YOU NEVER WALK ALONE (BTS) Album Review | 😍😍😍
I haven’t fallen so in love with an album in what seems like forever — and I have to say, it feels amazing to finally be able to obsess over an album so much that the songs within the album play on repeat 24/7 in my head.
(If I remember correctly, I think the songs played in my dreams too. 😆)
So, two Saturdays ago, on March 25th, I bought BTS’s album You Never Walk Alone in the morning. After that, the rest of my plans for Saturday completely flew out of the window, and I proceeded to literally spend the entire day watching (and rewatching and rewatching) music videos by BTS, theory videos on how the music videos are connected and what they all mean (because THE SYMBOLISM IN THOSE MUSIC VIDEOS ARE FANTASTIC), and BTS interviews — with English subtitles, of course. 👍
For those of you who have no idea what BTS means or why I would need English subtitles for the interviews… Keep reading! You might just find that this album is going to be your new fav!
But first of all:
How Did I Stumble Upon This Album?
There’s the saying that the journey is just as important than the ending or destination — and the story of how I ended up buying this album is definitely an interesting and prolonged one.
Once upon a time a fantastic, wonderful friend of mine introduced me to this K-pop band called BTS, which is short for Bangtan Sonyeondan in Korean, through some music videos of theirs.
I was instantly intrigued — I had never really listened to K-pop or watched K-pop music videos before, so everything she was showing me was new.
But then we watched music video after music video after music video… and I was utterly hooked.
My friend patiently helped point of different members of BTS throughout the music videos to me as I struggled to make a mental list of each member within the band (hey, it was hard — they change their hair-color in literally every single music video, so yes, it was difficult telling who was who at first) and also explained thoroughly to me what story and concept the music videos were trying to convey.
Fast foward to the present a for little bit…
It’s been a year since I’ve thought of BTS, but suddenly a question struck me: Have they made a new music video yet? I checked, and found out they did. After watching “Not Today” and “봄날 Spring Day,” I proceeded to rewatch the music videos my friend had shown me, and found some new connections (yay!). I found the songs really catchy — and “봄날 Spring Day” was utterly beautiful, so I bought their newest album, You Never Walk Alone.
And I’ve been listening to it ever since. 🎵
Reasons Why You Should Fall for BTS’s Music
So, why should you care about this Kpop band?
The thing about BTS’s music is that they’re, well, amazing. And as a person who likes having reasons behind why a particular something is “amazing” (because “amazing” is a pretty broad word), here’s a list supporting that claim:
All their music videos all are visually stunning — at least, the newer ones I’ve watched of songs from their newer albums. I do think this is the case for most Kpop music videos, where they’re all splashes of color and amazing visuals, but the BTS music videos especially have pretty spectacular scenery and color combinations.
The picture above is from BTS’s music video for “피 땀 눈물 Blood Sweat & Tears,” and it gives you a hint of how detailed and visually-appealing all the other scenes within the rest of music video is.
All the music videos are connected to each other in some way. BTS’s newer music videos all relate to each other to tell a story about their concept, which centers around youth and how it is the most beautiful moment in life. The main theory is that in the music videos, one of the members — Jin — is dead. He and the other members need to come to the realization that he’s no longer with the members in reality and that the members need to move on — but then again, there’s also some evidence that suggests Jin might be the only one who’s alive and all the other members are gone, but I think the first theory makes the most sense.
There’s this YouTube channel called Justt Ally that has really detailed videos explaining theories regarding the BTS music videos, and I’ve found them to be very helpful in breaking down the concepts, symbolism, and connections within the videos.
And the fact that all these music videos are connected to each other in some way leads to…
It’s so fun to lose yourself in decoding the meaning of these songs and music videos! I think people watch these music videos over and over again because there will always be something new and shocking you’ll find that you hadn’t noticed before. I wouldn’t put it past people to literally pause the BTS music videos frame by frame to make sure they don’t miss any clues hidden in the background. 🤣
AND all the Wings teaser music videos start off with Rap Monster (one of the members) reading off quotes from a book called Demian by Hermann Hesse, which is a coming-of-age story (Bildungsroman) following the main character, Emil Sinclair, and his journey of growing up and becoming corrupted and tainted by the world around him. The entire “피 땀 눈물 Blood Sweat & Tears” music video is based on Demian, too.
I put a hold on Demian and I cannot wait to read it and *ahem* rewatch all the Wings teaser videos and “피 땀 눈물 Blood Sweat & Tears” to see if I’ll understand the story and concept more!!!
In addition, I know the musical aspect of their songs is very emotionally powerful because despite the fact that I don’t understand the Korean lyrics, the way the background music flows so strongly conveys the emotion that the songs are trying to put in listener’s minds. Though I’m missing out on the power of words in BTS’s music, the music itself — and also the tone and emotion with which the lyrics are delivered — is powerful enough enough for me to emotionally understand and connect with the songs.
I think this is what pop music should be like. Music is a form of art, and the way BTS has all these elements of symbolism-filled music videos and deep, profound lyrics, which all reveal more of the running story and concept that they’re trying to convey, only makes me further confirm: This is definitely what pop music should be like.
One Thing I Regret…
A huge part of music is the lyrics (if there is any), and since I don’t speak Korean or understand it, whenever I’m listening to songs by BTS, I don’t exactly know what is happening in terms of the words within the songs. Looking up the English translation of the lyrics isn’t quite the same, either, because I know as someone who grew up being bilingual that sometimes translating strips certain words of their poetic meaning, rhyme, and connotations, which would most definitely be important aspects of song lyrics.
But I’ve decided: I shall learn Korean one day, if only to understand BTS song lyrics without the English translation 👍
Favorite Songs Within the Album?
(Links go to either the music video or the Wings teaser short films!)
I’m really glad I found BTS — their entire approach to music made me appreciate pop music again. I bought their compilation album Young Forever, and I already know I’ll love it.
Now back to listening to You Never Walk Alone… 😇
Thanks for reading, and I will cya next time!
Want to Read More?
If you like this post, then read…
this post on an amazing book by Maurene Goo about K-dramas + Korean culture,
or this post on thoughts about dreams and growing up!
There’s also another post on what languages I speak + want to learn (including Korean!),
and here’s my start of drawing more Asian characters for diversity.
If you want more BTS, then here’s a list of posts for that: