K-Pop

Review: Taeyang goes back to his roots and origins in new solo EP Down to Earth

Oliver Chan

| April 26, 2023
HallyuSG - Taeyang
Taeyang in a promotional shot for his new EP Down to Earth. Photo: The Black Label

Most of Taeyang’s solo works have some link to his name. Born Dong Young-bae, his pseudonym Taeyang actually means sun in Korean.

We see that in his past solo albums like Rise (2014) and Solar (2010).

His latest drop, Down to Earth, might not have such a direct correlation. But fans will find a link once they watch the music video of his title number Seed (2023).

A large chunk of the music video used a monochromatic colour palette. And we only see colours towards the end of the four-minute clip, where it shows a sunset.

“I thought of the sunset quite a bit and looked to the sunset for inspiration — like a beautiful sunset that has many colors,” Taeyang told Rolling Stone in an interview.

It’s a simple track backed mainly with piano accompaniments. So that a seasoned vocalist like Taeyang can flex his vocals. It also reminds me of the Still Life (2022), a track his band, BIGBANG, put out last year.

But his EP Down to Earth is really more than just flaunting his wide vocal range.

As a vocalist of K-pop powerhouse BIGBANG since 2006, his album can’t do without a dance track. Or a few of them, to be specific.

He previously released Vibe (2023) in January with BTSJimin. Largely an upbeat dance track, Taeyang entered uncharted territories as soulful ballads as he was mostly known for soulful ballads.

Vibe managed to come together well. It was not overbearing on choreography, yet it showed what the duo was capable of.

He also featured other artists like Blackpink’s Lisa for Shoong! (2023). It’s a collaboration between industry heavyweights, yet it fell short of that.

Each of them contributed in their own right – Taeyang on vocals and Lisa with crafty raps. But something, maybe it’s the overly simple hip-hop track, that might be the cause.

Other artists like rapper Beenzino and his labelmate Bryan Chase also featured on Inspiration (2023) and Nightfall (2023) respectively.

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