On February 13th, BTS made another successful comeback with an extended, repackaged album of WINGS with, You Never Walk Alone. Before it was even released, the album had a record of 700,000 pre-orders, beating WINGS’s previous 500,000.
The new release includes all of the original songs along with three new ones and a full version of Outro: Wings. All of the new songs on You Never Walk Alone, such as Not Today, Outro: Wings, and A Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone all ranked high on Korean music charts. However, on the day of the album’s release, Spring Day swept an “All-Kill” on eight real-time Korean music charts including Mnet, MelOn, Genie and Naver Music. Besides being able to accomplish an “All-Kill”, Spring Day became the first song by a Korean group to break into the US iTunes top 10 song chart at No.9 and debuted at No. 15 on Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart.
봄날 (Spring Day)
MV Director : YongSeok Choi (Lumpens)
Lyrics: Pdogg, Rap Monster, ADORA, Bang Sihyuk, Arlissa Ruppert, Peter Ibsen, Suga
Composition: Pdogg, Rap Monster, ADORA, Bang Sihyuk, Arlissa Ruppert, Peter Ibsen, SUGA
Spring Day kick-started the comeback for the group; giving the fans a taste of something they’ve never fully delved into: friendship. One of the most well-known facts about BTS is their strong bond with one another, and through their new songs, we got to see how exactly “teamwork makes the dream work.”
We also need to highlight the fact that two of the members, Rap Monster and SUGA, have taken part in the lyrical portion for the production of this song; giving the song an even more personal touch.
Adding to their on-going storytelling, the song speaks of a long lost friend who has suddenly disappeared or changed; leaving them with nothing but cold loneliness. Even so, they wholeheartedly embrace the frosty weather; because it is the closest to their friend that they are able to get. The implication that even with the inevitable change of seasons, there are some things that never change, or rather, that refuse to change.
Aside from the MV, which present a stylistic pastel color scheme that has been trending in the KPop industry, BTS continues to show their cinematographic skills to tell their story. Within the video, we can clearly see a group of friends; enjoying themselves during the winter with systemic cuts that elicit the thoughts of, “What’s actually happening right now?”
Though BTS loves giving their fans subtle hints, they are not without volume. Through previous albums, teasers, and photos, many fans have speculated multiple theories that could pattern the loss of their friends. However, difficult, many fans commend BTS for prompting the fans to use old texts as references, such as, The One Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K Le Guin, allowing the fans to continue their theories with a literary reference.
Lyrics: Pdogg, Bang Sihyuk, Rap Monster, Supreme Boi, June
Composition: Pdogg, Bang Sihyuk, Rap Monster, Supreme Boi, June
A follow up to their previous hype songs like, Fire and Dope, Not Today is an electronic synth-hip hop war anthem that would get anyone pumped when they listen to it. With powerful choreography that commands the viewer’s attention, ninjas, and epic cinematography that matches any high-budget Hollywood film, the music video for Not Today was inspired by the Lord of the Rings movies according BTS’ agency, Big Hit Entertainment.
From when Rap Monster shouts, “All the underdogs in the world…” the audience already knows what is about to come. The message of fighting for what you believe in and never giving in is prominent throughout the lyrics, images, and choreography. “If you can’t fly, run…if you can’t run, walk…” With these lyrics, the boys encourage their audience to keep going and fight no matter the odds. As a whole, the song is a follow up of their past anti-establishment songs like N.O. and No More Dream with references of breaking the glass ceiling that would prevent those from succeeding.
Within 24 hours, the music video became the fastest music video on YouTube to reach 10 million views and debuted No.1 on Billboard’s Last 24Hours ranking higher than Rihanna, Big Sean, Kesha, and Lady Gaga.
Lyrics: Pdogg, ADORA, Rap Monster, J-Hope, SUGA
Composition: Pdogg, ADORA, Rap Monster, J-Hope, SUGA
From their last Young Forever album, BTS has gotten into the habit of extending their outro songs, just because they knew how much the fans loved, no, craved more. Let's be honest, did any of us really want the album to end?
That being said, the WINGS album gave us a little taste before releasing the full length song which mainly included J-Hope's "Now I know to grow old...," which the group mentioned was the highlight of the said member's hard work and contribution to the album in the recent Yang Nam Show.
In a strategic story-telling move, we could see that the WINGS album could have been their official coming of age story before the You Never Walk Alone album was officially announced. As mentioned in a previous article, the boys were starting to learn and grow from their experiences. Now, however, we see that they've also come into terms with what they've been through as well as developed an understanding for their future, whatever that may entail.
A Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone
Lyrics: Pdogg, Bang Sihyuk, Rap Monster, SUGA, J-Hope, Supreme Boi
Composition: Pdogg, Bang Sihyuk, Rap Monster, SUGA, J-Hope, Supreme Boi
Lyrically, You Never Walk Alone (YNWA) is the perfect closing song to sum up the theme of the whole album; consolation, hope, friendship and happiness. Clean and organized production, YNWA speaks to those who are lost and downcast. The lyrics assure its listeners that they have a hand to hold on to, “…even if it hurts you and I, if we’re together we can smile”. Along with Not Today, both songs come full circle to tell the stories and messages that the boys were not able to portray in WINGS.
With this comeback we have seen the boys go from sentimental and thoughtful to intense and ready for a revolution. With their popularity helping them climb chart after chart, I'm excited to see what these boys will do next!