Ladies and Gentlemen, what I’m about to share with you is truly an honor. I witnessed the changing of the guard when it comes to the Korean music industry. Back then, DBSK was still the kings of Kpop. But in so many ways, they left their kingdom, vacated their throne. They ventured out to Japan in an attempt to carve out a new empire there.
Then…out of the blue. On Thursday August 16, 2007, Big Bang released their mini-album, “Always”.
I’m telling you…I’ve never heard anything like it. It was two days before my 21st birthday. Before I saw their live performance, I heard every song on that mini-album. The above video is a live performance of “Lie.”
Lie…would go on to become one of Big Bang’s signature hits and even won 2007’s song of the year award. Every track was fire, don’t get me wrong, but for me…the song “Always” was the best of 2007.
I remember that Friday night, I was closing as a Pizza Hut delivery driver. I know most people think of it as a crappy job where drivers have to go into seedy neighborhoods and deal with rude people. But the area in which I worked was an upscale part of the Tampa Bay area. We’re talking gated communities. My customers were Buccaneers and Tampa Bay Lightning players. My point being, the neighborhoods were mesmerizing with breathtaking landscapes and beautiful lightning.
I replayed “Always” again and again to a beautiful night. Nothing went wrong because the song kept me in a mellow, “its all good” mood. That’s the effect “Always” had on me. Just be cool and relax.
I was very pleased. It’s been one year since they released their first album and you can tell Big Bang had evolved. Each member had changed up their style and improved their performance, but none more so than Taeyang. He sheared off his braids, thank god, in favor of a stylish hat, making it iconic the same way Michael Jackson did with his hat.
More than that, his voice…Dude…In my chapter about Big Bang vs the Pretty Boys, you’ll notice I never made mention of a particular song called “My Girl.” It’s Taeyang’s solo and to be honest…I think I could’ve sung that song a lot better than him. It’s very garden variety and doesn’t leave much to aspire to.
But once I heard him sing in “Always” and “Lies,” it’s just incredible the transformation he undertook. I remember seeing the documentary about his trainee days where even YG praised him for his relentless work ethic, to practice and improve on his skill. And I saw it. He improved so much. Hahaha! I knew it. I knew these guys would take it to the top. I was witnessing the rise of Big Bang, the new kings of kpop.