After spending about two years as a moderately successful act, B2ST‘s popularity exploded in 2011 with the release of their first full-length album, Fiction & Fact. The group went on a world tour and bagged the coveted Gayo Daejun ‘Song of the Year’ award for their hit “Fiction“, and suddenly found themselves as one of the biggest boy bands in K-Pop.
Not all of B2ST’s songs are the best, but they’re an easy group to like. Kikwang is one of the most beautiful men on the planet, and Yoseob has the same kind of distinctive, standout charisma as T-ara’s Jiyeon. And when the boys get it right with their music, they really get it right.
It’s been over a year since “Fiction” slayed us all, and now B2ST’s back with their first real single since blowing up, “Beautiful Night”.
The first thing that struck me about “Beautiful Night” is just how much like BIGBANG it sounds. With it’s feelgood vibe and commercial dance-pop production, “Beautiful Night” is a lot like the amazing “Feeling” and “Love Dust” from BIGBANG’s Alive album — only even better and with more hit potential than those album cuts contained.
“Beautiful Night” is positively euphoric, and really hits that little switch in your brain that makes you feel great and want to dance the night away. The lyrics about an ecstatic love that has you walking across the sky and sends your heart flipping inside out are total bliss, and give the song a very fresh and clean feel that’s often missing from the commercial dance-pop genre.
K-Pop sometimes gets criticized for sounding too much like American pop, but “Beautiful Night” isn’t so much of a copy of Western pop as it an upgrade. Songs like “Beautiful Night” and 2NE1′s “I Love You” (which I’m not even a fan of) may use the same top forty templates that many commercial pop tunes are built from, but they’ve been tweaked enough to put them head and shoulders above a lot of the stuff from the States in the same field. The recent output from the likes of Usher and Nicki Minaj sounds crass and terribly cheap by comparison, and they’re chart leaders in the Western world.
B2ST flew to New York for the film of the “Beautiful Night” music video, so they (thankfully) didn’t give us the kind of indoor set-based visual that’s really becoming tired in K-Pop these days. There’s a lot of dancing and partying in the streets, with a strong emphasis on fun and color.
Conceptually, B2ST’s gone for a colorful and stylish look, rocking trendy outfits and sporting a variety of crazy hairstyles. I’ve seen variations on this concept from different boy bands before, but it’s one that really works. I was hoping for B.A.P to do something similar (only more masculine and street) for their recent underwhelming comeback with “No Mercy”. It would’ve made everything much more exciting, but that’s a whole different story.
As for B2ST, “Beautiful Night” doesn’t top the flawless “Fiction”, but then again, nothing ever will. It does however, outdo all the dance-pop songs that YG Entertainment has released in the past year, and stands as the second best B2St song after “Fiction”, and you can’t ask for any more than that.