For BigBang fans, or V.I.P.s as they are fondly known, the much dreaded inevitability has finally come. Members of the mega popular K-pop quintet will gradually serve the mandatory military enlistment – forcing the group to go on a hiatus.
In that regard, Made (stylised as MADE) – an album that took over a year to be released in its entirety – can be regarded as the five-member outfit’s swan song. And boy, the group does know how to go off with a bang.
Despite its delayed release, the 11-track album was preceded by 10 of the songs released as singles since mid 2015. That promotional move unfortunately, might make the full album sound dated.
But that doesn’t discount the fact that Made is still a very cohesive and strong album. Opener Fxxk It sets the perfect tone by being one of the BigBang-est song there is. The quirky mid-tempo hip-hop number underlines the boys’ playful persona and eclectic artistry.
Fxxk It doesn’t quite have the one-two punch quality of classics such as Fantastic Baby or Haru Haru, but it’s a futuristic top-notched addition that wows through the overwhelming sonic elements in the track (listen out for the amalgamation of tropical beats, horns and synths).
Then there’s Last Dance, a sentimental pop-rock ballad that will further cement the boys’ heartthrob status. But the following Girlfriend fails to live up to the grand ambitions of the previous two tracks. True blue fans might appreciate the hip hop throwback to the group’s earlier efforts, but the number pales in comparison next to more contemporary releases today.
Elsewhere, Bang Bang Bang, Sober and We Like 2 Party extends the ironically celebratory mood of the record’s fantastic opener. Ultimately, it’s the more evocative numbers (Let’s Not Fall In Love, If You) that will remind K-pop audience on the fantastic musical geniuses who will elude them for the next few years.