I’ve used a lot of words to describe a lot of songs in this column, but I rarely call songs iconic—because words have meaning. Big Bang’s Lies is iconic.
I can’t think of many songs that have withstood the test of time as well as 2007's Lies. More than a decade after its release, it continues to influence Korean popular culture in a way that very few K-Pop tracks have ever done, and few ever will.
It’s not an overstatement to claim that Lies changed the very course of K-Pop as a genre heading into the late 2000s, and along with Wonder Girls’ similarly seminal Tell Me, released the same year, stands as the two pillars that set the foundation for what path Korean pop music would take in the future. The modern view of K-Pop as a hook-song-filled, idol group heaven stems from these tracks (and their success).
Lies also kicked off one of the biggest and longest runs of popular tracks from any modern Korean artist: following this song, Big Bang would go on to release Last Goodbye, Haru Haru, and Sunset Glow in that order—all of them bonafide hits.
Eleven years later, Lies continues to remain undisputedly embedded in Korea’s popular psyche. Its addictive chorus is universally recognized, and on the tenth anniversary of Big Bang’s debut, fans staged a successful drive to push it back up to the top of the charts. Big Bang themselves are currently on hiatus due to Korea’s mandatory military service for able-bodied men; I’m eagerly counting down the days until they return.