BTS is back with their latest album, titled BE, which was released on November 20, 2020. This Korean pop sensation boy band is already smashing the charts and dominating streaming platforms. Most importantly, it’s touching the hearts of their passionate fans, the ARMY.
There’s no doubt that 2020 has been a rough year. The songs on BE capture those melancholic feelings we all are experiencing as a result of this pandemic, in addition to a sprinkle of hope here and there. While the Bangtan members have always been involved in songwriting for their tracks, this album is particularly special because each member took a role in its production. From project manager to visual director, each member poured their efforts and emotions into this album to create a set of personable messages that they wanted to relay to their listeners.
The album opens up with the title track Life Goes On, a sweet-sounding, acoustic, alternative hip hop track that touches on the mundanity of life in quarantine. Life Goes On perfectly represents the mixed feelings of sadness and nostalgia, but also the importance of cherishing those loved ones around you during these times. Fly to My Room is a 4-member sub-unit delivered by V, Jimin, Suga, and J-Hope. This neo-soul R&B track is about feeling stuck in your room but coming to terms with it and embracing your room as a safe space.
Blue and Grey is a pop ballad that I found to be the most melancholic track. They express their anxiety and loneliness through the colors blue and grey. A notable line: “This ground feels so heavier / I am singing by myself”. Skit is not actually a song, but instead an audio recording about the moment BTS found out their song went #1 on the Hot100 Billboard charts for the first time ever. I like to think they included this in the album as a sign that good things are possible during the pandemic, but also as a bit of a flex.
The vibe completely changes when Telepathy comes on. It’s a retro pop disco song about feeling connected with the fans and describing those moments as their happiness. If you were crying during Blue and Grey, Telepathy is a chance to wipe your tears, get up and dance. Dis-ease is a fan-favorite track off of BE. With some of my favorite lyricism from the whole album, this hip-hop track describes the discomfort you feel when you’re not doing work, but you FEEL like you need to be. I can totally relate to this, the aspect of “pandemic productivity” has caused me to feel like I'm not allowed to sit down and relax anymore. I’m sure many other college students feel the same way too.
Stay is a future house track sung by Jungkook, RM, and Jin. The message is simple but powerful, they talk about being together whilst being apart. It gives nostalgic edm vibes and will surely make you want to throw your own rave. Dynamite is their hit disco pop song that smashed the charts this summer. Bringing them their first Hot100 #1 AND their first Grammy Award nomination, Dynamite is all about the joy of life. It’s a celebration, it’s energetic, it’s just what we needed to cheer up during these times.
One of the key aspects of BTS lyricism is their sincerity, which is what they brought with their latest album BE. I appreciate that rather than glossing over the fact that we’re experiencing a deadly pandemic, BTS decided to embrace those feelings of melancholy because that’s our unfortunate reality. It’s like this album is saying: Hey, it might be a while before the pandemic is over, so let’s focus on being in the present. Let’s focus on what makes us happy and sad, and let’s share those feelings with each other rather than going through them alone.
Listen to the latest BTS album BE here!