Mar 14, 2017

BTS Make A Glorious Return With "Spring Day" And "Not Today"

방탄소년단s foto.

Today I had one of my two exams this week and to celebrate I'm writing about BTS' latest comeback; yay! This also means that there probably won't be any more posts this week since I have another exam on Saturday and I have to, well, study. I know, I'd much rather be writing about K-pop but what can a girl do?

Anyhow I feel like this is the point where I officially admit that I'm BTS trash. Following their release of "Wings" last year they've now come back with a repackaged version of the album called "You Never Walk Alone" containing three new songs. Despite it having almost the exact same track listing as "Wings" I've not only purchased the album but I bought both versions of the album. On one hand I can't believe this is what I'm spending my money on now but on the other hand I don't regret it the slightest. For this comeback they've released two music videos for two separate songs; "Spring Day" and "Not Today", whom are as different as they are amazing.

My relationships with these two promotional tracks have been quite the opposite from one another, as I loved "Not Today" instantly while "Spring Day" took a few listens before I started appreciating it. "Spring Day" was released first, and for being a BTS title track I thought it was surprisingly mellow. They've had plenty of more low-key B-sides like this one but never as a main promotional track; and even so this one doesn't really remind me of anything I've heard from them before. Still the vibe of the song doesn't feel totally unfamiliar but it's rather a step in a musical direction they've been hinting at before with songs like "Young Forever" and "2!3!".

"Spring Day" goes for more of a semi-ballad route with some pop-rock influences, which is a sound that I'm all for. Of course there are still mostly electronica elements blended in the instrumental much to the likes of their most recent title tracks. This gives the song a feeling of familiarity while at the same time including new styles and influences in subtle ways to make it fresh and modern. It's a perfect continuation of their fantastic musical journey and keeps proving why BTS is one of the best groups out there at the moment. Their material is simply a cut above the rest in terms of reinvention and growth. Like I said however I didn't love the song at once but it took me some time to grow to like it as much as I do know; and I suppose it's because the track is much more mellow and not as in-your-face as most of their previous title tracks.

방탄소년단s foto.One of the factors that did help me getting into the song was the lyrics, which are as in normal BTS fashion beautiful. These lyrics completely broke my heart when I first read the translation, as with such seemingly simple words and metaphors manage to capture a very distinct feeling of loneliness, darkness and the tiniest hint of hope among the hopelessness. Although it appears to be about losing a friend or a loved one there are many more ways to interpret the lyrics but I don't think there's anyone who has read them that hasn't been moved by the sincerity and genuinity of them.

The MV definitely helps with getting the message of the lyrics across, especially since there are English subtitles which is always appreciated when watching an MV for the first time to be able to get the full experience. As with all of BTS' videos these days it's filled with symbols, metaphors and imagery, which can be a bit frustrating I'll admit, but not with this one. Although it's hard for me to explain exactly everything that's going on (I'll leave others to that) the way the meaning behind the words are expressed is simply beautiful. Well, the entire video is breathtaking but the way emotions such as nostalgia, regret and despair but also friendship, love and hope are portrayed is beyond my expectations.

방탄소년단s foto.
Above all I absolutely adore the last minute of the MV as Jungkook is joined on his lonely train journey and the boys all walk together until the very end where a sense of closure is achieved. It breaks my heart at the same time as I'm filled with hope and warmth. I believe that "Spring Day" is truly about those dark moments in your life and trying to find a way to see the light and knowing that no season does last forever. There really is a light at the end of the tunnel and you will find your way out; just like we see the boys of BTS experience in this MV. Like V so painfully sings "The morning will come again".

Song: 4,25/5
Video: 4,5/5

The second song they released about a week later is "Not Today" and like I mentioned I fell in love with the song the first time I heard it, which was before the MV was released because I couldn't contain myself. For someone who's been into BTS for quite some time this is the type of song you'd expect this group to come out with, but I don't mean that in a bad way. This is another intense high-energy dance tracks, similar to "Fire", "21st Century Girls" or even "Dope" in the sense that it's an electronica based hype song with the a powerful instrumental and beat drop. However I don't think any of those come close to being as intense and powerful as this song, as "Not Today" literally made my adrenaline start pumping with its huge, epic sound. This is a fight song like no other, as the boys sing about never backing down and fighting for yourself and what's right. It gets you incredibly hyped up and especially the chorus gets you going with it's massive, bombastic beat, or at least that's what it does to me. I do however think that the heaviness of the instrumental is one of the songs only faults as the mixing almost sounds noisy at times as well as the layering of the vocals sounding a bit off at times. It's nothing major but it did stand out to me when I first heard it, however it doesn't take away the greatness of the song in any way.

방탄소년단s foto.
I also knew that with a song like this there was no way that the choreography was going to be lackluster, which was proven to me with the release of the MV, which is mostly choreography-based. The two videos aren't even comparable since their purposes are completely different, but to break it down the major differences is that while "Spring Day" is all about plot and story this one is all about showcasing this song's energy in terms of choreography. That means there isn't really any plot nor does it contain symbolism or imagery, but that doesn't make it a inferior video. It's simple about what you're personally most interested in at the moment.

Of course this video too is incredibly well made and the camera work and editing are spot on as usual. The shot the video but indoors and outdoor and the outdoor scenes in particular were really impressive as they featured magnificent landscape shots as well as some epic dancing sequences. In the end this video isn't going to win any awards and I admit that it would've been nice to have some kind of storyline to match the the lyrics but I'm not too upset about getting a quality MV with stellar choreography.

방탄소년단s foto.
Compared to the choreo of "Spring Day" (which isn't even featured in its MV) this is more your typical hard-hitting dance routine whereas "Spring Day" is a lot softer with its incorporation of contemporary dance elements. I honestly don't know which one I prefer more because although this one is incredibly complex, energetic and powerful the other one holds more of an emotional value which I also appreciate. Nonetheless I imagine this song will be another one those that is great during concerts and live performances and will really get the crowd going.

Song: 4,5/5
Video: 3,7/5

Overall I've been loving this comeback as expected and it seems to be that BTS can do nothing wrong ever. Ever since their "The Most Beautiful Moment In Life" era everything they've put out has been incredible and I'm not just saying this because I'm a huge fan. I'm saying so because the quality of their music, videos and performances are that amazing and I really do think that the sky's the limit for these boys.

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