Jessie Chafin | Reporter Ft. Campbell Hamai| Reporter
In modern music, we have begun to see multiple cultures and languages blend into the mainstream. From hits like “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi to the classic “Gangnam Style” by PSY. Now, there is a new global sensation that is sweeping the states, and the world.
The K-pop group BTS, formed by Si-Hyuk Bang and debuted in 2013, has rapidly gained a mass global audience of fans, called “Army”. With the release of their latest album “Love Yourself: Answer”, BTS has introduced new themes to the K-pop and western music scenes. The group consists of seven members, RM (Namjoon Kim), Seokjin Kim, Suga (Yoongi Min), J-Hope (Hoseok Jung), Jimin Park, V (Taehyung Kim) and Jeongguk Jeon (Jungkook).
“Love Yourself: Answer”is the fourth album in the four-part “Love Yourself” series. The series includes albums “Love Yourself: Her”, “Love Yourself: Wonder”, “Love Yourself: Tear”, and finally “Love Yourself: Answer”. Never done before by any K-pop group, BTS connected these albums with a storyline that promotes the message to, you guessed it, love yourself. The music videos and lyrics tell a story of seven male friends who face hardships amongst themselves and outside forces. It is a story of heartbreak, anger, betrayal, loyalty, friendship and a long journey to accepting and loving themselves. “What’s unique about BTS is that every single song is, or nearly every song, is real and genuine,” Campbell Hamai said.
The album itself, released Aug. 24, 2018, includes 25 tracks. Since it is a repackaged album, there are seven new songs, fourteen songs from the previous three albums, two full length tracks and two new mixes. Within the first week of release, “Love Yourself: Answer” gained 868,052 sales, the second highest of the series behind “Love Yourself: Tear.” The music video for the title track “Idol” gained more than 56.2 million views on YouTube within its first 24 hours of release and now holds the record for the biggest music video debut in YouTube history according to Billboard.
BTS is no stranger to breaking records. They are the first Korean group to top Billboard Top 200 list with Love Yourself: Tear (Soompi). They also had the highest debut for a Korean group on Billboard Hot 100, coming in at number ten with “Love Yourself: Tear’s” title track “Fake Love”. BTS has the most followers on Twitter for a Korean account and the highest Spotify Global Top 200 rank for a Korean artist.
In “Love Yourself: Answer,” each member has their own unique track. The youngest member, Jungkook, sings “Euphoria,” which is about feeling intense happiness for someone and not wanting to let them go.
J-Hope has his track “Trivia: Just Dance,” which details his love and passion for dance and feeling that chemistry. The full-length song “Serendipity” is sang by Jimin, who uses his delicate voice to bring forth the innocence of a naïve love, crooning phrases such as “destiny keeps getting jealous of us.” In Korean, of course.
Namjoon’s song “Trivia: Love” is packed full of creative linguistic techniques and describes what life was like without love in it. “Singularity”, sang by Taehyung, is devoted to losing sight of who you truly are, rejecting yourself, and handling the consequences of not loving yourself.
Suga’s track “Trivia: Seesaw” describes a toxic relationship that seems to have ups and downs, just like a seesaw and not wanting to “ride” it any longer.
Finally, Jin’s “Epiphany” brings all the songs, albums, music videos and pain to an end when he finally realizes, “I’m the one I should love, in this world.”
BTS is now embarking on their BTS World Tour: Love Yourself, in which all the shows sold out within the first week of releasing tickets. The concept of listening to music where you can’t understand the words may seems off-putting to some people, but the beauty of music is to feel the rhythm and spirit within it, to find inspiration. Plus, there’s always subtitles!