Big Bang and its components are an insanely talented bunch. The leader of ’em is rightfully titled; he is G-Dragon. G-Dragon has produced some serious masterpieces during his career. Whether it be with Big Bang or his solo work, he really doesn’t take a break from creativity. He’s not only a songwriter, producer, or a rapper, he’s an entertainer. G-Dragon is a jack-of-all-trades and I have absolutely no problem with saying he’s one of the best things to ever happen to K-pop. His second full length solo album comes over three years after his first, the recent releasing on September 13th, 2013. Entitled COUP D’ETAT–meaning “Revolution” in French–G-Dragon is ready to blow our minds yet again. My favorite songs are italicized.
01. COUP D’ETAT (feat. Diplo & Baauer) – Let’s clear up the fact that the two “featured’s” are actually musical producers; Baauer being the creator of Harlem Shake. I already love that GD decided to utilize some Western producers. The album opener perfectly emphasizes GD’s rapper swag. Its old-school hip-hop sound meshes seamlessly with a modern electronic vibe. I’m not crazy for this song but I do love the Western aura of it. I feel like this is actually something that can be played on an R&B/Hip-Hop station. It sounds very universal, if you know what I mean. I can’t come to fully love it because it seems a little too slow for me.
02. Niliria (Missy Elliot Ver.) – At first, I really couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that Missy Elliot was in this song. Seriously, does that even sound like her!? Anyway, if you thought COUP D’ETAT was as hip-hop that G-Dragon could get, you thought wrong. This song is definitely a perfect song to debut in America with if he translated his parts into English. I mean, just listen to it! The horns in the back, flawless rapping, twerkworthy beat–I love it! I can’t handle the goodness in this short song!
03. R.O.D. (feat. Lydia Paek) – This is absolutely my favorite song off this album. The modern dubstep sound with hip-hop influence works wonders here. I adore the smooth transitions throughout the whole song. I’m not a big fan of dubstep, but G-Dragon’s fresh twist of it in this song is magical here. Let’s not forget the beautiful voice of Lydia Paek to top off this scrumptious sundae. Without her English chorus, the song seriously wouldn’t have the same appeal. Yet again, we have another song that would effortlessly fit on American radio. My boyfriend doesn’t understand my Asian music obsession, but hell, even he likes this song!
04. Black (feat. Jennie Kim of YG New Artist) – The slowest song of the album and even then it has a smooth R&B flavor. Jennie Kim is introduced in this track, in a similar fashion that Lee Hi was. Actually, I honestly thought that she was Lee Hi at first! jennie has a similar mature yet young voice as her fellow YG soloist. Her chorus is definitely my favorite part of the song. It’s very soothing and easy on the ears. The song itself is a bit boring and repetitive, but I do like it. Jennie saves the song from being completely lackluster.
05. Niga Mwonde (Who You?) – This upbeat, hip-hop-infused number shows off the two sides of G-Dragon: the simple-toned singer and high energy rapper. The fun feeling to this song definitely makes it worth the listen. It’s jazzy qualities keep your body swaying along to it. I also like how G-Dragon’s two vocal sounds are almost polar opposites from each other so it kind of sounds like two different vocalists on the track. It’s a very lovable song.
06. Sesangeul Heundeuleo (Shake The World) – Okay, this song annoys me a little bit. It’s not terrible, but it doesn’t feel very complete. It kind of seems like they were trying to fill up a spot on the album and ended up with this filler. There just isn’t much to it except the fact that it’s incredibly catchy and will most definitely stay stuck in your head for a while.
07. MichiGO – Oh man, if you don’t enjoy this song at least a little bit, you’re lying to yourself. This would be one of the ultimate party songs if it was released here in the States. It’s insanely upbeat and catchy. Not only is it chock full of GD’s swaggerful rapping but just listen to that beat. Is that not twerkworthy? I love the slight messy vibe of the whole thing. It’s not like this seamless, perfect track, nor does it try to be. It definitely works with the title. Oh, and have you seen that video? GD is so demented, it’s amazing.
08. Ppiddak Hage (Crooked) – This song bores me a little. It’s one of those chorus, loud-sung songs that GD releases here and there. It isn’t the worse song in the world but I can’t find anything that particularly pops out to me. It feels a bit like a filler even though it was a lead track.
09. Niliria (G-Dragon Ver.) – This is basically same as the Missy Elliot version, except it’s all G-Dragon rapping. I still love Missy’s long English rap.
10. Runaway – This one bored me a little at first. It was a little quiet and sounded very different from what I’m used to by G-Dragon. However, after a few listens, I did warm up to it a little. It has some rock guitar influence, which gives it a unique touch compared to the rest of the album. The instrumental break could have used some work.
11. Neomu Joha (I Love It) (feat. Zion.T & Boyz Noise) – Again, another song that has some help from a Western producer(whose real name is Alex). And yet again, I adore it. The cute jazzy feel is extremely contagious. It’s quiet but my oh my, that man’s voice keeps you awake. Seriously, it’s sexy! I find this a perfectly calm yet upbeat way to start closing out the album.
12. You Do (Outro) – You can’t do it quite like G-Dragon, guys. And he lets you know in this short outro. I like the repetitive “guitar” in this one. It has quite the hip-hop feel.
It’s very hard for G-Dragon to disappoint me. As I mentioned, to me, almost everything he does is this fascinating art that I need to know more about. I absolutely loved majority of the tracks in the album, preferring mostly the first half of it. The songs I weren’t particularly fond of ventured out of G-Dragon’s comfort zone and just failed to completely compel me. However, none of which were bad songs. I enjoyed GD’s leniency toward true hip-hop and R&B in this album. Sure, that’s his musical style but a lot of the time, it’s mixed with hit or miss dubstep and techno-like backing. It’s nice to hear GD’s universality. There’s really nothing particularly wrong with this album other than the songs that just didn’t grab my attention. G-Dragon is truly a musical genius and he did a phenomenal job with this album.