Big Bang's Vocal Prowess

Well, well - I finally got myself to write another vocal commentary!

I think you guys know that I had a little problem including Big Bang in this special, mainly because 2 of the 5 members are predominantly rappers and to be completely honest with you guys I know nothing about rap and I most probably will never learn anything because it's not something I particularly enjoy listening to. I tried asking around what made a good rapper but the problem with asking someone else is that I won't be able to form my own opinions and my own concept of beauty - it'll be just me 'emulating' someone else's opinion and that's not the reason why I blog. I prefer forming my own opinions on things before asking people what they think.

So I've solved this problem - I will only comment on the three vocalists. G Dragon sang on his debut album but it was so damn auto-tuned that I can't properly 'analyze' his voice. Therefore, I will comment on Taeyang, Seungri and Daesung only.

Big Bang are Korea's R&B/Hip Hop/Rapping boyband so it's only natural that they don't have pop voices but those that the hip hop experts find good and suitable for the songs they perform. These guys aren't big ballad singers, they're R&B slow song singers and they're not rock singers, they're hip-hop uptempo singers. Their voices weren't made to sing songs like DBSK's Rising Sun or stuff like that, they were made to sing songs like Usher's Burn. Therefore, the way I look at their voices varies a bit from the pop bands - because even if they still do make pop music, it's a different side of the genre.

Together these three guys are strong and individually they're good but one voice really just stands out for me. We'll get to that later. Below is a slow song recorded and live and an uptempo recorded and live. Feast your ears on their vocals:

The slow song: A Fool's Only Tears (2006)

The uptempo: Sunset Glow (2008)

This guy has a voice that I would class as stereotypical and always present in a more hip-hop band in Korea. It's nasal, it's on the thin side and it sounds insanely good auto-tuned. In short, it's a stupid record producer's dream come true to be able to process this guy's voice because it comes out insanely good. He has his strengths, the guy can sing and it sounds good to some but I personally don't like his voice because it's too nasal live and he only sounds good autotuned. However for the uptempos his voice does well and he makes the group very distinctly hip hop. Without him Big Bang would not be hip hop vocally so you gotta commend the guy. He also sounds good when you combine him with the other two so as long as he helps make the band as a whole, doesn't matter if he doesn't appeal to me individually - he's in a band and he should be able to blend with everyone else, not overpower them or stick out like a sore thumb.

Seungri is like a less nasal and deeper version with Taeyang with a much nicer timbre. It's still nasal and ideal for the songs they're doing though. If I were to chose between this guy and Taeyang, I'd chose this guy. I personally think he has the right mix of the nasal voice hip-hop people want and an over-all nice timbre. Thus, he is the guy with the nice timbre in the band. His voice may not be predominantly smooth and it may not be right next to the Key and Tiffanys of the world but the timbre is enough to carry him as a singer. He does the uptempos well, he does the ballads well - he's probably in between Taeyang and Daesung.

Oh dear, here I go again with another insanely smooth voice. Daesung Big Bang is right beside Taemin SHINee and Jaejoong DBSK in terms of smoothness - the guy's voice is so damn smooth that I was falling at my feet just hearing 3 - 4 lines from him in an entire song. For someone with a predominantly smooth voice, he surprisingly also has a nice timbre. It's not exceptionally nice like Key SHINee but it's unusual for someone with a smooth voice like his to have a timbre on the deeper side. He's flexible as well - he sounds pretty decent autotuned, sounds great when he hits high notes and can sing trot (Korean traditional music mixed with pop. Very big market in Korea.) although not my type. His main role in the band is to smoothen out Taeyang's nasal voice and Seungri's deep one. I think you already know by now but I'll say it anyway - Daesung is my favorite voice in Big Bang.

I knew he had that kind of voice since the very start of my acquaintance with Big Bang but it took me this song so really be blown away with it. He takes the lead in choruses at 0:48 - 1:02, 1:49 - 2:05 and 3:11 - 3:26, solos at 2:22 - 2:30, 2:33 - 2:43 (that's the high note) and an ad lib from 3:30 - 3:35.

Thoughts? Agree or disagree? Put everything in the comments section! Hahah.


