G Dragon dropped his mini album “One of a Kind” on the 15th of September and it has already made an all kill on multiple music charts like Soribada, Melon, Duam, Bugs, Mnet, and Naver just to name a few. The colorful mix of Indie, retro Pop, and Soft Rock music styles with strong Hip Hop elements, along with G Dragon’s blend of soft vocals and superior rapping, make up the ingredients for this EP. Various composers such as Teddy, Tablo, and Choi Pil Kang also joined G Dragon to create this astonishing album. It consists of six excellent tracks that will unquestionably lure in people from far and wide to listen. Not only are the songs great, the meanings behind the songs are evocative as well. It will allow listeners to gain a better and deeper understanding of G Dragon for he integrated much of his personal ethics and ideals into the album.
The album kicks off with “One of a Kind,” a true Hip Hop song containing a witty combination of beats, tempo, and groove, hooking listeners left and right as they bop their heads to the catchy beat. However, not only is it catchy and fun, G Dragon put his very being into this song. The song is satirically pointing out the success he has obtained during times of misfortune. It conveys G-Dragon’s pain of having to endure harsh obstacles and controversies as well as the humility he retains for music and his audience as an artist. “One of a Kind” is sure to leave an impressionable statement.
Unexpectedly, the following song is a soft acoustic piece letting listeners clearly hear G-Dragon’s voice. However, this sweet sounding song happens to be rated 19 because of a specific word used in the song, or rather unknowingly, even in the title. The ‘XX’ in the title and the explicit beep noise in the music video version of the song conceals the word “새끼(saekki),” meaning something similar to son of a b*, which is too harsh for the general public. “That XX” depicts a man who is deeply in love with a woman who in turn is oblivious to the wrong and hurtful acts her lover commits against her. Therefore he is frustrated by this and wishes for her to see the truth. The version in the album excludes the censorship and allows us to actually hear G Dragon curse away at the bastard who’s hurting his love interest. The simple but pretty melody not only complimented his vocals but also his rap and background narration, making it a pleasant song. By the way, opposed to the views of many, I thought the beep in the music video version was brilliant but let’s not rant about that because I can go on for days.
The title track “Crayon” is another catchy song that implements electrically synthesized beats and loops. According to GDragon, the title is a portmanteau of the word ‘crazy’ and the phrase ‘get it on’, therefore; the title means ‘get crazy.’ The beginning of the track has a very strong Hip Hop feel to it with the first verse being a laid back but impactful rap. As the song carries on towards the chorus however, the mood changes as the bass fades and distorts into a faster pace beat, swinging very close to house/club music. This is when G Dragon urges listeners to stop being so serious and get their “crayon!” It’s a fun song that takes you on a crazy rollercoaster ride of mixed emotions, quite lovely.
The forth track is called “결국 (gyeolgug) ”which translates to “In the End”, and it features one of the mystery female YG trainees. The song has a Pop and RnB arrangement with a subtle but stable bass and complementary background instrumentals; most notably, the keyboard/piano melody that is present throughout most of the song. The song is about the relationship between two people who are drifting apart, causing pain and heartbreak to occur for they realize that once again, they will be end up alone and abandoned. G Dragon’s voice is really attractive in this song, drawing listeners deeper into it with his melancholy singing. The mystery songstress also possesses some impressive vocals, a steady voice that balances well with G Dragon’s. “In the End” is a simple but profound song with the ability to leave listeners with feelings of yearning and affliction.
Following the gravity of “In the End” is another song full of wistfulness called “Missing You,” featuring the iconic Kim Yoon Ah of legendary rock band Jaurim. It begins with a distinct whistle that follows a nostalgic tune, accompanied by guitar and drums. This song brings us back distinctly to the 70s when Pop just began to emerge, making the overall sound of the song warm and delightful despite the fact that it actually expresses the loneliness one feels after a break up. Even though I didn’t grow up in this retro 70s pop music era, this song certainly makes me reminisce about how life used to be as a child; thinking that it was all so long ago. “Missing You” was wonderfully produced and many will enjoy it.
Last but definitely not least is “Today” and this track features the well known Indie Rock band Nell. This song has the most distinct sound to it, something about it just screams out “different” and yet it’s still very G Dragon. Nell’s vocalist Kim Jong Wan provided superb vocals during his assistance with the verses. The obvious rock music background and the rawness of G Dragon’s voice make this song unique and amusing to listen and sway to. You’ll definitely sing along by the first line of the song.
What can I say, I love this album! All of the songs were great with each expressing its own individual color and sense. The charm and charisma that G Dragon exuberates radiate throughout this entire album. His musical talent is immeasurable and the proof lies with those who chose to collaborate with him. Each of the artists and composers that participated in this album is renowned, beloved, and talented. The fact that they wanted to work with G Dragon means that they acknowledge his skills as an artist and view him as an equal. Buy the album and listen to it, totally worth it!
This is the MV for “Crayon,” the title track.
Review By: Samantha Her & Alona
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