Kchat Jjigae, with few notable exceptions, is a safe place to share one’s thoughts and opinions on Korean entertainment. That being said, I am fully aware that the casual BTS fan all the way to full on ARMY can get a bit…ummmmm…fervent in their support of the group and downright feisty when it comes to someone saying anything that might be perceived as negative. I had to weigh and measure this reality while deciding to do a BTS comeback bonus post. But then I remembered eh, what do I care? It’s not like my feeling gets hurt (I used the singular there deliberately…because it’s largely true) when someone gets mad at me for liking or not liking a release. I am no stranger to disagreement and frankly, for the most part, I think folks are entitled to their own opinions as long as they are well researched and supported by actual facts.
I don’t want to get all hipster on everyone, but I was actually a fan of BTS prior to debut…theirs, not mine. I have zero ideas on how I stumbled across them back in the day. I don’t know what village I saved in past life to make our fates so intertwined, but it must have happened and I do feel lucky to be part of this sweeping romantic drama that is our relationship. Though not all of the songs they’ve released are necessarily my style, I honestly haven’t hated anything yet. I might not love it, but I don’t hate it.
This album is no exception.
The first song we were blessed with was the intro song titled Intro: Serendipity. This track, written by Rap Monster (I’ll stick with stage names for the post), was performed flawlessly by Jimin. I’ve been more than open with the fact that I love every member of the group with all of me, but that Jimin, sadly, is the one I have bonded with the least. He is an exquisite dancer and lovely singer, but for some reason, we are the least in love. But this song and video are one of the most beautiful things I’ve experienced in a long time. He looks amazing, the song is hopeful and positive and has a tremendous hook. The video is visually captivating and perfectly transitions us from ‘Wings’ into ‘Love Yourself.’
BTS, Love Yourself: Her Serendipity Trailer
The single from the album, DNA, came with great fanfare. And by fanfare, I mean KpopontheDL, an east coaster, sent us the link to the video so we would have it when we Coloradans all crawled out of bed at 5 in the morning, as we are want to do on a workday. I watched it first thing and honestly liked it right away. That isn’t always the case…many songs take a few listens for me to fully appreciate them. But I really did enjoy this the first time through. Was it my favorite BTS song? No. But my desire to listen to it has actually gone up in tandem with the number of times I actually have listened to it. That’s a really good sign for its ability to stick around on my playlists for the long term. This is a love song, have no doubt. The lyrics are all about a love fated by genetics…like they and she (me) were fated to be together because of DNA. However, the symbolism runs deeper. Obviously. They are BTS after all. I was informed by my crack research staff (Alix likes to troll Tumblr) that the choreo for this song is largely made up of specific moves from previous tracks. It’s the DNA that makes up the group. Of course it is.
The bright colors, superb styling, CGI, and simplicity of the plot were all high points for this release. I really, really needed to not have to think too hard about something that was going to ultimately make me sad. I totally approve of what we got here.
If you want to know what they thought about the video…you can catch that here.
BTS, DNA Reaction Video
Now let’s talk comeback stage and full album. First, I admit to only having seen some of that actual comeback stage because it was only 37% subbed when we watched it on Friday as part of our standing girls’ night. It was a delightful romp down memory lane with reenacted scenes from their respective lives, Jungkook ‘interviewing’ members in their dorm or their studios, and clips from big moments in the group’s experience. While I didn’t actually finish watching the whole stage (we had other, more fully subbed shows to watch) I have seen the performances from the show and other stages. First, I very much appreciated the updated styling and true to form choreo for the oldie but goodie No More Dream. I could mention the obvious and much-appreciated glimpse of Jimin’s abs, but I won’t.
BTS, No More Dream
The song Mic Drop predictably is probably my favorite song on the album. I’m a sucker for J-Hope’s rapping and love a song that highlights the entire rap line being fierce. There’s a reason the cyphers are consistently my favorites. Plus, the styling for Mic Drop, minus the fake dreads clearly attached to Hobi’s hat, is fabulous. V’s red shoes are delightful. I want them. I love that this song was inspired by Obama’s famous mic drop. That, my friends, is pretty much the definition of swag for me.
BTS, Mic Drop
I am willing to lay down cash money that BTS’s sense of humor is one of the reasons that we have all fallen in love with them. Through countless Bangtan Bombs, VLive’s, and reality shows, we’ve all gotten to know them, or at least their characters, really well. They are nothing if not completely ridiculous young men ready to work their asses off to give us a laugh and make us feel good. Go Go is their opportunity to do just that on this album.
When I initially heard the song I vomited a little in my mouth. I am not into this whole synth steel drum BS that EVERY group has included on the obligatory Tropical House track this season. But on the second listen, I focused on the lyrics and found that I could tune out the backing track enough to appreciate the song to the point that I didn’t have to skip it when it popped up.
Fast forward a couple of days and Alix cornered me in my office, closed the door, and made me watch the stage performance. Oh. My. God. This is one of the best things I have ever seen in my life… and I wish I was being hyperbolic. Watch it and not smile. I dare you. They really are the best. The amount of work that clearly went into this endearing and absurd choreo is pretty impressive and watching their faces throughout the entire song makes every bad thing that may or may not have happened this week magically all better. For real. I am being totally honest.
BTS, Go Go
As for the rest of the album, it’s pretty much made up of the standard vocal line offering. Best of Me, the collab with the Chainsmokers, is a super catchy earworm that you will likely find yourself humming or accidentally listening to on repeat for a day or two if you’re not careful. Ahem, Alix.
Dimple was a surprise for me. I don’t usually fawn all over vocal heavy tracks, but this one got me. I lurve it. And Pied Piper is nothing but the truth. We will totally just follow wherever they lead. Very few questions asked. The Outro’s good. I a little confused why calling someone ‘her’ is a good thing rather than something nicer, but I haven’t looked up the lyrics yet, so it’s entirely possible I’m missing something. The album clearly gives Jin, V, Jimin, and J-Hope lots of love. While the others aren’t missing by any stretch of the imagination, these four are definitely utilized front and center on many of the tracks and it’s refreshing. I could use a little more Suga…but that’s my go-to place and I’m not really complaining.
The secret song on the album is…well…It’s my second fav after Mic Drop.
In closing, as if this were my dissertation, I would just like to point out that none of these songs, absolutely none of these videos or performances, shed any light on the pre-release movie shorts. And here I was celebrating a non-thinky album. Square one on this whole solving the story of BTS thing, square one.