Love Yourself: ANSWER Album Review
FINALLY!!!!! It's here! The album that I have been actively waiting on for the last month is here, and let me tell ya, I'M. HERE. FOR. IT.
The album was released August 24 at 5am EST, but no, I didn't wake up that early for it. I woke up around 8:30am, wrote my morning journal entry, and went straight to my phone to check out the new video and the album. I also made the mistake of looking at my Twitter account before watching the video. All I knew prior to the day of the release was that the very first single would have a Korean/AfroBeats vibe and that there was a possibility of a Nicki Minaj collaboration "remix" on the first single, which turned out to be true and was not expected, at least not from me.
SO, the new album consists of 9 brand new songs, 5 extended versions and remixes, and 13 other songs from the last two Love Yourself albums. It's similar in structure to the Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever era from 2016, where BTS included songs from the previous Most Beautiful Moment in Life albums into a new album and included new songs. It's also similar to the Wings album when BTS included several songs from each of the boys individually.
If anyone's reading this and knows nothing about BTS or their music, I suggest you go ahead and listen to the repertoire up until this point, then you'll understand what I'm talking about. You'll also notice the growth in their messages and the quality of the music as a whole.
I'll only be covering the newer songs for the sake of time and my ever typing hands because I'd be writing all damn day long if I talked about everything, so for all of the ones I'm skipping (DNA, Dimple, Her, Fake Love, The Truth Untold, Tear, Magic Shop, Best of Me, Airplane Pt. 2, Go Go, Anpanman, MIC DROP (original version and the remix), the remixes to DNA, Fake Love, and IDOL, and the outro LY: Answer), please take a listen to the previous two albums or to the rest of this album before or after you're done reading this. Alright, let's talk more about this album, shall we?
The very first track is another Jungkook solo called Euphoria. We were introduced to this song and the video for it back in April. It's a beautiful love song that tells the listener (whoever this would be directed to) that they're the reason for his happiness, or for the sake of the title his Euphoria. Feeling like he's in a perfect world when around this person or people that he loves and makes him happy. It's BEAUTIFUL. When I heard the shorter version, I got goosebumps, not just because of the meaning of the song, but because of JUNGKOOK'S VOCALS. He makes my heart flutter a million miles a minute and it's still odd to say that because he's the baby of the group, but WHEW, y'all, he's really a beautiful human being all together. A fellow Virgo. We're all around incredible and talented people.
It was my and a lot of other fans' understanding that there would possibly be an album called "Love Yourself: WONDER" since the video title says it would be the "Theme" of Wonder, but we never got a Wonder album, only Her, Tear, and Answer. Needless to say, I'm a little confused about that, and I'm wondering if that will be another project, maybe the last one before the older boys head into military for a couple years, that is if they actually have to go and those military exemption rumors are true, which would be a surprise since no male k-pop artist so far, that I know of, has ever been exempt. I don't know, but only time will tell.
Next track, Trivia: Just Dance, is a solo by my bias, Jung Hoseok, J-Hope. It's definitely a house-y type of song. This has a very similar sound to his song "Daydream" that is on his solo album Hope World, so I can maybe reach a little and say this is could be an extension of Daydream, much like BTS's "Airplane Pt. 2" is an extension of J-Hope's "Airplane". If you're a fan of BTS, you'll probably know that J-Hope had a segment on their V Live channel called Hope on the Street, which is when he'd spend some time interacting with fans and show off his dance moves. This song reminds me of those moments, those warmed up, relaxed, exciting, times when he'd just dance for fun either with other members of BTS or by himself. J-Hope is explaining what dancing does for him and that he wants to show the world why he's so passionate about dancing. He's already an incredible songwriter, in my opinion, so the way he was able to explain all of what he wanted to convey was done really creatively through the entire song. It's almost like he's talking to the act of dancing as if it's a person; as in, he's talking to it as if he's in a relationship with it and that he loves it and how it makes him feel on an intimate level.
Track three is the full length version of Jimin's solo, Serendipity. Now, I'm EXTREMELY HAPPY that there is an extended version of this song, because when I first heard it, I felt like the song was too short and needed more. They probably heard my request from thousands of miles away, because HERE WE ARE. We were gifted the shorter version as the intro to Love Yourself: Her, which was released in September of 2017. This is another love song that talks about not just how a person or thing makes him feel, but that how they connected wasn't an accident, it was the way of the universe, as the translations put it. The extended version includes a slightly more intimate acoustic sound.
