Album Review: BTS WINGS

For those who live under a ROCK, I’m here to inform you that BTS is back. BTS as in Bangtan Boys, 방탄소년단, Bangtan Sonyeondan, Bulletproof Boy Scouts…however you wish to refer to them as. This killer seven-member k-pop/k-hiphop group has been smashing the charts since 2013.

Their latest comeback, WINGS, dropped on Oct. 10 as their second full-length album next to Dark & Wild. The concept photos and short films for WINGS painted a dreamy picture through the use of muted colors, luxurious Renaissance art museum backdrops, and lounging boys (see below).

Photo credit: Big Hit Entertainment

The album introduces fifteen new tracks: seven of which are solos for each member. The title track is “Blood, Sweat, & Tears (피 땀 눈물).” The music video for this single matched up with the hodge-podge Renaissance vibe by being shot mostly in what appeared to be an art museum. The track starts off slow with the chorus and then builds to a loud electronic interlude before the first verse and then continues in this pattern.

Despite the dark lyrics, “But your wings are those of a demon…I’m deeply addicted to the prison that is you…I swallowed the Holy Grail that is poisonous even when I knew it was,” the energetic choreography sends a different message. However, other visual cues convey the real meaning of the song: blindfolds, free-falling boys, dark-lit rooms, fog, fire, poison, solitude, demon wings, etc. It’s clear why this song was chosen as the title track – it’s a total banger!

Photo credit: Big Hit Entertainment

To match the concept, multiple tracks feature classical instruments including strings, piano, and organ, as well as church-like choirs.

The first time I listened to the album, I was driving through a rainstorm. That is exactly how this album should be heard. The overall vibe of the album is laid-back; at the same time, a strong sense of passion and almost anger can be detected especially from tracks like “Boy Meets Evil,” “Blood, Sweat, & Tears,” and “First Love.” The combo of tranquility and aggression harmonizes well with the sound of a rainstorm.

I recommend pulling up RainyMood before you relax and give the full album a listen. This is the first time BTS has released a solo for every member in one complete album. It was astounding to hear the individual talent of each boy for the first time.

BTS first caught my attention with their EPs The Most Beautiful Moment in Life Pt. 2 (화양연화 Pt. 2) and the repackage The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever (화양연화 Young Forever). The title tracks “Run” and “Save Me” basically dominated my life for an entire year…and now I’m expecting “Blood, Sweat, & Tears” to take their place. While I wouldn’t have considered myself a die-hard BTS fan in the past, this album definitely has my attention directed towards the group as I look forward to their future albums and EPs.

8/10

Take a listen and let me know what you think!

xx Nicole

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Other album fun facts:

  • Judging by his solo, Suga’s First Love is about a piano (it’s so sad though oh my GOD).
  • Jungkook’s solo, “Begin,” is a love song dedicated to the other members and it’s SOOO heartwarmingly sweet.
  • “Am I Wrong” sampled from the song of the same title by Keb’ Mo’. This sample – complete with acoustic guitar plucking – makes for a sound unlike any of the other tracks.
  • “Cypher Pt. 4” also has a different sound than the other tracks; it’s rap-heavy with trap influences. Cypher Pt. 3 is still my favorite!

 

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