Are you among the 60 million people who’ve seen the zany video for Psy’s big comeback song “Daddy” yet? If not, click play above already! Do it!
Suffice to say that Psy is back with his crazy dance moves, amusing sight gags, and lots of general weirdness. The song isn’t bad either. Actually, the song’s great. Red hot synth? Check! Wonderful, throbbing beats that’ll have you moving in your seat? Check! Psy rapping at the top of his game? Check! Some English lyrics so you can at least get the gist of it? Check! Psy really couldn’t have come back with a better song. Humor, heart — it’s the total package. Whether or not it will prove to be an international smash like “Gangnam Style” remains to be seen, but with 60 million Youtube views already, it’s clearly raking in some serious dough and should already be considered a major success from his record label. To that end, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re off busting out dance moves like you see in the video. I sure would be if it was my label.
Another thing “Daddy” and the rest of this EP have in common is perfect timing. Psy was gone for three years after his last single “Gentleman,” giving people just enough time to start wondering “whatever happened to that Psy guy?” Maybe the fact that “Gentleman” wasn’t as universally loved as “Gangnam Style” even helped by lowering people’s expectations, so when “Daddy” came out people were wowed that much more. Plus, it never hurts to come back just when people have started thinking that they’ve heard the last of you.
So, how is the rest of the EP? Fantastic! It opens with “댄스쟈키,” which Google translates as “Dance Jockey” and I’m sure it’s correct because he sings the words “dance jockey” something like a hundred times during the song. He also exclaims, “Hey DJ play that shit!” a bunch of times. Not quite as humorous as “Daddy,” but there’s obviously no law stating that all of Psy’s songs have to be funny. Besides, I could see them making a very amusing video for this song. (If they need ideas, they should call me.) I should also mention that “Dance Jockey” has everything going for it that “Daddy” has. Supreme beats, a nice mix of rapping and singing, and a sweet, sweet melody. The only thing that “Daddy” has that “Dance Jockey” does not is CL of 2NE1, who does the female vocal bits on “Daddy.”
“I Remember you” featuring Zion.T follows and is even more melodious. It’s more like a super synthy dance pop song than a hip-hop song, really. It gives Psy plenty enough opportunity to shine, but Zion.T’s warm vocals on the chorus are what really hook you.
Jangly guitars open “나팔바지” (translation: “Napal Baji”) and are a lively addition to Psy’s music. It also has some vibrant trumpet, which could explain why google translated the title as “trumpet trousers.” In any case, it’s not one of the best songs on hand, but it’s not a bad one by any stretch of the imagination. And it fits in perfectly where it appears on the album, in between “I Remember You” and “Daddy.” It’s also nice to hear Psy trying different things, especially when you consider how many rappers put out albums where every song basically sounds the same, like many trap rap albums.
After the full throttle energy of “Daddy” comes the mellow “Dream” featuring XIA of JYJ. During the verses, it’s basically a piano ballad, but it’s more like rock during the chorus. Having a song like “Dream” after “Daddy” would seem to be just what the doctor ordered, too. I would have expected another dance track of some sort, but the album transitions between the two tracks better than you might think.
“ROCKnROLLbaby” featuring Will.i.am is better than I’d expect a collaboration with Will.i.am to be, being that I usually dislike anything he touches. But Will.i.am’s vocals here are all in that funny vein that Psy never fails to hit when that’s what he aims to do and he certainly strives to be amusing here. It’s not like you can take a song that keeps going “rock n roll, baby!” over Calvin Harris style beats seriously. But, yes, it does work as a Euro-style banger, so I’d expect it to do very well in the UK, which was probably their target audience when they sat down to write this.
Next we have “좋은날이 올거야” featuring 전인권. I found an English translation of the title and it’s “Good Day Will Come.” (Unfortunately, I’ve had no luck finding English translations of the actual lyrics for the album so far.) Jeon In Kwon features on the track, who delivers reggae vocals over what are essentially modern reggae beats. Some of Psy’s fans may be disappointed by this one, since reggae is something you wouldn’t expect him to do, but I applaud him for it. It’s infectious, too!
“아저씨SWAG” featuring 개코 of Dynamic Duo follows. I was able to find out that the English title for this one is “Uncle Swag” and the name of the Dynamic Duo member is Gaeko. There’s a heavy dose of saxophone — and other horns — here and that alone makes me like the song. The live drums sound excellent, too. I think it’s meant to be a humorous track, like they’re bragging about having swag to make you jealous but they’re really just kidding about it. Who knows though? But, yes, Psy does sound like he’s joking around here.
The album concludes with a “PSYmix” of “SING” featuring Ed Sheeran. During much of the song Psy has slowed it down and given it a punchy beat, but then when Ed comes on it sounds more like his version of “Sing.” “Sing it babe / Bring it babe / Bring it on / All Night Long,” Psy raps slowly. I don’t know if Ed actually re-recorded his vocals for this track or if Psy just sampled his song. Obviously, he would’ve needed to get Ed’s permission to release it, but he could have finished the whole song independently and then sent it to Ed and asked him for permission to put it on his next album. Either way, this is easily the strangest track on the album. But, hey, Psy wouldn’t be PSY if he wasn’t a bit strange, so cheers to him.
some translations by: http://ilyricsbuzz.com/
This review was previously published on our sister site, OtakuDX: http://www.otakudx.com/musicreview/psy-%EC%B9%A0%EC%A7%91%EC%8B%B8%EC%9D%B4%EB%8B%A4-7th-album