It has been a while since we have heard from TAEYANG, with his last album release, White Night, being from 2017. Leading the album were the title tracks Darling and Wake Me Up. Since then, Taeyang had enlisted, got married to actress Min Hyo Rin and both of them had a child together (congratulations!). As for his singing career, things have been rather silent up until the end of last year when it was announced that Taeyang had decided to not renew his contract with YG Entertainment and went on to sign with The Black Label (a YG Entertainment subsidiary label). Now signed with a new label, TAEYANG announced his return to the stage through the release of VIBE, a collaborative single with Jimin (from BTS).
Now, the announcement of this single was quite a surprise. But it was a surprise that I was interested in seeing, given VIBE joins the forces of two of the biggest acts from the second and third generations of KPOP. VIBE definitely continues the idea of surprises, bringing forth an upbeat groovy ‘vibe’ that taps into retro and new jack swing influences. They help liven up the song and adds a fresh flair to the current KPOP industry. I also enjoyed the subtle presence of electric guitar towards the end of the song. It just gives even more refreshing at the end and helps bring everything in VIBE to a fitting and satisfying close. As for the vocal work, both TAEYANG and Jimin sounds really good throughout VIBE. I liked that TAEYANG doesn’t waste a second, starting off the song with a smooth R&B melody and sultry vocals. Once the instrumental kicks into gear, his vocals drives VIBE upwards and forwards, and he also brings a really vivid tone to the song that just kicks everything into gear. Jimin’s vocals in the second verse brings out a more innocent and young tone to the song, which contrasts really nicely with TAEYANG’s vocals. His higher pitch gave the song a bit of depth and adds to the dynamics of the song. The chorus, to me, was quite memorable thanks to the melodies and the energy both TEYANG and Jimin puts in. If I had to make some sort of complaint about VIBE, it is that I found the to be too short. I think more could have given and I would have enjoyed it just as much. Hopefully, we see more of TAEYANG in the near future!
When the video opens up and we sing TAEYANG shirtless, I was brought back to his Eyes, Nose, Lips days (back in 2014). That was a nice throwback. We then get both TAEYANG and Jimin, during their respective parts, fill the massive sets with their stage presence. Both TAEYANG and Jimin show off their sleek choreography skills (more on that later) and impressed me with how they carried themselves throughout the video. Watching them do their thing in this video was truly a vibe. I liked how there was the lowering of the stairs structure for TAEAYNG’s solo part and the lifting of a cityscape for Jimin’s solo part. These probably have some sort of meaning to TAEYANG or the song. It just isn’t apparent/obvious. But it was a simple addition to the song that felt aesthetic. When the pair finally came together in the second chorus to the very end of the video, they knocked it out of the park. Overall, I find this music video to be an example of simplicity done effectively.
As mentioned above, this music video shows off both TAEYANG and Jimin’s skills in the performance department. In TAEYANG’s case, he proves he still has what it takes to put together a riveting and skilled performance. I am unsure whether their solo parts were freestyle or actual choreography. Hopefully we find out through promotions (though I haven’t heard anything about that just yet). As for the chorus routine, that is all choreographed and I really liked the chemistry the two brought together when they performed together. The sharpness with their movements was very cool and memorable.
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9/10