The album cover for "BE" (Photo retrieved from fandom.com)

BTS’s new album “BE” provides comforting songs to help fans cope with the pandemic.

South Korean Group BTS released “BE” an eight-track album on Nov. 20, 2020. It was written for their fandom to comfort them due to the hardships many have faced because of COVID-19, according to the “‘BE’ Global Press Conference” on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T31mfmw8bS8&t=575s&ab_channel=BigHitLabels).

Overview:

The album’s songs range from upbeat, comforting and fun to melancholic, cheerful and more. In my opinion, each and every song is worth listening to, making it my favorite album of 2020.

“Life Goes On”

“Life Goes On,” the title track of the album, conveys the message of living in the moment and remembering that things will eventually get better. The track is soft and mellow with acoustic guitar undertones and synth-pop — a sub-genre that uses synthesizers and electronic songs. Both the vocal and rap line bring sweet and comforting lyrics to the song, which makes “Life Goes On” even more enjoyable to listen to. The song has this calming feel to it, like sleeping in on a rainy day when you don’t have anything to do. I couldn’t give “Life Goes On” a 5/5 rating though because I enjoy upbeat songs more. However, even though I’m not the type to listen to more calm songs, it never fails to make me feel relaxed and carefree. 

Favorite Lyric: 

“잠시 두 눈을 감아 여기 내 손을 잡아 저 미래로 달아나자” / “Close your eyes for a moment / hold my hand /  to the future, let’s run away”

“내 방을 여행하는” / “Fly to My Room” 

“Fly to My Room,” is  a fun and seemingly happy song with upbeat keyboard and drum elements. The song features just four of the seven members, J-Hope, V, Jimin and Suga.

 Without reading the lyrics, you would think that the song is a cute little song to play while skipping through a field of daisies or something. However, “Fly to My Room” is a bit darker than that. The four members express how frustrating it is to isolate yourself during the pandemic. Their frustration likely stems from not being able to see their fans after their world tour was canceled in April 2020. 

Because the vibe and the lyrics of the song don’t necessarily match, I always start feeling a bit sad and sentimental. This does take a little bit of my enjoyment away from the song even though I really like the catchy verses and beat.

Favorite Lyric: 

“Feel like it’s still day one 누가 저 시계를 좀 돌려줘 올해 다 뺏겼어” /  “Feel like it’s still day one/  somebody turn back the clock, the entire year got stolen”

“Blue & Grey”

“Blue & Grey” is a slow and melancholic pop ballad with acoustic guitar, piano and string instruments. The song was mostly written and produced by member V;  he and the other members of the group tell the story of overworking yourself as an artist. The lyrics describe how lonely it can get as a celebrity and not having many people to help you when you’re stuck at a dead end. When I first listened and learned the meaning of the song, I felt really sad, which is most likely why I don’t listen to “Blue & Grey” as much as the album’s other tracks. I’m not usually the type to listen to sad songs, but I think “Blue & Grey” was composed so well that I forget about the actual meaning of the lyrics. The rap and vocal lyrics have amazing melodies, and along with the soothing instrumental, the song is calm and perfect to listen to when you’re feeling sad.

Favorite Lyric: 

“I just wanna be happier, 이것도 큰 욕심일까?” / “I just wanna be happier, am I being too greedy?”

“잠시” / “Telepathy”

“Telepathy,” the fifth track of the album, is a disco- and funk-inspired song about how BTS and their fans are always connected even though they aren’t allowed to meet because of the pandemic.  Hence the name, “Telepathy.” Of all the songs in “BE,” “Telepathy” has the best instrumental with its wide range of sounds. It incorporates electronic sounds, fun auto-tuned vocals, g-funk whistles, cowbell noises, synth elements, a catchy bassline and more. It’s definitely one of my favorite tracks on the album, as I find it really catchy and energizing to listen to. “Telepathy” is that one song that can get stuck in your head for days (in a good way)  or the song that can make you want to dance without actually playing it because it’s so memorable. 

The most fascinating thing about this song is that one of the members, Suga, wrote “Telepathy” in 30 minutes, according to his recent Weverse Magazine interview (https://magazine.weverse.io/article/view?lang=en&num 96). I was in complete shock when I found this out and became even more shocked when I found out that Suga didn’t even like the song at first. It really made me wonder if he counts this as “bad” then what does he consider “good?

