South Korean boy group BTS has released their second studio album Wings. Since their debut back in 2013, the group, whose name in Korean, Bangtan Sonyeondan, can be translated to “Bulletproof Boy Scouts” or simply “Bangtan Boys,” has been gaining traction in the K-Pop charts and now even in U.S. music charts. Released on Oct. 10, Wings recently broke the record in the U.S. Billboard 200 chart for highest-charting and best-selling album by a Korean artist. According to the site, less than a dozen K-pop acts have sent albums to the Billboard 200, to date.
The first single off the album, titled “Blood, Sweat, and Tears,” gives a taste of trap music and depicts temptation, as described by the members. The leader of the group, Rap Monster has said that “the harder a temptation is to resist, the more you think about it and vacillate. That uncertainty is part of the process of growing.” The music video for the track hit 6.34 million views within 24 hours of being released and broke the record for the most viewed K-Pop video in 24 hours.
Their past albums, such as the “Hwayang-yeonhwa” (or The Most Beautiful Moment in Life) series have shared a common theme of expressing their worries and insecurities about youth. In their latest album, each member has been given a chance to showcase their talents. They each have a solo track that most of them helped write and compose themselves. Wings now also adds to the stories of their youth, with tracks like Jung Ho-seok (J-Hope)’s “Mama,” Min Yoon-gi (Suga)’s “First Love,” and Jeong-guk (Jungkook)’s “Begin.”
The majority of the album delivers hip-hop-heavy dance beats but tracks like Kim Tae-hyung (V)’s “Stigma” and Park Ji-min (Jimin)’s “Lie” delve into experimental territory. The former is a calm ballad that showcases V’s range coupled with his seductive whispers. The latter is a song that seems to wander in with a Spanish or Latin introduction and Jimin’s silky voice that belts “caught in a lie” without a doubt will become one of the listener’s favorites.
The album has been met with much praise and the music video for “Blood, Sweat, and Tears” is one that must definitely be checked out.
By Vanessa Berumen