Title: Wedding Dress
Release Year: 2009
From the creative forces of Big Bang comes Taeyang’s first solo single, “Wedding Dress”.
Taeyang is one of the five members of the enormously popular idol group, Big Bang. They’re one of the few groups in the industry that actually compose the majority of their songs; most of the rest of the pack hire separate composers (such as E-TRIBE) to compose their songs for them.
So when Taeyang announced that he would be releasing a solo album, his fans were understandably stoked – what would he come up with? What kind of music would he create for his debut? Perhaps an angst-ridden rap title, such as “Haru Haru”? Or perhaps a whoop-it-up dance track, such as “Sunset Glow”?
What fans got, though, was a soft piano-centered, nearly ballad-like track, entitled “Wedding Dress”, spiced up with a bit of auto-tune here, and a bit of electronic organs there.
The melody starts out with a soft, yet surprisingly powerful piano solo that is soon accompanied by electronic sounds and a shuffle beat that transitions into Taeyang’s vocals. His voice (deadened slightly by autotune) is a good companion to the piano, and the listener hardly notices as the piano slowly dies away and the song moves effortlessly into a vocal-driven piece.
As the song transitions into the main chorus, it’s easy to appreciate how “polished” the song is. There are no barely any jarring spots; the song “flows” like a water running over a rock. While this is usually a good thing, sometimes it’s easy to lose track in where the song is going, so to speak. And while the use of auto-tune isn’t nearly as prevalent here as it is in some other popular music, it is still done a little clumsily – good auto-tune should smooth out the vocals, not make it jagged. Unfortunately, it’s easy to see where Taeyang’s powerful voice is nearly ruined by the effort to make it “blend”, with the result being, it stumbles a bit during the transitions from one note to another. When Taeyang’s holding a note, it harmonizes perfectly with the background track, but when he decides to switch to another note, the transition is jarring and it slightly grinds at the ears.
And really, did Taeyang *need* the auto-tune? His voice would’ve sounded perfectly fine without it. In fact, with a singer of Taeyang’s skill, it might’ve been better to withhold artificial tampering – the rest of the song proves that he can modulate his voice perfectly, and truthfully speaking, the weakest parts of the song are where his voice is burdened by unnecessary auto-tune.
There are some songs where auto-tune works (T-ARA’s “Yayaya” comes to mind). This song is not one of them.
Apart from that slight misstep, Taeyang did good by selecting a soft rock piece for his solo debut – it focuses attention on his vocals, as well as satisfying (nearly) all of his fanbase with a song that one can dance to, or simply sit back and enjoy.
One specific part in the song I’d like to point out as interesting is at 3:19 in the music video (above). The song segues for a bit into a minor-key rendition of the traditional Wedding March played on the piano. I thought that was pretty cool. No? Okay, then.
4 stars out of 5.