[Revised] Review: 2집 – 쿠데타 Coup D’état

After participating in The Kpop Workshop, and thanks to the help of so many great Kpop bloggers I’ve revised, and hopefully improved my review of G-Dragon’s “2집 – 쿠데타 Coup D’état”

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Every time I listen to “2 – 쿠데타 Coup D’état” in its entirety, my feelings are pulled in two different directions. The biased, die-hard fan in me doesn’t want criticize G-Dragon’smusic or admit the fault with this album, while the unbiased music lover in me finds flaw everywhere. Together they make for one disappointed, and royally letdown Kpop fan.

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2집 - 쿠데타 Coup D'etat Part 1
The album starts off with 쿠데타 (Coup D’état),” the uncharacteristically slow intro song featuring DJ and producer, Diplo, and the man behind the “Harlem Shake,” Baauer. This will be a continuing theme in my review, but I felt like G-Dragon didn’t even have a role in writing this song. For one, title songs are usually G-Dragon’s strong point, and he normally does a good job of using them as a preview of what’s to come with the rest of an album. Then, his rapping style is so slow, and down right sluggish, especially when compared to songs like “Crayon.” As for the video, it was another mystery to me. While it was nothing short of YG’s usual incredible production value, the message and symbolism was completely lost on me. Most jarring, was that the style and tone of the video, which is a lot darker than anything G-Dragon has ever done, solo or within Big Bang.
Without a doubt, “늴리리야 (Niliria) was my most anticipated track on the album. Missy Elliot, a rapper I grew up listening to, collaborating with G-Dragon, a rapper I live for now, made for the perfect meeting of my past and present, and with no surprise I was pleased all around! The song starts off with a short sampling of a traditional Korean folk song, and then flows into the modern Hip Hop beat for a musical meeting of old, and new. If line distribution could have been slightly more even, all would be perfect with this song.
Next we have R.O.D.” When I first listened to the album I was in love with “R.O.D,” because it featured Lydia Paek’s amazing voice. But, the more I listen to it, the more I feel letdown by the execution. The use of dubstep in Kpop is a bit of a “controversial” topic, simply because people have a love hate relationship with dubstep itself. I personally can appreciate dubstep when it’s incorporated seamlessly, and in the case of “R.O.D.,” it was not. The song’s core was excellent, with the back and forth between G-Dragon’s rapping, and Lydia’s singing. However, overall it relied too much on the dubstep, at one point breaking for a full 30 seconds of it. This excessive use of dubstep completely over shadowed what could have been an AH-mazing collaboration. The dubstep not only made for an awkward pause in the song itself, it made for an even more awkward break in thelive performance, an area where G-Dragon, for me at least, is near unbeatable. I can’t think of another song GD has had a role in writing where he had such a long break with vocals. As a listener of G-Dragon’s music for 7 years, it was so uncharacteristic of his style, and again I had to question how big of a role he played in writing the song.
 2집 - 쿠데타 Coup D'etat Part 2
Lead single, 삐딱하게(Crooked),” was a real star of the album because it was most similar to G-Dragon’s usual hyperactive, and wild style that I’ve come to love. Like I mentioned before, I can see how good a G-Dragon song is by how he performs it, his personality came alive in the performancesG-Dragon’s personality on stage is lively, and colorful, and 삐딱하게 (Crooked),” allowed him to be all of those things, more than any of the other songs he promoted.
The next song I wanted to talk about is, 너무 좋아 (I Love It),” which features Zion.T & Boys Noize. Now, I’ve never heard of Boys Noize before, but I am very familiar with Zion. T’s music, and if I didn’t know better I would think this song was on his album. Zion. T has a signature sound at this point in his career (listen for yourself), and all his music generally sounds the same. My hope for his collaboration with G-Dragon was that he’d be forced to explore a different style. I was wrong, in fact it was the other way around. Instead, Zion. T’s style of music completely took over the song, to the point where there were times I didn’t even know if G-Dragon was singing. Don’t get me wrong though, I loved the song, I just felt it had no business being on G-Dragon’s album. It would have been more appropriate on a Zion. T album.
Finally, I’d like to talk about Black,” one of my favorites on the album. This was a perfect duet. The perfection lies all in the line distribution. For both the English, and Korean versions, G-Dragon allowed these two artists, who his listeners are most likely not familiar with, really have a place to shine. I am sure Jennie Kim’s feature is strategic to when YGfinally debuts his girl group, and it was the perfect move to include her in this song, because her voice is amazing, her presence, even in the song, is amazing. As for Sky Ferreira, I had never heard of her or any of her music, but this song was a perfect introduction for me, and after listening, I wanted to know who she is, and what her music sounds like. Making me want to know the person featured on a song is the essence of feature, and I must say G-Dragon nailed it.

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When it comes down to it, my biggest grievance with this album wasn’t necessarily the song quality, but more the lack of flow, and relationship between the songs. The songs had no connection in style, and I want to blame that on the incorporation of all these different songwriters. Featuring artists outside of their agency is something I say ALL artists need to do, and I am glad G-Dragon did it, but he allowed all these styles to swallow his own, and it made for an extremely disconnected album. I don’t think any of these songs were bad, but as I said, they don’t work together.
쿠데타 (Coup D’etat) ft. Diplo & Baauer: 0/1
늴리리야 (Niliria) ft. Missy Elliott [Missy Elliott Version]:.75/1
R.O.D. ft. Lydia Paek:.75/1

Black ft. Jennie Kim:1/1

니가 뭔데 (Who You?):.5/1

세상을 흔들어 (Shake the World):.5/1

삐딱하게 (Crooked):  .75/1

늴리리야 (Niliria) (G-용 (G-Dragon) Version):.75/1

Runaway:.5/1

너무 좋아 (I Love It) ft. Zion.T & Boys Noize: .75/1

Black ft. Sky Ferreira: 1/1

You Do (Outro): 1/1

Window: 1/1

Final Score: 3.5/5

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