About five years ago, YG Entertainment shipped their solo singer, Se7en, overseas to the United States in hopes of seeing if he had the goods to make it big (considering he was coming from a Southeast Asian country), but unfortunately, they dragged him right on back to South Korea before things got ugly. He didn’t really take off in the American market, sadly, but it’s been three years and the man is back with a brand new mini album, accompanied by a completely new sound in tow; one which I think is much fresher than the tunes he attempted to debut with in the US.
‘Digital Bounce‘ lives up to its name. It’s packed with enough digital elements to appease your inner cyber-deviant. With this album, Se7en manages to pull off a believable electronica, a sound quite far-removed from the R&B he had played with earlier in his career. Of course, this is still no Justice, but the effort is worth an applause. The album in its entirety is fun, suave, and very danceable. A total club record.
“Digital Bounce” + “Better Together”: live comeback, feat. T.O.P.
The album has – wait for it! – seven songs. It opens with the introduction track, “Reset.” It’s definitely channeling a techno vibe you wouldn’t regularly hear in Kpop. Personally, I would have loved this to be a full length song. I had the same issue with Taeyang’s opening number, in that it was simply too short. YG really needs to rethink expanding these intro tracks, because they have plenty of potential to be awesome.
“Digital Bounce” (feat. T.O.P.) is the very definition of a club song. It possesses a great beat and a crap load of ooie-gooie electronic sounds. It’s playful and down right fun to listen to. I’m itching to pop this in a stereo at full volume. THAT’d be interesting.
“Better Together” MV: WARNING, this video may cause seizures
“Better Together” isn’t any less exciting, but it is prettier. The chorus and hook are very distinct from the verses. While the verses are way over-processed and woven in the same digital treatment that the album calls for, the chorus and hook are much more melodic and, honestly, they make me feel nice things. It’s a feel-good song and very catchy. Not as ruthless as ‘Digital Bounce‘, but still energetic.
The following song, “I’m Going Crazy” puts down the digital details for a much more ‘YG’ song. It reminds me of Park Bom‘s ‘You and I‘ for some reason. It’s the beat, I think; the one YG likes to use, reuse and recycle. What I like about ‘I’m Going Crazy‘ is that I get a sense of Se7en’s vocal ability. His voice is smooth and it sounds like Taeyang’s, but with a little more range and depth. I would love to hear Se7en and Park Bom sing a duet. That would be one beautiful experience right, if I may say so.
“I’m Going Crazy”
“Money Can’t Buy Me Love” is in English, so if you don’t understand Korean, here you go! His English pronunciation is really good compared to most Kpop singers, who just down right butcher it without mercy. This song was actually part of his American debut. I suppose it was just too good to toss. And it is. “Money Can’t Buy Me Love” is one of the seven on this album which I really enjoy. I can also say it’s also one of the few moments I can actually listen to a Kpop song and understand it completely, which is a big plus.
Were the lyrics funny to you? They were to me, because it’s the typical mainstream trope you hear: the material vs. emotional conflict, i.e. dealing with a gold digger.
‘Drips‘ picks things back up with the return of the prominent digital sound. I vote “K-Town” (the said to be Korean version of Jersey Shore) use this on their reality show, because it would sound awesome if they played it while the cast was transitioning to the oh-so-many night clubs they would be crashing during their K-Town filming time.
This song is another fist-pumping jam. It’s made to get you moving more than to blow you away by its production, which isn’t as spectacular as some of the others on here – such as the final song, “Roller Coaster.” This song is just a winner. It does posses a lot of auto-tune, which seems to be rubbing everyone the wrong way these days, but there’s so much freaking processing in this entire album, that auto-tune is the last thing on your mind.
“Drips”: Shaun Evaristo x Kanauru
In a few words, ‘Digital Bounce‘ is a breath of fresh air. It’s progressive and may end up pushing Kpop in an even more electro-pop direction. The interesting thing, though, is that this isn’t entirely electro, but influenced by strong techno and digital elements as well. ‘Digital Bounce’ came at a particular moment – precisely the year Disney releases its remake film, Tron: Legacy. I wont be surprised if I start listening to this album come December when the movie hits theaters. Tron, meet your Korean soundtrack!