Someone tie me down because I am floating on clouds after listening to BTS' latest album 'Wings'. It's a eclectic mix of tracks which showcase their individual colours, as well as ability to experiment with diverse musical styles. Whilst all 15 songs are amazing, here are my top 7 faves.
1. Blood, Sweat & Tears
Wow, what a surprise title track. I loved Jimin's voice at the beginning and then I was blown away by the rest of the song with the unique combination of reggae and trap music elements. I wasn't a big fan of previous attempts to fuse reggae into K-pop like 2NE1's 'Falling in Love' and Rain's 'La Song' but somehow BTS have worked their magic because this track is addictive. It just makes me want to sway my hips and body roll. Now this is what I call a sexy comeback.
2. Intro: Boy Meets Evil
J-hope's intro definitely sets the tone for the rest of the album. The contrast of his intense rapping and soft "it's too sweet" vocals highlight the BTS comeback theme of co-existing polar opposites - good and bad/innocence and evil. He makes the opening of the album sounds so sinister and tempting like he is the devil beckoning us to listen to it.
3. Lie - Jimin's solo
An unexpected delight. Jimin oscillates between a low, almost-rapping voice conveying the dark creepy undertones of the song and doing what he does best - his high notes. They are so clean and clear like crystal glass. I feel like I'm listening to beautiful chandeliers singing.
4. 21st Century Girls
Yasss, reeling back in the hip hop. Get hyped. This fast tempo, high energy dance track is definitely a great workout jam and I can already imagine the BTS members getting a crowd pumping and jumping at a concert with it. I love how the lyrics also have a great inspirational message behind it with encouraging words like "You're worth it you're perfect / Deserve it, just work it". Positive vibes.
5. MAMA - J-Hope's solo
This upbeat Jazz song feels like it's from the 1920s Swing era, post WWI, when people returned home to celebrate the war's end and were looking forward to a new time of hope and prosperity. Loving the old school sounds mixed with hip hop beats to give it a modern contemporary feel. Just like J-hope's personality, you just can't help but feel like dancing to it with a smile on your face.
6. Awake - Jin's solo
Such a soothing ballad. With Jin's ethereal angelic vocals, I feel like I'm flying high with my head in the clouds. Even though he sings "Maybe I, I can't touch the sky", I think he does at the end with those pretty high notes.
7. First Love - Suga's solo
Suga's raps feel like he's telling a story which demands your attention. The piano and violin orchestral build-up into an aggressive crescendo makes it feel like you're in a Korean drama. The wind down after the climax with the ticking clock sounds make it seem like the main character (ie. Suga)'s time is running out. Much sad but emotional rap songs like these give me the feels.