Who could have guessed that, in a year where G-Dragon, CL and then 2NE1 released pretty lackluster singles, that it would be Seungri who would release the best music video of the bunch with “Gotta Talk to U”.
Seungri always stands out in Big Bang, though never for the reasons why one would want in a K-Pop group. Out of the five, he is without a doubt, the most normal looking one. His styling screams average, even as he has the looks of a super model. If anyone looks like he was miscast for a group, it’s Seungri. Perhaps that is part of the reason why Seungri felt that Big Bang themselves never really gelled together for most of their careers. Too many disparate visions and artistic directions that only managed to cohere thanks to G-Dragon’s stylistic bombast and Taeyang’s abs. But given free reign to do what they want, and it’s pretty clear that Seungri strikes the best balance. GD seems to be on a warpath to test how far his fans will be willing to stan his increasingly nonsensical artistic vision. Taeyang is trying out for the role of GD-buff edition. TOP is busy tweezing his eyebrows and Daesung is probably auditioning for another variety show where his true talents shine. Seungri though? Dude just wants to put together a nice track and he pulls it off with “Gotta Talk to U”, an assured and confident single by a singer who makes the most of a rare moment in the spotlight.
The song for “Gotta Talk to U” is fantastic because it has so many different gears and facets to it. With most K-Pop songs, the first thirty seconds more or less could be repeated for three and a half minutes, and not many would be any the wiser. “Gotta Talk to U” manages to eschew expectations. It starts with a very nice acoustic guitar lick and Seungri’s incredibly high and spacey voice, a surprising but very appropriate take on a light beat. Then the whistle and drums come in and the beat takes on a slight dance pop tone for the hook. This dance between the verse and chorus carries on for a bit, but it’s never boring because everything is muted as even the payoff of the chorus is purposefully kept understated as layers of rich synths are added. “Gotta Talk to U” is the rare song that effectively keeps the listener baited for a payoff without trying anyone’s patience. Just when it seems like the song is going on too long, then the payoff comes. The last 50 second outro absolutely kills it with the reckless ruthlessness of a demolition. It’s a great unexpected turn, because it was effectively teased, but instead of being used as the bridge, the use of the dub-step drop as the outro makes the ending of the song satisfying and pleasantly surprising at the same time, a rare feat in composition.
As for the video, it’s assured understated sex appeal is mirrored nicely visually. The use of blue lighting is done expertly and the sets actually look posh and sophisticated (how Seungri managed to wrangle a budget for this, while GD and CL released videos that look half as expensive is baffling). The way that glass and mirrors are utilized in this video as lighting effects should be shown to every damn music video director in K-Pop to show that one can make a music video using things like “filters” and “angles” to get dynamic shots without just throwing thousands of dollars into LEDs to light the back of the set. Amazingly, the video also seems to understand that sometimes, less is more when it comes to sexy. The blue lighting and reflections obscure just enough to make both Seungri and his dance partner a bit mysterious and a little dangerous. There’s just enough to tease and the outro is a good mix of spastic cuts and smooth gyration to get the climax across (yes, I know what I did there and so did they).
This may be the surprise of the summer. Seungri has somehow managed to outshine his louder, more popular label mates with a music video that is more fully realized and executed. He may not be trying to reinvent any wheels here, but Seungri can make a good song and at the end of the day, that is what should matter. His quieter manner works wonders in “Gotta Talk to U”. The vocals are almost holding the song in place, keeping it from flying out of control until the very end. This restraint is reinforced in a video that never shows more than it has to and is all too happy to leave something to the imagination. There is a subtle confidence that comes through so clearly in the vocals and production for the song. That is Seungri’s secret in “Gotta Talk to U”. At the end of the day, it’s the product which speaks loudest.
Rating: Four hustles out of five dubstep climaxes. A sneakily addictive and enjoyable song.