BTS returns with ‘BE’

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Members of South Korean K-pop band BTS pose for photographers during a press conference to introduce their new album “BE” in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. K-pop band BTS has released their highly anticipated new album, which they describe as a “letter of hope.” The band held a socially distanced news conference in Seoul to unveil “BE,” its second album this year. Photo by Lee Jin-man/AP Photo.

The Grammy-nominated Korean boy band, BTS, returns with their newest album “BE.” Before the album release, the official BTS Twitter account released a concept video showing the seven members in eight rooms, fitting the new norm the global pandemic has placed upon us.  

The leading single, “Dynamite,” landed their first American No. 1. Their first English-language single was a success as its poppy and joyful sound dominated radio stations and has over 600 million views on Youtube. The boys did not disappoint with the visuals and amazing choreography in this comeback music video. The colorfulness, along with the boys’ charisma, will bring a smile to your face.  

The second leading single and first track on the album, “Life Goes On,” is dedicated to the COVID-19 pandemic as the music video shows the boys quarantined at home and performing in an empty stadium. Jungkook begins the song by singing, “One day, the world stopped without any warning / Spring didn’t know to wait / Showed up not even a minute late”. “Life Goes On” marked BTS’s first solo track performed in Korean to hit No. 1 on the Hot 100. This single served as “a message of healing to fans and to the world”

In an interview with Esquire, the boy band shared the inspiration behind this eight-track album.  

“The reason I started making music is because I grew up listening to lyrics that speak about dreams, hopes and social issues. It just came naturally to me when making music”

“The reason I started making music is because I grew up listening to lyrics that speak about dreams, hopes and social issues. It just came naturally to me when making music,” said lead rapper Suga. 

The lead rappers, J-Hope, Suga, and RM took on the verses of the sixth track, “Dis-ease.” This track is described as a “bright, old-school hip-hop song about disease of artists’ own profession and the feeling of uncertainty during the pandemic”. J-hope explains to Weverse Magazine that the boys stirred away from the upbeat, playful feel their leading singles had.  

“The nice thing about music is that I can say what’s on my mind, even feeling of sadness or depression, in beautiful ways,” J-hope said.  

This track adds variety to the album, giving the rappers their well-deserved spotlight by taking over the song.  

I wouldn’t consider “BE” an insanely upbeat album, and it is clear the boys wanted this album to be meaningful and bring hope to their fans.  

RM, a member of South Korean K-pop band BTS, poses for photographers during a press conference to introduce their new album “BE” in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Photo by Lee Jin-man/AP Photo.

RM tells Esquire, “I don’t think this album will have any songs that criticize social issues. Everybody is going through very trying times right now. So I don’t think there will be any songs that will be that aggressive.”   

When comparing the album cover itself to their last album, “MAP OF THE SOUL: 7 ~The Journey~,” the art is very different. The “BE” album cover is simple and clean with no vibrant colors.  

Every time BTS drops an album, there’s plenty of praise from fans and the media. According to Paper, within the first 24 hours, the album surpassed 42.8 million streams on Spotify. Currently “Dynamite” has over 400 million streams followed by “Life Goes On” with over 56 million streams on Spotify. Within the first week, over two million physical copies of the album were sold. 

Jimmy Fallon, host of the “Tonight Show” shares, “usually if an artist is on the rise, I hear about them ahead of time. With BTS, I knew they had crazy momentum, and I’d never heard of them”. The boys joined Fallon to sing “Dynamite” shortly after the single release.  

Hands down, “Dynamite” is one of my top three favorites from this album. BTS seem to have a great eye on what their fans would want in a single. “Dynamite” is super upbeat and will instantly put you in a great mood. If you turn on any radio station, you are destined to hear this song. My second favorite would have to be “Telepathy,” a disco-esque song composed by Suga, RM and Jungkook. Similarly to “Dynamite,” this ballad screams high energy and happiness. Lastly, I have to mention the third track, “Blue & Grey,” a soft acoustic ballad written by V. From the instrumentals to their vocals, BTS acoustic ballads are always angelic to the ears.  

Gaining popularity in the United States in 2017, BTS continues to dominate the charts. Earlier this week, the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards were announced. “Dynamite” was nominated for the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, making BTS the first K-pop group to ever receive a Grammy Award nomination.  

Rating: 5/5 

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