the beats are slow, so choosing to sing for the majority of Divina Commedia and Untitled, 2014 is a good choice and brings a more serious mood to close out what is predominately a fairly bright-sounding project.
The thing about him that tends to balance out the production problems that G-Dragon’s projects tend to have is his writing ability. He’s pretty prolific in those terms, but he knows how to balance out the fun and the serious in a way that really makes his work impressive (especially for someone so young). This could be an absolute downer as he slowly shifts from his bravado in the beginning to taking stock of his own loneliness and the way that people think about him. His writing and some of the humor he brings to those subjects helps soften the blow until the very end where the cumulative effect leave you feeling like you’ve gotten past a wall to the inner mind of the man.
If you love G-Dragon, this is a win; if you’ve been on the fence, check this out. This EP is a good next move (musically) for Kwon Ji Yong.
Our favorite tracks are Super Star and Divina Commedia. The most skippable track is Bullsh!t.