BTS brand new EP Be is all about the existential journey that the group has gone through during the pandemic. Isolation and the postponement of all of their plans created a mix of bad and heavy feelings in the members — fear, anxiety, and sadness took a toll on each of them. The EP became the band’s outlet to deal with these feelings and deliver messages of comfort and hope to their beloved fanbase, ARMY.
Be had BTS involved in the making of the album, from the writing and production of the songs alongside their team, to the concept, visuals, photoshoots, and filming of the video of the main single for the album, “Life Goes On.”
— BigHit Entertainment (@BigHitEnt) November 10, 2020
“Life Goes On” is all about the feeling of being trapped inside, watching days go by through the window and feel like the days are always the same. The lyrics read, “There’s no end in sight.” The uncertainty in the lyrics is something everyone can relate to, and the nostalgia for life the way it was before is present too. “I remember”, the members then sing on a stage with no one around the venue. “Close your eyes for a moment, hold my hand, to that future let’s run away.” There’s hope of a new future that resembles our past, but it’s not the same, after all, “life goes on.”
“Fly To My Room,” “Stay,” and “Telepathy” are tracks that keep the same upbeat, happy feeling that “Dynamite” gives. Despite the rough feelings described in each song, the cheery, funky disco-pop rhythm turns them into lighter tunes. Jimin describes “Fly To My Room” as “a fun song” and J-Hope mentioned that after listening to the demo he had to jump in and join Jimin, V, and Suga in this track.
“Stay” was part of Jungkook’s future solo mixtape and it was originally written in English. V is responsible for convincing the youngest to show the other members the song and add it onto Be, and it became a song for the second unit, Jungkook himself, RM and Jin. “Stay” conveys the message that “although we’re far physically, we always stay together,” as Jungkook described it in the press conference.
Composed by Suga, “Telepathy” — which became one of my favorites tracks in the album — is about the connection that exists between BTS and ARMY. The heartfelt lyrics say that they think about each other while doing the most ordinary things, that they share the same “mind.” According to Suga, it’s all about “wanting to meet ARMY again.” “Telepathy” is the type of song that’ll have you dancing in your living room every time it comes up.
Another song that’ll make you dance because of the old school hip-hop rhythm is “Dis-ease” written by J-Hope. Despite its cheerful beats, it is filled with strong lyrics about mental health and what J-Hope describes as“the disease of their profession.” It’s a nice approach to the topic that makes you think that the message can be loud and clear but at the same time it does not have to be something dark; speaking about mental health can happen in more than just one way and it can be in light and fun beats like it’s done in “Dis-ease.”
“Blue and Grey,” the colors that represent sadness and depression, name the only ballad present in Be. Composed by V for his own mixtape, he decided to use it on the band’s album since it expresses feelings that the other songs convey as well. Taehyung, or V, said that he decided to write it after going through burnout, and he was inspired by the leader, RM, when he said that his world was grey during isolation. “I just wanna be happier” makes you feel the hurt and desperation to leave this state of mind that is toxic for the soul. The soulful low voices in the track compensate for the heavy feeling “Blue and Grey” leaves behind when you listen to it.
“Skit” is not any ordinary track and it’s not the first time BTS has used one for an album. The track is an animated conversation BTS had when they topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart with “Dynamite,” a track that was also added to the album. Even if you don’t speak Korean, it’s clear as day that they were incredibly happy for such an achievement, Suga even gets censured for cursing when asked how he felt about being Hot 100 number one singer. It feels really special that they chose to share this moment with fans.
After listening carefully to Be a couple of times I can assure you that this album will make you feel like you’re receiving a long hug at the end of a difficult day and it’s just the breath of fresh air we needed to handle these last two months of 2020.
BTS never settles to only one way of making music and their discography proves that. They know that the key to their success is being true to themselves as artists and speak up about their thoughts and feelings. There’s no other way of connecting with fans other than what they’ve been doing for seven years. I’m looking forward to everything else BTS is willing to give to us in the years to come.
The first live performance of “Life Goes On” happened at the AMAs, where BTS took home both awards they were nominated for.
You can listen to Be here and watch the “Life Goes On” movie video, which was directed by Jungkook, below.