As the first Korean group to top the Global and U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Charts, the boyband BTS (방탄소년단) have taken the world by storm. Remaining true to their humble reputation when they became the first K-Pop group to secure a Grammy nomination, they credited it all to their fans, who are nicknamed The ARMY. With songs that tackle difficult social topics, it’s no surprise the septet has grown into one of the most impactful groups to date.
In response to the pandemic, they released their ninth album BE in November 2020. Comprising eight tracks including their popular all-English single, “Dynamite,” the album is a letter of hope that touches on themes of loneliness, restlessness, frustration, connection, and joy.
BE is the perfect album to sum up what everyone has been feeling for the last year. It opens with the sentimental single “Life Goes On,” evoking the strength people can find within themselves to survive through difficult circumstances. With lush harmonies and lines like “The day will come back around / As if nothing happened / Yeah, life goes on,” the song is a comfort to calm worries and focus on better days ahead.
Suga, J-Hope, Jimin and V form a subunit for “Fly To My Room,” while Jungkook, RM, and Jin do the same in “Stay.” With its alternations of light and heavy instrumentals and its cheerful spirit, the songs keep you in a good mood.
In contrast, the tender mellowness of “Blue and Grey” invokes colors to depict anxiety and depression. The song is sparsely decorated with strings and acoustic guitar, and contains poignant lines like “Someone come and save me, please / I just wanna be happier / Am I being too greedy?” “Blue and Grey” is a necessary reminder that prioritizing mental health is important, and it should be normal to seek help.
“Telepathy,” “Stay,” and “Dis-ease” are upbeat anthems about spending time together and coping with the monotony of daily life. The combination of funk and retro elements remind listeners that they are not alone, even if their idols are on the other side of the globe.
Apart from their accomplishments, the group is as devoted to their fans as fans are to them. With their slogan “Music and Artist for Healing,” BTS offers listeners the hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and an end to the strife everyone has endured over the last year. The world may not be together right now, but it will heal, and life will always go on.