BTS are on the verge of making a comeback with Love Yourself: Answer, the final installment in an ambitious project that comprises of Love Yourself: Tear and Love Yourself: Her already.
Themes of fear, sadness, self-doubt and ultimately, loving oneself, have been recurring in recent BTS albums, but the truth is the stories that have been built into almost mythical status from "Run" era onwards originate from much earlier comeback trailers.
Looking at BTS' comeback trailers from 2014's "What Am I To You" through to 2018's "Epiphany", we chart the journey in BTS' messages and visuals.
"Intro: What Am I To You" from Dark & Wild (2014)
BTS started from the same place many K-pop boy groups do: lyrics of teenage love and angsty young romance. RM was the first for a solo intro and he kicked off the running theme of loving someone unconditionally, too much, and questioning one's own value in the midst.
"Intro: Nevermind" from The Most Beautiful Moment In Life Pt.2 (2015)
Channeling the desperate hope of songs like "Run", "Whalien 52" and "Butterfly", this intro befittingly coming from Suga honed in on BTS' reputation as underdogs. The lyrics are headstrong and passionate, and call on self-confidence to guide through difficult times.
"Intro: Boy Meets Evil" from Wings (2016)
A turning point in the visuals for BTS' comeback trailers, J-Hope showcased both his dance and rap skills for this comeback. The allegorical nature of the song played on the duality of wanting to love, fearing love but being tempted.
"Intro: Serendipity" from Love Yourself: Her (2017)
Entering the Love Yourself era, the visuals were upped once more for Jimin's turn at an intro. The song itself was simply about being ready to love, a step forward from the previous comeback's themes. The notions of coincidence played across the entire album too, making this one of the less angsty and more soft celebratory intros BTS has released.
"Euphoria" from Love Yourself: Wonder (2018)
While Love Yourself: Wonder doesn't exist as an album, this song acts as something of a connector between LY: Her and LY: Tear. Jungkook's turn at the intro has him singing about the pure happiness of love to an electronic pop beat that's a perfect match to the lyrics. The video is more like a short film, and adds more pieces to the epic puzzle BTS have been constructing.
"Intro: Singularity" from Love Yourself: Tear (2018)
V's slow-paced, groove-filled intro was a new world for BTS, and again the music mirrors what's being said. After "Serendipity" and "Euphoria" is the comedown - realisations of losing oneself in the process of finding love, further expressed on the album with songs like "Fake Love". This comeback was possibly the most artistically left-field for BTS yet and it paid off immensely.
"Intro: Epiphany" from Love Yourself: Answer (2018)
The final member to sing a solo intro, Jin, pulls together the loose strings from the previous LY comebacks to focus on a message of loving oneself despite flaws, after losing yourself in another person. Employing the analogy of the mask from LY:Tear, it's a metaphorical unveiling that swells in emotion harmoniously with the music.
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