Favorite Lyric: 

“매번 다른 일상들 속에, 너란 사람은 내게 가장 특별해” / “Every time, even in a different everyday life, you’re the most special person to me”

“병”/ “Dis-ease”

On to my favorite song in the album, “Dis-ease.” (And no, it’s not about COVID-19). “Dis-ease” is an old school, hip-hop themed song that features trumpets, other horn instruments and funky jazz guitar riffs. Although it doesn’t have an instrumental as complex as “Telepathy,” the instrumental for “Dis-ease” is even more catchy and well made. The track is very fun and upbeat, which greatly reminds me of member J-Hope’s bubbly hip-hop solo album “Hope World,” as “Dis-ease” was written and produced by J-Hope himself. 

The song is about the group’s “disease” of overworking themselves and only wanting to work, according to the members during their “‘BE’ Global Press Conference” on YouTube. 

Like “Fly to My Room,” you wouldn’t expect the lyrics of “Dis-ease” to be gloomy at all, but of course that doesn’t take away from how good the song is. J-Hope, RM and Suga’s rap lines have really good flow and are mesmerizing to listen to, especially Suga’s because of their rhythm. Jin, V, Jimin and Jungkook’s lines are sung beautifully, not to mention that the chorus is super catchy. 

Along with the fact that “Dis-ease” sounds like a track off of J-Hope’s “Hope World,” it also makes me nostalgic for BTS’s old songs from 2015 and 2016. And yes, I am aware that nostalgia definitely contributes to why I like “Dis-ease” so much. 

The last minute of the song wraps up with the best bridge I’ve ever heard within BTS’s discography. I was astonished to find out that Jimin wrote the entire bridge of the song in under five minutes according to a live-stream on the release day of the album. “Dis-ease” is an amazing song in every aspect, so if you have time, I highly recommend that you check it out. 

Favorite Lyric: 

“I’m ill, 그래 내가 일 그 자체 쉼이란 친구 oh, I never liked him” / “I’m ill, I’m the job itself. A friend named rest? Oh, I never liked him”

“Stay” 

The seventh track and the second unit song in the album features RM, Jin and Jungkook. “Stay” is a cheerful song that is heavily influenced by electronic dance music, future house, dance-pop, 1990s and 2010s genres. 

The meaning of “Stay” is how grateful BTS is to have such a loyal fandom. It has more relaxed and calm verses that aren’t as catchy as the previous songs, which is why I don’t enjoy “Stay” as much as the other tracks. The song obviously isn’t my favorite; however, I do find the lyrics very meaningful and  the chorus and post-choruses are extremely pleasant to listen to.  Even though I have to be in a specific mood to put “Stay” on, it is a nice comfort song for when you’re just relaxing.

Favorite Lyric: 

“Every night and day,  yeah I know you always stay”

“Dynamite”

Finally, the record-breaking song; “Dynamite.”

The 70’s disco-pop-inspired song uses funk basslines, brass instruments, keyboard, a handclap beat and lots of synth for an extra retro feel.

“Dynamite” was written to give fans a fun song to distract them from the crazy things that happened due to the pandemic, according to the “Dynamite” Online Global Media Day video on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watchv=0RMI5yTyYFE&t=217s&ab_channel=BigHitLabels). It was also written in all English, making it BTS’s first song completely in English and making the lyrics a thousand times more memorable for me. After the first few times I had listened to “Dynamite,”  I had already memorized the lyrics. 

However, the song being in English is not the main reason why “Dynamite” is so memorable. To me, the catchy melody is what makes the song so unforgettable. It’s one of the songs that will be stuck in my head for hours on end. I also love the over-the-top retro 70’s synth-pop theme just because not many modern artists incorporate this genre anymore simply because it’s outdated. I think that BTS’s decision to do a retro theme was a great idea, as it’s unique and a good song in general. But because the song has been overplayed, I feel that it got a little boring to listen to, which is why I couldn’t give it a rating of 5/5.

Favorite Lyric: 

“Ladies and gentlemen, I got the medicine, so you should keep your eyes on the ball”

"Be"
Life Goes On
Fly To My Room
Blue And Grey
Telepathy
Dis-ease
Stay
Dynamite
Reader Rating3 Votes
4.1

— By Katie Espinoza

Print Friendly, PDF & Email