Published Nov 26, 2020In a year this devastatingly lonely, K-pop global superstars BTS have made a pandemic album to help bring everyone closer together.
BTS (consisting of RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook) hadn't planned on dropping another album this year. Following the release of Map of the Soul: 7 in February, the group was getting ready to embark on a world tour, but when COVID-19 halted their plans, BTS decided to buckle down and make new music together.
BE consists of eight succinct songs — seven if you don't count "Skit" — that evoke frustration, hopefulness and a steady love for their fanbase, widely known as the ARMY.
Opening track and lead single "Life Goes On" is a necessary reminder that, even though this year feels like a never-ending garbage fire, things will get better —they always do. BTS have always stressed the importance of togetherness through their music, and this song is no different. Compared to the other tracks on BE, the acoustic guitar and 808 drums make this an easy listening experience. "Fly to My Room" and "Dis-ease" are two other hopeful tunes. The bright hip-hop fusion vibe disguises the quarantine frustration the boys initially express. When you can't go anywhere, your home becomes your sanctuary. The latter is a fun, retro, hip-hop song about staying hopeful even when times are uncertain.
BTS aren't known for writing tearjerkers, but "Blue and Grey" is heartbreaking. The depression and burnout conveyed in the lyrics are all too relatable. While sad, it's refreshing to see a K-pop group openly singing about mental health issues. "Telepathy" and "Stay" are both funky, dance-in-your-room songs dedicated to their massive and loyal ARMY. As a group who never fail to thank those responsible for their success, BTS are always writing songs for their fans.
While BE is a slight departure from BTS's usual offerings, its more matter-of-fact and laidback vibe could pull in new fans who are looking for music to relate to in this crappy year. (Bighit Entertainment)