By now, it's safe to say that almost every song in this album is a love song and shows the different aspects of Love, whether it's loving yourself or loving someone else, or a passion, and all of the ways you can express love; which brings us to track six and the next of the Trivia trilogy: Love, performed by none other than BTS's dimple-y leader, and another fellow Virgo, Kim Namjoon aka RM. RM always has some sort of creative message up his sleeve and of course he didn't disappoint with this song. The message here is that the person RM's referring to allowed him to know what love is. He seems to be saying that love wasn't as present as it is now, and he's learned to accept love in all forms. It almost reminds me of the right-brain left-brain polarity where the left-brain is the clean cut, black and white, organized, analytical, "within the comfort zone", straight line, by the rules side of a person, whereas the right-brain is the more creative, openminded, "coloring outside the lines", loving, out-of-the-box, side of a person. RM is pointing out that he was once solely in this left-brain world, but now he's connecting to this completely new nature that he's embracing wholeheartedly. There are ad-libs in the song, and I know for a fact that it's not RM doing them, so I can only guess that it's probably Jungkook. Now, RM does showcase his vocals a little bit in this song my the 2:20 mark. RM does sing pretty well, and he's able to get the message and the feeling of the song across even with his own vocals. By the end of the song, he talks, like he has in a few of BTS's and his previous songs a few times, and says "You know, you're always meant to be my destiny. I hope you feel the same with me, love." CAN WE ALL CRY TOGETHER, PLEASE. He's so brilliant. ALSO his creativity in the humorous "...Fuck JKLMN... PQRST" which the two letters missing are I and O, hence live and love, which is why he says "I live so, I love" continuously throughout the song. Just brilliant. I love him. AGAIN CAN WE CRY??, and by we I mean me *gross sobbing*.
Track eleven is Seesaw, the last of the rapline's solos and of the Trivia's. I gotta point out the - not "elephant" in the room - the beautiful voice on the seesaw with Mr. Suga Suga-Agust D-Min Yoongi, which I would NOT be surprised if it was Suran, for whom he's produced a song or two within the past couple years. I also think it'd be only right to include her in this, because I LOVE them both. If she was an actual feature in a song with him, I'd be even happier, to be honest. This song is the slightly more emotional side to love, (which I am not surprised, because as a Pisces, he's naturally an emotional person) and he talks about the "ups and downs" of love. Being in a relationship with someone can be complicated and cause a lot of emotional tension, and in this case, he doesn't want the negatives to outweigh the positives, but it seemed that the relationship that he's alluding to started to get rocky and he thinks that there's been such a tug and pull the whole time that he's saying that they need to come to a decision on who's going to end it first, who's going to end the relationship or the tension first. So, in essence, this is the one break up song in this whole album. By the end, he says, "I'm walking on a seesaw that you're not on," which could only mean that maybe the girl broke up with him first and gave up on the relationship. And that's really fuckin' sad *again, let's all gross sob together*.
Next up is lucky track number thirteen, Epiphany, which is sung by my sweet visual prince, Jin. When the video (the comeback trailer) for this came out, I cried the whole time, mainly because I adore Jin's vocals, but also because I made the mistake of turning on the captions the first time I listened to it and the lyrics shot me in my chest, straight through my heart, and caused this slow bleed that I couldn't shake off for a whole hour. It sounds really dramatic, but after experiencing everything this song and, really, the whole album expresses, this song in particular really gave life to what I was feeling by the time this song came out. I also made the mistake of listening to the song and reading the lyrics again while writing this, and I'm sitting the middle of a coffee shop TRYING NOT TO GROSS SOB ALL OVER AGAIN, THIS. WAS. A. MISTAKE. Imagine the disgusting cry faces I'm making right now in the corner of a random coffee shop. Please, please, please listen to this song when you're in the comfort of your own home and in a secluded area, especially if you're as much of an emotional wreck as I am right no- MOVING OOOOONN.
