BTS Remarkable Flight to the Pinnacle: A Soaring Triumph Over Growing Pains
Today's album pulled out from our treasure trove is BTS' (consisting of RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook) second full-length album 'WINGS,' released in October 2016. This particular CD sparks memories of the press conference held at Lotte Hotel Seoul in downtown Seoul at the time of the album's release.
Featuring the hit single "Blood Sweat & Tears," this album marked the onset of BTS' vigorous flight towards the pinnacle of K-pop. During the press conference, Suga revealed the positive intention behind the album title 'WINGS,' which symbolizes the aspiration to fly higher and farther.
"Blood Sweat & Tears," the album's title track, is a splendid blend of the globally popular Moombahton trap genre prevalent at the time of the album's release. This intoxicating track beautifully merges the three elements - blood, sweat, tears - creating a synergistic effect. It expresses the turbulent emotions of a young boy entangled in irresistible temptation with a powerful beat, sultry vocals, and rap. It's worth noting that the immersive experience of this track is amplified by first tuning in to track one - 'Intro: Boy Meets Evil,' a song where passionate beats harmonize with rap.
Interestingly, the seven tracks that follow "Blood Sweat & Tears" are all solo songs from each member, making 'WINGS' a significant album as it's the first to feature solo songs from all seven members of BTS.
Track three, the first solo song to emerge, is Jungkook's 'Begin.' This song fuses Future R&B with Tropical House elements, creating a dreamy sound that blends perfectly with Jungkook's heartfelt lyrics and expressive vocals. The lyrics embody Jungkook's story, further deepening the listener's engagement. Track four, Jimin's 'Lie,' is a song about a young boy's agony over innocence. The dramatic song composition and Jimin's powerful vocals in the chorus leave a striking impression.
Track five, V's 'Stigma,' delves into the tale of a protagonist tormented by guilt. The song perfectly complements V's emotive vocals with a laid-back sound. The sixth track, Suga's 'First Love,' is a hip-hop track with a perfect balance of tranquillity and intensity. It shares an engaging narrative of reminiscing about a piano, which unravels Suga's sincere feelings about music.
Track seven, RM's 'Reflection,' is a rhythmic PB R&B hip-hop song with a prominent synth sound. The melancholic rap focuses on his reflective moments at Ttukseom, a place he often visits, rendering a solitary yet serene ambiance. Track eight, J-Hope's 'MAMA,' emanates his trademark positive energy. The lyrics, expressing a tender sentiment towards his mother, are intriguingly coupled with an upbeat old-school hip-hop beat.
Track nine, the last solo song on the album, is Jin's 'Awake.' This emotive R&B song accompanied by piano and strings seems to depict the process of a boy's maturation. Jin's explosive yet smooth vocals stand out.
This album is packed with a whopping fifteen songs. Following the solo pieces, the tenth track 'Lost' and the eleventh track 'BTS Cypher 4' are unit songs, featuring the vocal line (Jin, V, Jimin, Jungkook) and the rapper line (RM, Suga, J-Hope), respectively.
'Lost' is a song that speaks to the growth story of boys lost and wandering. The diverse vocals of the four members meld beautifully with the progressively intensifying hip-hop beat. It's a masterpiece that perfectly balances emotion and energy. 'BTS Cypher 4' is a hip-hop track expressing a strong sense of self-esteem that refuses to be swayed by others' words. The four members ooze swagger with a relaxed style of rap that seems effortless.
The latter half of the album is populated with group songs. The twelfth track, 'Am I Wrong', delivers an enjoyable message aimed at a crazy world filled with hatred and madness. The lively atmosphere is underscored by a hip-hop beat layered with country-style guitar and harmonica sounds. The thirteenth track, '21st Century Girls', delivers a cheering message to the youth of the 21st century. It unfolds delightfully, matching the positive message 'we all deserve to be loved' to a rich hip-hop sound. The fourteenth track, 'Two! Three!' is a 'fan song' named after the team's greeting. The sincere lyrics expressing gratitude to the fans are accompanied by a rhythmic hip-hop beat, lending warmth to the track. The section where everyone sings the sub-title 'Hope that there will be more good days' leaves a lingering impression.
The album concludes with the fifteenth track, 'Interlude: Wings'. The refreshing house-based beat and hopeful lyrics like 'Fly, fly, I'll fly with my red-dyed wings' lift the mood. 'Wings' ultimately ties up with the growth of these youths tempted and fallen. The grown-up BTS added 'Spring Day' in the follow-up album released the next year, offering solace to the youth of this era.
BTS has soared even higher since the release of 'Wings'. When they released the album, they expressed a desire to "work harder to enter the Billboard Hot 100, and we'd also like to receive a grand prize at the end-of-year awards," and before long, they realized both dreams.
Seven years have passed since 'Wings' was released, and BTS is now a team celebrating their 10th anniversary. They are currently enjoying this moment with their global 'ARMY' through a grand 'BTS Festa'. On the 9th, they released the 10th-anniversary commemorative song 'Take Two'. We look forward to them continuing their stunning journey as icons of K-pop, a genre enjoyed by people worldwide, staying true to their promise to "keep our passion and pure hearts as we move forward".
- BTS Sweeps No.1 Spot on Spotify and Oricon with 10th Anniversary Single 'Take Two'
- BTS Jin's 'The Astronaut' MV Skyrockets Past 80 Million Views, Highlighting Global Popularity
- BTS Jin: 'I've even thought about quitting in 2018.. Only rested 1.5 days per month'; The reason behind the tears at MAMA