In celebration of the momentous year that BTS had in 2017, let us continue the artist review for this chart-topping ensemble.
The April 29, 2015 release of “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life Pt. 1“ (also known as “Hwa Yang Yeon Hwa Pt. 1”) saw a profound change in sonic, lyric and concept delivery. This was the beginning of BTS weaving concepts together throughout multiple releases to tell stories in song. This was also the first time all the members had writing contributions on an EP.
The first single, “I Need U,” indicated this profound change. The song was a complete departure from previous lead singles in that it was more melodic in structure. The rap line either complimented or rode the melody, creating the illusion of extra instrumentation. The vocal line was given more of a central focus, particularly Jimin and Jin, who mastered the bridge, chorus and refrain of the track. The harmonies are also crisper and clearer than before.
The EP’s second single, “Dope!,” also has a number of moments. The production of the track is something that had not been heard in K-pop before, as it is something more typical of the American hip-hop artist Flo Rida, specifically the introduction of the song “Right Round.” RM’s signature wordplay returns in the second verse, while Suga and J-Hope dominate the first, flexing their respective lyrical muscles with speed rapping. The most impressive facet is that each member has a singular “solo” moment.
The fifth track, “Converse High,” is an album highlight for the tongue-in-cheek delivery of Suga’s lyrics. In his portion of the song he states that he “really hates Converse” because they are hard to take off. This type of content was a first for the group.
“Moving On,” the sixth track, was more self-reflective, covering moments from debut to 2015. When reading the lyrics, it seems as if you are eavesdropping on a conversation between a band of brothers. Also, we hear Suga’s vocals for the first time here, a welcome and unexpected change to the norm.
With the numerous areas of growth and development seen since “Dark & Wild,” this era of BTS was already shaping up to be something to be excited for. But what would come next?