As Expected, BIGBANG's 'Made' Comeback Is Fantastic, Baby
Let's Talk About Sex, BabyThe Emo Poor Me FeelsCommercial But Not Banal (Take Note America!)
The 'Loser' MV... T.O.P's Stupid Alien-Meets-Joker Concept
4.8Overall Score
Reader Rating 58 Votes

BIGBANG is the musical equivalent of a great big Oscar-winning Hollywood epic. The veteran boy band is a slick, commercial, all-star product that never risks alienating the public with anything too artsy or alternative, but they’re not exactly your typical shallow Michael Bay product either. There’s some substance to the gloss, and they hit all the required marks of a mainstream hit with such ardor that you can’t not be at least a little impressed with their efforts.

As expected, the group’s first new singles in three years, “Loser” and “Bae Bae,” don’t reinvent the wheel, but rather build on the winning formula that’s made them K-pop’s biggest male stars for almost a decade.

The sexually-charged “Bae Bae” features booming hip-hop bass and pretty piano tinkles interrupted every so often by an isolated guitar riff. The country music influence is a neat little idiosyncrasy that pushes “Bae Bae” into a much more interesting place than it would’ve gone to otherwise. It’s also cool to hear BIGBANG finally do a straight-up sex record together, which was something that used to be reserved for their solos and sub-units. (Although the constant demands in the lyrics for the love interest to remain forever young and pretty so they’ll still be attracted to her might shatter the fantasy for some older listeners. The ahjumma VIPs won’t be happy!)

“Bae Bae” is da bomb, but the other new single, “Loser,” is the real winner of the two. It’s melancholy BIGBANG at their finest–vulnerable, aggressive, and emotionally potent. The self-loathing lyrics will really hit home with lonely South Korean listeners living in one of the suicide capitals of the world.

In typical YG fashion, the accompanying music videos are about as subtle as a sledgehammer. “Bae Bae” is filled with all kinds of blatantly erotic imagery –ejaculating syringes, vagina flowers, extreme wetness– while the ridiculous overacting in “Loser” is so hammy it makes your average Korean melodrama look as emotionally restrained as a Nicolas Winding Refn film. This tastelessly over-the-top approach works fine for “Bae Bae” (nobody expects K-pop to be understated), but it turns “Loser” into a joke so I recommend pretending that the latter MV doesn’t even exist.

Overall, BIGBANG fulfilled every high expectation I had for their comeback, just as I knew they would. I can’t stand YG Entertainment and the only BIGBANG member I like is Seungri, but even I can still recognize BIGBANG as one of the best boy bands in the world.

And to think, this is only the very beginning of their return. They have about six more singles to come, and if there anything like this, then MADE might even be better than Alive.

  • KingBeaArthur

    Initially I was in for Bae Bae’s production (Teddy stepped his game up), but the mv for Loser turned me off completely – although I did like the song. I like both, but I still prefer Bae Bae over Loser.

    This is Big Bang to the Nth degree. I would’ve been more shocked if they’d gone farther left-field tbh.

    Live stages: I actually disliked Bae Bae’s, but Loser’s was pretty great. WTF is going on with the hair for this era? Taeyang’s & Daesung’s are major NOs.

  • T-rollypoly

    That Bae Bae stage was so great. I don’t normally watch boy bands but I might make an exception for the whole MADE album. I’m interested.

    • The end part was great, and the sticky rice cake chanting will never not make me chuckle. Also, their back up dancers are soooo pretty this era.

      I was never a boyband stan, but Big Bang turned me around, and made me a more open person/matured my image.

  • JammySmoochie

    I am happy with this comeback. Not the loudest of comebacks but if you look back on the Alive era, Big Bang does’t really start off really loud. And I like that. Can’t wait for the Fantastic Baby of this new era.

    That Loser MV is like the Crooked MV sequel no one asked for but I like their acting. LMAO. And Bae Bae MV is funny and sexy in the best way. Welcome back Big Bang.

    • I laughed thru out the whole BaeBae music video. It’s so lush yet utterly ridiculous

  • Vivienne Greatly Disapproves

    Thank Eunjung for Daesung’s existence, lmao at Taeyang looking like CL

  • Marhaebwa

    Jacques, I’m trying to like all of this…but I just cannot. Like really cannot. I can’t say I’d ever bump to a Big-Bang record at all, but I was hoping this was the comeback that would convert me…

    It wasn’t.

    • wow really?! I’ve been a BIGBANG fan ever since I got into k-pop. Their last two albums were amazing IMO especially the Alive repackage. Occasionally they have a garbage song like Stupid Liar (is that what it was called? Cant remember) or the generic Tonight but otherwise they slay me. They have great album cuts too, check Cafe, or GD&TOP’s Don’t Leave.

      Imo BIGBANG >>>>>>> 2NE1.

      • Marhaebwa

        okay, so all of Cafe >>>>>>> Don’t Leave (GD’s choruses) >>>> the rest of the song.

        And I like T.O.P, but…I don’t know. Don’t lose hope though, next month I could end up twerking to their new single. Also I’m warming up to the BaeBae MV – dat ejac scene though.

  • mcf

    I get the feeling that fans were so hyped-up over this comeback that they can’t admit (even to themselves) that it wasn’t that great.

  • I always knew I liked BigBang, but I guess I am more of a stan than I realized. Completely digging this comeback, and ready for the summer of BigBang. Like they were gonna release a banger up top? You know they have to save those bops for the 2nd or 3rd wave! I think people confuse GD’s recent solo stuff and YB’s Ringa Linga with the whole of Big Bang’s discography. GD&TOP is one of the greatest units in music, and their Alive repackage has so many great b-sides (always wished Feeling was promoted).

    • Also, does anyone else find it a nice coincidence that the Seung Chois have the best solo work? I always wondered what a collab btwn them would be like.

  • Sunny

    your review is spot on. Loser is the better track but Bae bae is great as well

    i’d stan this if it not for my huge vagina bias (almost zero male artist in my recently played music list)

  • Meh

  • “bae bae” almost had me puking my breakfast until came along daesung and seungri, then my imaginary ovaries starting working again [t.o.p. lost his place as my favorite korean hunk with that ridiculous hair].

    as for “loser”, it helped with my intestinal morning routine so i guess it’s okay.

    lol well, from what i’ve heard so far i can see myself listening to the MADE album once its released in its entirety. until them, i’ll remain obsessing over my obscure japanese electronica divas daoko and bonjour suzuki.