YG Entertainment has been spoiling VIPs like myself. In a 12-month span, we’ve had a BIGBANG comeback, a G-DRAGON album and world tour, and now R&B vocal god himself, Taeyang, is back with new album WHITE NIGHT.
A week before the anticipated August 16 drop date, Taeyang released a video for the intro of his newest album titled “WHITE NIGHT,” written by himself. The one-and-a-half-minute track is a great lead-up to the album. It builds anticipation throughout the number, ending in a way that naturally leads into another song, which ended up being title track “WAKE ME UP” upon its release a week later. Honestly, it’s so good that I wish it was a full-length song.
“WAKE ME UP” is one of two title tracks. Yes, Taeyang has gifted us with not one, but two amazing titles. “WAKE ME UP” is a true gift from God. I had not experienced a Taeyang comeback until now, and I feel so blessed to witness the birth of such beauty. “WAKE ME UP” is just such a solid track that there’s not much else to say. Taeyang sports his white hairdo very nicely in the aesthetic dream-like music video, which was directed by DPR. There are some really stunning shots, with most incorporating sparkle in some way, like that which covers Taeyang’s skin.
The second title track is titled “DARLING” (with lyrics by Teddy), and it’s one of my absolute favorites on the album. As soon as that emotional, powerful piano melody began, I was dead. “Eyes, Nose, Lips” never ceases to make me emotional, and “DARLING” is a similar song (though a little bit happier, maybe? Kinda). Vocals are on point, of course, and there’s something about the melody in both the pre-chorus and chorus that induces chills throughout my body. It’s SO good. Thank you, Taeyang and Teddy, for this piece of art. Check out the song and music video below!
Taeyang contributes lyrics once again for the next song, “RIDE.” “Girl, do you wanna ride with me?” Who could say no? The lyrics speak of a quick road trip through the big city with the girl he loves, and it will make you wish you were there, too (even as a third-wheel). Also partly written by Taeyang is “AMAZIN’,” which carries the same upbeat, fun groove that “RIDE” has, but with more edge. Honestly, though, while still good, these two songs just aren’t as earth-shattering as the first three.
Later on in the album we’re given “NAKED.” A soft, EDM-inspired track, this isn’t the sexy R&B song you may expect from the title. Instead, it’s powerful, and a great song to dance to. Like “RIDE” and “AMAZIN’,” “NAKED” does not offer anything too jaw-dropping. The track before this, however, does.
One of Many Highlights
“텅빈도로 (EMPTY ROAD)” is, like “DARLING,” stripped back, letting Taeyang’s honey-vocals stand out. What makes it unique is that instead of a piano, which is often expected for Korean ballads, it is an electro-acoustic guitar that leads the song. The chorus offers a bit more complexity, sounding as if it is leading into something powerful. However, it soon falls back into the soft vocals and guitar picking again. With each and every chorus, it builds anticipation until it bursts during the final chorus. Taeyang now lets his voice show off its power, as a drum is finally added to the melody. “텅빈도로 (EMPTY ROAD)” is such a soft, relaxing, and powerful song all at once—a true highlight on WHITE NIGHT.
“When the Sun Goes Down”
“오늘밤 (TONIGHT)” features ZICO, who co-wrote the song with Taeyang and KUSH. This is another favorite of mine on the album. The genre is so different from anything we have heard from Taeyang before. It’s a rock inspired track, which opens with a loud drum beat. Taeyang’s vocals offer something different with the distinct, ear-catching rhythm and melody. To make it even better, ZICO chimes in with a rap that matches the dark vibe of the song really well. The chorus is almost haunting, but in a charismatic, addicting way. The song’s outro is absolutely amazing as well. Just listen to it. Actually, just listen to the whole of WHITE NIGHT. I have reviewed quite a few albums so far this year, and WHITE NIGHT ranks among the top five for sure.