20150806_seoulbeats_big_bang_lets_not_fall_in_love_TOPAs summer comes to an end, so does Big Bang‘s game-changing MADE Series. This week, the final installment Part E, rolled out with two contrasting releases, “Let’s Not Fall in Love,” and “Zutter.”

The MADE Series, in many ways, has been packed with recklessness, with questionable sobriety, wild tripsbangin’ parties and even self loathing. In the group’s final release, “Let’s Not Fall in Love,” Big Bang makes clear there is one thing they don’t want to be reckless with: someone else’s heart. After all the wildness the Made Series has put out, “Let’s Not Fall in Love” is a sobering experience.

Much like a summer love drawing to a close, “Let’s Not Fall in Love” is bittersweet. Though Big Bang spend the duration of the song explaining that they don’t want to break any hearts, that’s exactly what they accomplish in both the MV and the track.

“Let’s Not Fall in Love” centers around the inevitability of hurting someone innocent by falling in love with them and all the complex feelings that go along with that realization: part of you wants to selfishly ask them to stay, another part wants to tell them to run before they get in too deep. Love becomes an uncertain game of push and pull, and that idea is reflected both in the MV and the track itself.

Amidst the Instagram filter saturated scenes of the MV, we watch the Big Bang members in a montage of sappy and cliched scenes of romance. TOP makes puppy eyes at his movie date; GD dances in the rain and causes a scene in a grocery store; Daesung teases his date with food; Seungri bounces on a trampoline; and Taeyang scales buildings with his date. Each scene shows those small moments of summer intimacy, where two people are happy simply being in the presence of one another.

20150806_seoulbeats_big_bang_lets_not_fall_in_love_daesungIn the far cuts, each member does a spectacular job of being smitten with their female counterpart. But in their close-ups, underneath the heartwarming affection in their eyes, lies undeniable apprehension. It’s subtle, but it’s there. The short close-ups where TOP’s gaze falters slightly, or GD tears up while sitting alone, plant small seeds of tension. By the time GD is clinging to his girl in the rain, we begin to rethink the happy scenes we have already seen.

The MV isn’t anything stand-out on it’s own, but when coupled with the track it carries with it a heart-wrenching punch.

“Let’s Not Fall in Love,” begins slow and dreamy, with a surprise TOP on intro vocals. His deep tone introduces the chorus straight off and sets the sombre tone for the track. From there, each member takes their own distinct verse — paired with their respective love story on the screen. Their voices, though very distinct from one another, help segment the song between the reluctant chorus, the self deprecating raps, and pained truths of the verses.

20150806_seoulbeats_big_bang_lets_not_fall_in_loveThe fact that the main rappers of the group, GD and TOP, sing the majority of the chorus is surprising but also very fitting. The unique vocal colors of both the main rappers are able to convey the reluctance to fall in love that the main chorus admits to:

Let’s not fall in love, we don’t know each other very well yet

Actually, I’m a little scared, I’m sorry

Let’s not make promises, you never know when tomorrow comes

But I really mean it when I say I like you

For the members of Big Bang, love is something to be avoided, because it also brings with it too many expectations.

Don’t try to trap us

In the word, love

Because it’s a greed that can’t be filled

To the members of Big Bang, love becomes an “obligation” once things progress too far. It’s selfish, what they’re asking, and they know it. Yet, they want to indulge themselves in the affection and inevitable pain anyway. They just don’t want to be blamed when things turn sour. It’s no wonder the female voice calls them a “selfish bastard” following the bridge.

Musically, “Let’s Not Fall in Love,” is understated but carries the mood of the lyrics quite well. Ambient notes make up most of the back track, against a steady but light rhythm. The pre-chorus rap bits break from the dreaminess with a heavier beat and some synth sounds that are a little more disruptive than beneficial. Nonetheless, the song transitions between the various segments and builds slowly, without ever reaching a real climax, which is entirely fitting.

20150806_seoulbeats_big_bang_lets_not_fall_in_love_taeyang“Let’s Not Fall in Love,” is not a ballad, nor is it a party anthem. Instead, it’s a sombre, dreamy melody — for the most part — that acts as a heartfelt expression of vulnerability and cowardice. It’s appropriately apprehensive, both musically and lyrically. It ends abruptly, exactly where it started — much like the lyrics foresaw the non-love story concluding.

It’s hard to believe that these are the same men who, two months ago, were singing about girls getting low while leading humans around on leashes. But, that’s the thing about Big Bang; underneath all the ridiculous pretenses, there is the capacity for emotional depth. There’s nothing wrong with tracks that are simply out to produce a good time, but it’s the more emotional Big Bang releases that stick with me. If the Made Series has solidified anything about Big Bang for me, it’s that they truly are one of the most multi-dimensional groups in the game.

 

MV: 3.5/5

Song: 4/5

Readers, how do you feel now that the MADE Series has concluded? What did you think of “Let’s Not Fall in Love”?

(YouTube, POPGasa. Images via YG Entertainment.)