BIGBANG unveiled D July 1 with the songs “Sober” and “If You.” The single also includes the songs “Bae Bae” and “Loser” from M and “Bang Bang Bang” and “We Like 2 Party” from A, which we reviewed previously. YG Entertainment promised that each song would get better, so let’s see if he was right!
“Sober” gets the single started. The song, written by T.O.P, G-Dragon, and Teddy, and composed by Teddy, G-Dragon, and Choice37, is an upbeat track with a strong beat and addictive chorus.
The song is about being sober, which could literally be sober from alcohol or sober from a romance. The lyrics suggest the song could refer to either alcohol dependency with references to not being able to fall asleep (blackouts), taxis (avoiding drunk driving), and time slowing down; but these same lyrics along with references to chasing fame and money, being without something, and feeling childish suggest a breakup with someone. BIGBANG earns credit for personification though, which is part of “Sober’s” charm.
Like with previous MADE Series tracks, Seungri, T.O.P, and Daesung knocked the song out of the park! Taeyang’s stronger, more pleasant vocals also made a great return in “Sober” to present a well-rounded, addictive tune that could be right up there with some of BIGBANG’s best. G-Dragon, sadly, didn’t bring his best vocals to the song. At times he sounds tinny and nasally to the point of obnoxious grandeur, and since he has a large chunk of the song’s lines, this is not a good thing. If GD was toned down some, “Sober” would have been a much stronger track. However, it’s easy to fall in love with the song to make it a go-to worth listening to constantly.
“If You” is pleasantly softer with the beautiful sound of guitar. What’s more, T.O.P sings! His raw, imperfect introduction just adds something haunting and amazing to “If You” that can’t be described. Then Seungri comes in and adds more layers. Just from the two of them alone, I was sold on the song and already feeling some emotions.
“If You” has lyrics that leave a mark on the heart because they are emotional and haunting. As they watch love drift away, you can feel the pain in the words. The lyrics avoid flowery language and metaphors, so it does feel more straight-from-the-heart and honest than other BIGBANG songs in the MADE Series.
The song pretty much stays in one range. Normally, this would not make a song stand out, but it helps in this case. Staying in one range with instrumentals helps the words and vocals POP to make them penetrate more.
Given how soft the song is, though, Daesung and Taeyang’s vocals were a little too powerful. When Daesung sang his lines, they were a bit jarring; the same goes for Taeyang. Toning down the power could have made more of an impact, much like they did around the 3:16 mark.
Even with a few picky things in “Sober” and “If You,” they are among the best of the MADE Series thus far. These songs are signature BIGBANG filled with heart and fun, so it’ll be exciting to see what the finale holds!
MADE Series- D earns a 4/5.
— Joelle Halon