Taeyang lauded in print – W Mag and a Kpop book

Taeyang was included in a recently published book on Kpop titled K-pop: Mesmerizing the World written by Boda webzine editor Kim Hak Seon. The following excerpts were taken from the book (along with some clarifying comments (in italics) by poster GoRaeNun of YBMania. Original YBMania posts here – 1, 2, 3.)

  K-pop: Mesmerizing the World
By Kim Hak-Seon, Editor of Boda webzine

“K-pop and Idol” (opening chapter)

The ten best “idol” albums selected, among them Solar:

Taeyang Solar (2010)

Solar is the first full-length album by Taeyang, who had, two years earlier, done something rare for an idol group member. With his Hot EP, he had broken through and caught not only the attention of fans, but the attention of critics as well. This full-length album thoroughly satisfied those expectations.  In addition to getting the usual support from YG family members like Teddy and Kush, Taeyang expanded his breadth of expression by collaborating with musicians like Jeon Gun and Swings, who are mostly active in the underground scene. And by personally composing a great song like Take It Slow, Taeyang took another step closer to his dream.

The other nine were albums by Seo Taiji & Boys, S.E.S., Untitle, D-Bass, BoA, Brown Eyed Girls, 2NE1, Shinee and Infinite.

The book then takes a look at each decade from 1970 onwards, introducing the most relevant songs and then presenting a selection of the 20 top albums from each decade.


14 songs were introduced from 2000-2010, one of them being BIGBANG’s “Lies.”

BIGBANG Lies (2007) (Taeyang excerpt):

Taeyang was the first [member] to make a name for himself as a solo artist. He established his own musical world with RnB music at its core, the music he had studied and practiced for so long. The two albums he released were well received by not only the BIGBANG fandom, but also by critics. He has positioned himself as not just a member of BIGBANG, but as a commanding presence [literally, axis] in the Korean RnB scene.

 The majority of the songs introduced in this chapter are mainstream (major label) songs that helped spread K-pop internationally – Tell Me, Hug, Gee, Number 1, 10 Minute, How to Avoid the Sun, etc.. The exceptions were from Garion, Huckleberry Finn and Jang Gi Ha. 

Comparatively, the 20 albums selected are mostly from “minor” [label] musicians, exceptions being DJ DOC, Brown Eyes, Lee SoRa and Taeyang.

Taeyang, Hot (2008)

Taeyang is an unusual idol singer who has long known what he wants to do and what he can do best and has never stopped working [toward that vision]. As a result, Hot is a “prepared” album. And Taeyang had superb assistance behind him. YG Entertainment, Teddy included, understood and produced precisely the kind of music Taeyang wanted, and Taeyang dressed that music with his unique voice. The expectations that began with Hot changed to conviction with the full-length album Solar.

The 20 albums selected, chronologically:

DJ DOC The Life
No Brain The Song of Youthful Rioter
DJ Soulscape 180gm Beat
Julia Hart Light Breathing
Lucid Fall Lucid Fall
Brown Eyes Vol. 1
Yeon Young-Suk Factory
Verbal Jint Modern Rhymes
Sinawi Vol. 8
Vaseline (2002)
Jang Pil-Soon Vol. 6
Cocoa(?) Superstar
Kim Doo-Soo Free Spirit
Garion Garion
Huckleberry Finn Vol. 3
Lee So-Ra Eyelash Moon
Taeyang Hot
My Sister’s Barbershop The Most Ordinary Existence
Seoul Electric Band Life Is Strange
2NE1 Mini, Vol. 1


In a completely separate mention, one of our favorite people here on ATY, music critic Kim Bong Hyeon had a little comment in the May 2012 edition of W Magazine about Taeyang in an article about singers and what colors best represent them:

BIGBANG’s Taeyang (RED)

With the solo album he released in 2010, Taeyang showed that his vocals were not simply “pretty good for an idol” but good enough to be called “Korea’s representative RnB vocalist.” He has essentially a sweet voice [usually referring to a beautiful high tone] but is skilled at controlling dynamics [loud/soft, tense/relaxed, etc.] Most importantly, he has already established a definite tone of his own. Is there a better color than the color of the sun for Taeyang?