  1. Owh, my love for BB especially TaeYang. I don't think his voice is as smooth as Daesung but I love that fella. I love his vocal in Look Only At Me.
    Gosh, that is a good song, agree?
    I would say that TaeYang voice is synonymous with BigBang as much as GD is with being their fashion guy. Great stuff. Of cos, Daesung voice stands out the most individually. =)

  2. Hahah. Taeyang does make Big Bang who they are vocally so I gotta hand it to him, yes. Hahah.

  3. Thanks for the objective review. I like Daesung's voice too and hope he succeeds in the future (maybe in trobt).

    Do you think it's possible for him to develop more power? Boy bands have a short shelf life. I really would like to see him succeed in the long run.

    D-lite's fan.

  4. I think it all really is just about what kind of music you prefer. I love Big Bang's music, it's a genre that I enjoy but with their different mix.

    With your view of Taeyang's voice, it is a nasal voice, yes. However, it is a nasal voice that can carry his genre of music. It is also interesting to add that Taeyang isn't a singer in the first place. He was accepted in YG as a rapper. His main focus is rapping as hip hop is his first love. It wasn't until much later in his stay in YG that he developed his singing and when he did, his singing voice suits what YG is all about - Hip Hop and R&B. His voice may sound stereotypical in the main music market outside of Korea but in Korea? It isn't. It actually is unique. But with his voice getting positive reviews and being being mainstreamed, more artists who practice his genre are getting out in the market as well. The thing I love most about his voice is that... it sounds just right even if you throw anything at it. I guess it's the kind of voice that you can either dislike or really love. When you hear him singing, you'll know it is Taeyang even with your eyes closed.

    As with your opinion with Seungri's voice, I also agree. His voice has such a nice timbre. If you hear his ad libs in radio shows, he's really great. His voice is actually really smoother when he's just singing off stage as when he's on stage. In my opinion, his singing is the weakest when it's on stage but offstage, it has got to be my favorite. When he's just laid back and singing naturally without the lights and the screaming and just no pressure at all, he beats Taeyang's and Daesung's voice. The problem is they're performing artists, and he has got to sound good on stage as he does off stage. I think he's also the one in the group that isn't yet singing his "music". He's touched it with "Next Day" but he has got to find "it". Well, he's young, I believe he'll develop more. He's got a lot room for improvement :)

    As with Daesung, well, it's Daesung. His voice is just perfect the way it is. Not my favorite voice but he just sounds good generally. He's amazing and he carries whatever it is that he's singing. i think the main reason you really like his voice is because judging from your other group preferences, his voice is the closest to their music.

    And I agree with you, all of their voices balances each other's making them sound cohesive. But what i love most is that you can distinguish their voices wherever! They've all got unique voices that are distinctly theirs. I mean (not saying anything bad to other artists but), many artists from other groups have got really amazing voices, really nice timbre and has got soul- however, if I do not follow their group or I am not familiar, it is hard to distinguish their voices from other artists as they sound the almost the same. If I am to name a few of the artists with really distinct voices - Tei, Sung Shi Kyung, Lee Seung Gi, Kim Joong Gook, Changmin of 2AM, Hwan hee, Bom of 2NE1, CL of 2NE1.

    Well, as I have said above- it really all depends on the music you like and enjoy. If the genre of music that you enjoy is different from a group's style, it will be hard for you to fully appreciate their voices as they are.

    As long as their voices are well suited to the music that they're singing, then they've got it.

  5. First of all, I want to thank you for everything you, your blog is something I always come back to. Thayt's because I kno that you put so much heart into your writing and you are, at the same time, objective. I'm sure this is the reason most of yourreaders appreaciate you so much. :)

    I love Daesung's voice, too, seriously, it's impossible not to, haha.

    If you're interested in G Dragon's singing, you should check Big Bang's "Fool". It's an old song of theirs - 2007, if I'm not mistaken, and the live versions are also old.
    It's the first video among the YT results. In the live versions I think the chorus is also sung by the Seungri.
    I've heard him before taking that kind of notes. I'm really curious what you'll think of it.
    Oh, there's also this video, Big Bang - So sick[the one with 67/68 views], maybe'll help a bit.:)

    I know he's the rapper and entered music industry as one, but I also know their CEO said in 2006 that his singing has improved a lot... However, I don't know what the initial level was.

    I know you have a lot of comments, so I'm really happy if you read my comment. Thank you for everything you do! Hope this comment helped a bit and that you'll update this review. :)
    Many hugs, I hope you have a great weekend. :)

  6. I think you should rewrite this article now that TOP also had singing solos and GD also CAN sing beside rapping, That XX is the perfect example, but earlier on he also had singing parts, like This Love, or my favourite, But I Love You. I would be really curious of your opinion on GD as a singer.


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