It’s finally here ARMYs! K-pop superstars BTS dropped their highly anticipated new album BE (Deluxe Edition) on November 20. The album has a bit more of a personal touch as the members took more control over the creative process, including songwriting, concept photos, and more. The group has been hyping this album as being their most personal, and its goal is to bring comfort to their fans as the world goes through this unprecedented time.
The biggest strength BTS have exhibited throughout their careers (besides their impressive choreography) is their songwriting and wordplay. Over the years as they have grown to be one of the biggest acts in the world, they have gotten more involved in the process. The K-pop industry is often criticized for its manufactured ways, with teams of songwriters, stylists, and choreographers writing songs and planning everything for the acts. BTS has shown that they aren’t content with others doing all that for them, and on BE, they show what they can do when given more power.
Sonically, the album keeps the 7-piece in their comfort zone. While the tracks mash genres as is common to see with BTS, they never get into experimental territory. One track in particular, “Stay,” does see the group venturing into EDM, resulting in a bright and energetic love letter to fans. Another track to note is “Dis-ease,” chiefly written by member J-Hope, with the bridge written by vocalist Jimin. The old-school hip-hop track is a nice throwback to the group’s beginning sound, but with matured lyrics showing the growth the group has gone through. The sudden dynamic change in the bridge, resembles the group’s more anthem-like songs, further showing the group’s evolution from a hip-hop influenced act to pop powerhouses that want to inspire others.
Where the album really shines is in the lyrics. BTS hasn’t been afraid to get personal in their work, expressing the highs and the lows in their lives and careers. The running theme of the record is the loneliness and doubt the members and the world are facing during this pandemic. Songs like “Fly To My Room” and “Blue and Grey” show the downside, with the members expressing their sadness about not being able to perform for their fans in person and feeling trapped. Despite the melancholy, the group makes sure to let listeners know that there is a bright side. The album’s lead single “Life Goes On,” while reflecting on the current times, makes sure to inspire hope that the future will be better and that we will get through this difficult time together.
What the album also showcases is the members’ deepened connections with each other. The members decided on what songs to put on the album together, including two that were intended to be solo songs for Jungkook (“Stay”) and V (“Blue and Grey”). While not a song, “Skit” gives us insight into how BTS are with each other, playing audio from a conversation the group had after reaching no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with their first entirely English single “Dynamite.” It’s a nice pause between tracks, showing how the members, while obviously excited and proud of their achievements, find happiness in moments like this where they are able to sit down and bond with each other.
BE (Deluxe Edition) is a solid effort from BTS. While not the freshest when it comes to the tracks themselves, it feels like a deliberate choice. For a group who is extremely devoted to their massive and adoring fanbase, the album is a letter to them, letting them know that the group is there for them during the pandemic. The group opted to create work that they knew would be a comfort, and be a reminder to fans of what they love about BTS: they are a group who isn’t afraid to wear their hearts upon their sleeves, and who seek to be a source of happiness and comfort to anyone listening.
Featured Image: Instagram (@bts.bighitofficial)