100Beat – HOT: Among the 100 best albums of the decade


Soribada and 100beat recently collaborated on a list of the best music from 2000 – 2009 and since October have been doing a daily countdown of the 100 best Korean and International albums during this period. 39 critics took part in the survey (including Kim Bonghyun and Cha Woojin who have written previously about Taeyang’s Solar album.) Taeyang’s debut EP HOT made it on the list at #79, ranked alongside Common’s Like Water for Chocolate among the international albums.

100 Best Albums of the 2000’s
Korean: 79th. Taeyang [HOT] (2008)

It was somewhat unexpected that the first solo entrant of Big Bang is Taeyang. Compared with G-dragon or T.O.P, who openly show their individual impressions and dynamic energy, Taeyang has had a relatively docile image. But the moment [HOT] was released, we could recognize his long patience and step by step preparations. He looked like he had been preparing everything to be an entertainer – not only the album, but also embracing songs that are not easy, perfecting his performance, and developing a muscular visual.
Thanks to that, at the time this album was released, Taeyang came into the spotlight [in a manner] that is close to a syndrome. His star quality has been proven as not Big Bang’s Taeyang but Taeyang himself. For example, Taeyang was practically perfect in the music video of ‘Look Only At Me’, but apart from the visual, the perfection of the album itself was worth it on its own merits. Except for the intro, the five songs were flawless enough for each to be released as a single. It is a 2-year old  album, but still sounds polished even now, and it has every element that an Urban R&B record should possess.

Taeyang’s [HOT] is a vivid example that shows the result when a singer’s clear vision and approach to reach his goals merge with his personal talent and appropriate training. Such cases are usually discovered among foreign idol stars. Justin Timberlake was so, and Usher was so too. They have showed great results from not only for their star quality but also on [the quality] of their albums themselves. On the other hand, Korean idols have not been like that. A bunch of them were of half buried [unknown] members and half good-looking poster children, and after the groups have broken up, they would often disappear without ever having done activities. This is because they themselves haven’t been prepared. They might have done hard work in their own ways, but not all hard-workers mean they’re doing well. They can’t reach good results without goals and direction. [HOT] is an album that clearly proves what Taeyang was going for and what preparations he has had to achieve that. In that way, for listeners as well as Taeyang, [HOT] is an album that has showed, that well-prepared idols who have existed just in foreign countries, are possible in Korea, too.

Original Article Here  Link on Soribada blog.
TRANSLATIONS BY MYOKOON@ ALWAYSTAEYANG | Please credit when posting elsewhere

19 thoughts on “100Beat – HOT: Among the 100 best albums of the decade”

  1. Thank for this. It was absolutely lovely to read. Currently I’m re-listening to Taeyang’s “HOT” to satisfy my overwhelming nostalgia. I don’t think I’ve read a single article that was so dense with praises for Taeyang and his music at once.

    I’ve been saying since 2008 that HOT is a complete album. I use the word “complete” because in all aspects it was nearly perfect (for I do not what a absolutely perfect album sounds like)- from the composition, lyrics, production, execution, MV, performances. There were wonderful nuances, compelling themes, and flawless deliveries. The author of the article wrote: “Except for the intro, the five songs were flawless enough for each to be released as a single.” This is exactly what I said 2.5 years ago when I first reviewed the album. It was a phenomenal debut album because for this reason; it showed his versatility and promises that he could go in any direction he wants to in the future.

    Sometimes I still reel over the fact the album takes you through love, hate, bitterness, and then love again. It reminds me of the thought and details Taeyang poured into his work, and then it convinces me that he can and will put forth music worth listening to. As we can see with both of his albums, that his music is never pretentious, never superfluous, but always mindful and completely real and raw.

    I hope Taeyang has a way of reading these articles. I’m confident he won’t lose his focus or vision, but I hope he doesn’t undermine them instead of developing them because from what we’ve seen, it’s more than worthy to listen to. Congratulations, Youngbae.

    1. I agree 100% Tofu! HOT was a complete album. With just the first listen, this was apparent. It was R&B through and through. Since R&B is so close to YB’s heart, it makes perfect sense that this album was as great as it was.

      The only thing with HOT being such an amazing first album is that it would be so hard to live up to it. While SOLAR was good, it certainly didn’t live up to it’s expectations. Not that it was bad, I still loved it. But you can tell YB was definitely using SOLAR as a stepping stone, as a way of feeling his way around the music and determining just exactly who he is.

      Hopefully the release of YB’s next album with be on par with HOT.

    2. i agree with u and the article. Hot was the only album that so far I can listen to every one and single song and be happy because you can tell how much effort had been out into the songs.Each and every one of them was carefully crafted and decorated. It is one lovely album, Hot. I remember being very impressed about the album and was surprised that an idol member actually had the capability to come out with something so good. Honestly, I was expecting just another idol album, felt like there would be a song or two that I’ll hate. Thank god I was wrong, cuz that album had made me a thorough fan, not a temporary one.

  2. i’ve known about this but glad the review is up.
    yes! i’m so happy about how YB is so much praised here.
    i totally agree that all the album in the song can be a single.
    i’ve been listening to the album ever since i knew YB.
    the production was well-done and YB’s vocals in the song was flawless.
    and i agree that YB has a goal and a direction unlike other idols who just release songs by what is in and what’s just given to them by their company.

  3. i listened to HOT album before i go to bed to make me feel sleepy and i listened to solar after i wake up to perk me up along with a cup of coffee.:)

    thanks for the post BM and to myokoon for the translation:)

    omg,the gif.YB’s smile,so precious<3

  4. That’s really awesome. HOT is a great effort. I love urban R&B YB. I wish that it was a full lenth album tbh. I feel that YB doesn’t really appreciate HOT, since he had very little input in it. But I still feel that it showed a lot of growth on his part.

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