Original YBM post with their own translation here.

Original posts from YBMania, Translation by Silly at alwaystaeyang.wordpress.com  Please do not remove credit when taking elsewhere.


23 thoughts on “Taeyang lauded in print – W Mag and a Kpop book”

  1. Critics’ Wonderboy strikes again!!!

    Both of his albums were lauded as some of the best of our time. Is there ANY other idol member as critically revered as YB?

    I’m actually surprised that Wedding Dress wasn’t chosen as one of the songs that helped spread Kpop internationally. Seems like a lot of people got introduced to Kpop through WD.

    I LOVE what KBH said about YB. He sings and changes the dynamics of a song depending on what he wants the listener to feel. And not a lot of singers can do that successfully. YB’s tone and color are exactly what sets him apart from the rest of the idol world.

    Gahhhhh……all of this just makes me anticipate and crave YB’s next solo album even more!!!

    1. I think you said it all 🙂
      Damn it I can’t wait, YB release the solo album already, I’m dying here…

    2. This. I have a friend who doesn’t understand why I like YB as a singer because to him, YB’s just not good enough like his vocals get shaky at times and is hardly a powerful singer like Daesung. I always try my best to explain that that it’s not that what I’m looking for when I’m listening to YB singing. I mean, it’s his tone and how he delivers emotion when he sings is what captured my attention the most. Oh, and he’s a pretty smooth singer too. I still remember that feeling when I first saw and heard Look At Me on telly. And is still amazed now.

      1. “I’ve always felt that a song is meant to share its sincerity and to move people. Singing just to show off your level and craft is meaningless.” – Taeyang..

        i always think that a vocalist is different with a singer…there are many people have good voice and can reach high note..but we can’t get and feel about meaning of song…but a singer must sing with feeling and share the feeling to move people..and share what the meaning of song..so we can feel about the meaning of song not only be amazed by the voice (reach high note)..

        i like youngbae because he always touch my heart every time he sing…^^ and i’m melted everytime he sing..^^

        1. I agree that Taeyang’s good at conveying emotion/vocal color or w/e, but IMO… his voice is still lacking like ILMB said. I like to compare it to a model that’s not yet in shape and on a runway, it’s just not as appealing.

        2. @yo..yeah..he is still lacking and sometime his voice get shaky when he dance and sometime we hear his breath…but i believe youngbae always try to improve his skill…i hope..next album he can show us better than before..^^

        3. There are lots of way to evaluate a voice and singing style, and different singers will have their own strengths and weaknesses. Personal preferences are also a strong factor in how we perceive things. I think critics have been very consistent in how they evaluate YB’s vocals – praising for unique vocal color, phrasing and groove and his ability to interpret songs in his own style. It’s what distinguishes him among other singers in Korea. He’s not the most consistent, or doesn’t have the widest range, but then those aren’t the reasons why he’s acknowledged so often — it’s just that the things he does well, he does really well and uniquely too.

          YB continues to improve, which is why it is exciting for me as a fan, to look forward to what he has next to offer. Personally, I find him a wonderfully nuanced singer with the capability of sounding very different from one song to the other. It’s one reason why I can listen to him very often without getting bored or fatigued in the ears – I often manage to find some little new thing in repeated listenings that I never noticed before. It’s why I find his songs still fresh years after I first started listening to them.

        4. @mysun i think he’s finding ways to balance performing dancing and singing together now without compromising either of the two.his solo during alive con was far from his performance in 2ne1 con/tonight promo where he was struggling(i blame it all on his gaining weight,why,he was perfectly fine during solar con where he dance and sing at the same time!)in alive con,what he did was sing LOAM without the dancing then followed by WD singing a little and without heavy choreo,so that he still have all his energy for WUA.
          and what an amazing performance that was by Taeyang.

  2. YB has the power to feel the songs and I love that ! he moves my heart with his lovely vocals plus his dance is just another level !
    I just remember what YG said to him in the doc about his voice and look at him now kkk ! Proud of him !

    1. wait,i think i also read somewhere that in soribada,HOT was also listed as one in a hundred best album in 2000.

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