[#22] Taeyang (BIG BANG) - "Stay With Me" (feat. G-Dragon)

From: "RISE"
Released: June
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Entries: 2009: "Wedding Dress"
Other notable song(s) from 2014: n/a

I've never really been fond of Taeyang's voice, and for the most part I prefer Seungri's solo material among Big Bang. But Taeyang has two things that he can potentially use to his advantage musically -- YG production and composition quality, and a clear aesthetic/musical direction.

What grabbed me at first, and continues to keep me listening to "Stay With Me," is the melody -- this is one of those instances where the melody, in its simplicity, is so gorgeous that I don't know if I want it to be longer because it might lose its concentration. The chorus is easy to sing along to with short, spaced out, lines and repetition not in the individual notes, but in the chord progression, making its recall even stronger.

But ultimately what sealed the deal for me was the production quality and the strength of the arrangement. "Stay With Me" sounds not just rich, but also epic. The simplicity of the first chorus, with a piano line playing chords and a melody built around several chord progressions, creates a jarring impact against the very packed verses. This is the kind of track that you can imagine a soloist singing alone, on stage, with a single spotlight. It's a dramatic kind of epic. When the rest of the instrumentation comes in the epic quality shifts from dramatic to "glorious," especially with the addition of the strong section and the reverberating bass line.

"Stay With Me" has the potential to become a YG classic, simply because it's a straightforwardly strong composition executed effortlessly by Taeyang, GD, and YG's production.


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