PSY returns after two years with his 8th album, 4×2=8. The album contains 10 tracks co-produced, written and arranged with “Gangnam Style” co-writer/producer Yoo Gun Hyung, Zico of Block B, KUSH, Tablo, B.I & Bobby of iKON, Park Jin Young (aka JYP) and G-Dragon, with features from his fellow YG labelmates B.I & Bobby of iKON, G-Dragon and Tae Yang of BIGBANG, Tablo of Epik High, and actress Lee Sung Kyung.
Lead singles “I Luv It” and “New Face” are right on brand for PSY. They have the disco-esque dance beat that he is known for. “I Luv It” gives us all the things we love most about PSY, but “New Face” never gets off the ground and lacks some depth of sound. While very much classic PSY, neither song was the star of the album.
Album track “Bomb” is a bop for the young-ins. PSY and JYP tapped into the audience that B.I and Bobby serve as idols and gave us a very on trend, very current, Hip-Hop song. He takes a bit of a step back and lets B.I and Bobby have their moment and manages to work himself into the song without seeming like an out of touch and older artist trying to stay relevant to young folk.
For “Fact Assault,” PSY demands respect as he reminds everyone who it is he is with the help of BIGBANG’s G-Dragon. PSY takes the time to address all of the negative comments and insults he received since “Gangnam Style” became a huge international hit by recounting his 15-year career. In addition to checking the haters, PSY shows off his versatility as an artist. He isn’t always this high energy “goofy” performer, but a rapper. He is good at what he does, he knows it, and he tells you in this song. “Fact Assault” is the standout out track on the album because it’s an aggressive side of PSY we haven’t seen in quite some time.
“Auto Reverse” opens with a sample of Lee Jung-Ok (이정옥)’s “Crying In The Wind” (1994) then transitions into the chorus. The song is PSY and Tablo taking turns reminiscing about the old days and how quickly time passes.
This nostalgic tune is so well constructed from the transitions between the rap and ballad, the 90s style rap from Tablo and PSY, to the insertion of this soulful remix of the “Crying In The Wind” sample. And interestingly, B.I of iKON helped pen the lyrics.
Overall, the album sticks to PSY’s formula. He gives you some Rock, some Ballad, some Hip-Hop, some Rap, some Dance and does so cohesively. He shows off his versatility, his wit and his passion for what he does. And just like with every other album, it worked wonderfully. Of his last four albums, I can’t, however, say this is his best. It didn’t deliver a “greatest hits” number, but it did give us some good bops well worth the wait that give us what we need and want from PSY.
Genre: Dance, Ballad, Rap/Hip-Hop, Rock | Release Date: 05/10/2017