No witty, pre-review commentary from me today as I am at a loss for words. Let’s just jump right in, shall we?
1. Intro – a bit mellower than I like my intro songs to be (I like the intros to hype me up for the rest of the album) but it suits Taeyang’s style quite well, and it is cohesive with the entire album.
2. Superstar – vuvuzuela-inspired perhaps? I do like the general idea behind the song if that makes sense, but I’m not a fan of the horns. In fact, I like everything but the horns. Having them on loop throughout the entire track makes the whole thing sound a little tacky and I would’ve preferred a heavier beat to offset the horns’ tinny quality.
3. I Need a Girl (ft. G-Dragon) – I like it. It’s not quite as exciting as one might think a title track should be, but I do like the overall ‘softness’ of the song. In particular, I like the little piano bits in the pre-chorus that give it an added sweetness without being too cheesy, and I can’t believe I’m saying this but I like the rap. I like that it’s GD doing it because without him, the song might have gone even further down snoozefest-territory.
4. Just a Feeling – It’s a jam, that’s for sure, and I like that they followed up I Need a Girl with something a little more upbeat. The only thing I don’t like about it is the fact that it ends a little too abruptly because it’s so…the Tagalog word for it would be bitin, which means that it doesn’t feel complete and it leaves the listener wanting more.
5. You’re My – I was studying while I was listening to the album and when this one came on, I made a note on my readings that said “Too many food references!” and I stand by this judgment. Melody is nice, but I find it a little too cheesy for my taste, and I’m not a huge fan of Taeyang’s rather nasally falsetto, sorry to say.
6. Move (ft. Teddy) – I swear I’m not a prude (I’m not!) but I just felt all sorts of secondhand embarrassment when Teddy started rapping. It’s just so…campy. And here I start to see what critics of Taeyang mean when they describe his voice as “whiny.”
7. Break Down – I think the transition from the intro into the song itself is pretty neat, starting out pretty dark and ~hood~ and then ending up more upbeat. Horns were used again, but it’s not as loop-y as the horns in Superstar and it works well with this particular song since it’s got a bit of a marching band vibe to it. I also like that even though they autotuned Taeyang’s voice, it done more as an embellishment as opposed to like, doing it to make up for what he lacks vocally, if that makes sense.
8. After You Fall Asleep (ft. Swings) – Easily my favorite track in the entire album. I love everything about it, from the tinkling noises in the intro, to the snapping in the middle of the verse, to how it transitions from slow to more upbeat from the chorus onwards. I may be reading too much into it, but the way the rap was delivered was particularly cool as well, because you had the chill, I’m talking to you in my regular voice and then it speeds up, tying the melody and rap together almost seamlessly.
9. Where U At – I don’t like this song at all, to be quite honest. Didn’t like it then, don’t like it now, and I’ve never been able to fully explain why.
10. Wedding Dress – This song is a grower for me. Prior to the release of Solar, I only listened to this song maybe once or twice, and only because my friend was dancing to it (he’s a really big Taeyang fan), and now I like it.
11. Take It Slow – I don’t this song interesting at all.
General Comments: I haven’t reviewed anything in so long that I nearly forgot what comes next. T_T
The reason why I’m at a loss for words is because I honestly do not know what to say. I had a really difficult time reviewing this album, mostly because it draws so heavily on hip-hop, rnb influences, and truth be told, that’s not my genre at all. That’s also probably the reason why I’m not much of a Big Bang fan (is that the sound of fangirls screaming, “WHAT??? WHYYYY?” I hear?) It’s not that I think they suck or anything, I just find it hard to muster up any sort of curiosity where they’re concerned. I do like a few of their songs (Gara, Gara, Go! and Tell Me Goodbye, and a couple of G-Dragon’s stuff) but that’s about it.
That being said, this album was kind of meh for me. It had a nice flow, good consistency, but the consistency is more because a lot of the songs are pretty one note. I hear a lot of the same beats and effects being recycled throughout the entire album, and after my nth listen, I was more like, “Let’s get this over with,” than anything else. I just don’t find the entire thing compelling or interesting enough to put on repeat. The songs that I didn’t like had potential but they sort of failed in the execution (Superstar, even Move) and then there are a few gems (Just a Feeling, Break Down and After You Fall Asleep), but they shine brighter because the others are lackluster in comparison. Overall, the entire thing is a little forgettable, and I’d give it a 2.5 to 3/5.