Five years ago, in response to one of my Facebook posts, a friend remarked that I was living in a Korean drama. At that point, I hadn’t watched any of these Korean series, and never imagined that I’d become low-key hooked on them. Or that I’d have a BTS playlist and it’d be on repeat all the time!
Anyway, that’s what this post is about, my favourite BTS songs. Do NOT read if you’re not a fan!
Boy With Luv
This is the first BTS song I listened to. At this point I was just humoring my daughter. I couldn’t tell the group members apart and I didn’t think I’d like their music. Well, I was wrong. Boy With Luv is a catchy pop song with a vibrant, energetic music video. I watched one version that identifies the members as they appear throughout the song (and it’s this version I’m sharing here) and learnt to tell them apart — they look nothing like one another, but the confusion arises because they move so fast in most of their videos and the faces all blur into one. They really are very different and all seem slightly mad (a good thing). (See if you can spot which classic Hollywood musical the video references.)
This song is a solo by the member called Jimin. I used to hear I-Shan listening to it and found one part of it slightly annoying, but I thought it was Troye Sivan for some reason — couldn’t make out the lyrics and didn’t realise they were Korean, although there are a few English lines.
BTS fans ship the group members, and there are various theories about the lyrics of this song supporting the #Yoonmin ship: Min Yoongi + Park Jimin. I think Yoonmin is cute although I don’t quite believe that #YoonminisReal. The way the two guys interact at times is enough to convince you if you want to believe, but, really, I think if you want to believe that the whole group is in this massive seven-way ship, you’ll find evidence in their interactions. These guys seem genuinely close, like they’re having orgies every day … orgies of giggles, that is: Most of the time, they behave like a bunch of adolescent monkeys.
I am quite curious as to what they think of all the shipping though. I guess they (or their management anyway) realise that it’s good to humour the fans, to an extent. Maybe they even play up the various ships. Who knows what the situation is in Real Life though. It could be that they all have girlfriends (or boyfriends) that they have to keep secret.
Back to the song, it’s sweet and my favourite line in it is, predictably, ‘I’m your calico cat, coming to see you’. How darling is that?
I must add that these guys are in their twenties and their hormones must be raging so I doubt they feel like anyone’s calico cat — even if fans call Yoongi Lil Meow Meow.
This is a gorgeous, gorgeous song with a video that references Ursula LeGuin’s short story, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas. I was taken aback when I realised this. Do BTS know LeGuin’s work? Well, the person who came up with the video’s concept probably does, or knows/knows of that particular story anyway. I hope at least one of the seven members read the story. Probably Namjoon (RM).
The images in the video seem to refer to the Sewol ferry disaster, although BTS have never confirmed that the song is about the tragedy. I didn’t make the link when I first watched the video, but I did think it was a sad song: All those shots of forlorn-looking boys, piles of clothes and discarded shoes conjure up feelings of loneliness and loss, and the lyrics back that up. So what does The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas have to do with Sewol? My interpretation is that it refers to the choice between facing wrongs or walking away from them. Of course, in the short story, walking away is actually an acknowledgement of an atrocity and choosing to no longer support it. The video of Spring Day ends with the members of BTS alighting from a train and walking into what appears to be an unknown, somewhat bleak landscape that, nevertheless, feels welcoming. There is a sense of liberation.
LeGuin’s story ends with these words: ‘The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to most of us than the city of happiness. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible it does not exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.’ The end of the music video captures those words perfectly, I think.
Just One Day
I love the harmonies in this song. Like the three above, it has a strong melody that sticks like a limpet. The video is cute, and may be my favourite. I also like the practice video (below) because they look happy and silly, and like they’re enjoying themselves.
Another Jimin song. This one is melodramatic as hell, from start to finish. The lyrics too.
The Truth Untold
I actually find this song depressing as hell, but don’t mind me. The melody is beautiful, and so is Tae Hyung’s part. He has a lovely baritone that is smouldering, to say the least. Does not match that monkey face.
Tae Hyung’s solo. He’s all tortured and breathless, and I guess some would find this a rather sexy song. Watch the Just One Day practice video as an antidote.
This is my pick for BTS’s sexiest song. It ticks all the boxes, but it’s playful enough not to descend into sleaziness. Don’t like that bit in RM’s rap about the girl being an ideal 99kg though — cue teenage girls all going on crash diets to meet BTS’s stupid standards.
This is not actually a BTS song. It’s from J-Hope’s solo album, Hope World. The lyrics offer some food for thought. I think it hints at J-Hope’s feelings about the life he is forced to live as a member of a boy band. Too much control, too much pretence. That’s what I think anyway, but I don’t think it’s too far fetched. These young men must surely find the constant demands to aegyo frustrating.
Intro: Skool Luv Affair
Love the humour, and the energy, and, especially, RM’s rap. This is probably the only time I’ve found RM appealing as a man. LOL.
So Far Away
It’s no secret, Yoongi is my favourite BTS member. He’s made me a fan of rap. This song is from his Agust D (his rap persona) EP, featuring Kpop singer Suran on vocals. Wish he’d used Jimin, but then I guess that might have been too much BTS. Yoongi repeating ‘dream’ makes me laugh — an inappropriate response to this rather serious song.
OK, I am done fangirling, for now.