"I'm Fine", track fourteen, is probably my favorite song on the album. This would be the "answer", if you will, to the song "Save Me", which came out during the Young Forever era in 2016 that I talked about earlier. In "Save Me", the message was, "I need you to save me from myself, save me from falling and being alone, the only thing that will make me feel okay right now if you," and the opposite is the case in "I'm Fine". The point here is that after this Epiphany sets in, the realization of being completely okay with loving ourselves and being content with who we are and not trying to put on a mask in order to please other people the follows suit. Regardless of what happens, RM states, "I'm okay, I'm my only savior." It's also that post-break up song letting people know not only am I okay with being alone, but I also don't have to depend on someone else for my own happiness. HOLY SHIT, THAT'S DEEP, and it's an extremely important message that nowadays needs to be told, especially to the younger generations that loving yourself is the most important thing anyone could do.
If you couldn't tell, at this point there's whole storyline or timeline that's been set up with this album, starting with feeling so in love with and passionate about being with someone, then to love not working out, and finally to the answer, the epiphany that shows up that it's just as important, if not more so, to love yourself first before you can love someone else.
THIS IS WHEN I GET EXCITED. BARE WITH MY FOOLISHNESS. The last track is the first single, titled "IDOL", which still gives the message of BTS being content with who they are and what they do, but it's also pointing a finger at BTS's haters by saying "Listen, I don't give two shits what you have to say about me, you can keep hating on me all you want, but at the end of the day, I'm proud of myself for getting this far in my life and achieving all the things I've achieved and for finally being happy. The only thing that matters is how I feel about myself and how I live my life, and I'd be damned if you try to take that from me." Side note: of course, they didn't actually say that, but if the words came directly from me, that's what is sounds like. If you know me personally, you probably heard that whole spiel in my voice >-<.
Also, can we talk about the Korean/AfroBeats combination that's happening in this song? Like I said before, it was announced the day before the release that this mashup of sounds would be happening, and I LOST MY MIND. I wasn't too sure how it was all going to turn out, but I was prepared. But when the song was finally released, I was proven to be 100% unprepared for this. The first part of the song that shook my soul and snatched my edges was Jimin's part, "I do what I do, so mind your business." MIND YO- Y'ALL. BANGTAN. TELL THEM, PLEASE. Guys, I am SO sure that I'll be blasting this song a thousand times back to back for about a month and a half. THEY REALLY SAID, "ALL THAT SHIT Y'ALL KEEP TALKING, I. DON'T. CARE. MIND. YOUR. P's. AND. Q's." I am iiiiiin this coffee shop DYING.
This is A MESSAGE sent from all of our ancestors, okay?! The whole Universe is telling everybody to mind their business for the rest of 2018. Whew... They really shook the damn table, y'all. I tried to keep it together, but this was too good for me to not get excited. And no, we're not talking about the Nicki feature for this song. I don't need to. She did that, and that's all that needs to be said.
Is it hot in here, or is it just me?
1. Clearly, I'm in love with this album, which shouldn't be a surprise because I love BTS with all of my heart and my left pinky toe and I don't think I've been disappointed this far with any song they've made.
2. I can't help but imagine what the songs would sound like, not just live in concert, but with TheBandSix, which is the backing band that supports BIGBANG, or a group similar to them. JUST IMAGINE. Click here to see a rehearsal video from their performance of "DOOM DADA" by BIGBANG member T.O.P. Also fun fact, back when I was active in Christianity, one of my former pastors and mentors, Pastor Jacqui, is the mother of TheBandSix's bass player Omar Dominick. And before y'all ask, no I've never met him, so I can't ask him to tell BIGBANG hi, for y'all...
3. I am BEYOND UPSET that I won't make it to the concert in New York or New Jersey in September and October, but it's fine. I won't miss much because there will be PLENTY of fancams for me to watch later on, and it'll feel like I'm not missing anything.
4. If you haven't heard this album yet, what are you doing? Where are you? Why? Go listen, search YouTube or Google for the lyrics if you need them, and enjoy the magic and creativity of that which is BTS. Get hip!
Here are the links for some of the things I mentioned:
I wrote an initial reaction upon hearing about the release of the album back in July, so if you haven't seen it yet, click here. Let me know in the comments what you think about it, and don't be afraid to fan girl along with me on Twitter @MoonieSunflower.