MV/ALBUM REVIEW – BTS: YOU NEVER WALK ALONE + 봄날

So BTS dropped their album ‘WINGS: YOU NEVER WALK ALONE’ today, and I’m 110% not okay. There are only four new songs (including the full version of ‘Wings’), but they are complete masterpieces. Here is my review of these four songs and the new music video for ‘봄날’ (Spring Day).


I’m pretty much going to jump right into it. If you want to see my LIVE reaction to each of these, you can find the video here (I livestreamed pretty much as soon as the video and album dropped).

‘봄날’ (Spring Day) Music Video

The music video starts with the camera on Taehyung, apparently at a train station. He jumps down onto the snow-covered tracks and gets onto his knees, leaning down until his cheek is pressed against the rails. We can hear the distant sound of a train, along with its horn, as he does this. He peers into the camera, and it cuts to a closer shot, his face filling the majority of the frame. Then—a single chord on the piano.

That was the moment I knew I had been right.

My initial prediction after seeing the teaser was that the video was going to be kind of fun. But the more I rewatched it (and read more on the meaning behind hanging tied shoes, though there are multiple), the more I realized, Yeah, this isn’t going to be a happy video. I imagined it would have the same bittersweet feel of ‘EPILOGUE: Young Forever,’ a longing, a sort of wistful for something. I knew that it would be sad in that regard, but also almost hopeful. And I was right.

I won’t get into my personal theory today, but I’ve already got some ideas. It seems clear to me that the tied shoes must relate to the death of someone, seeing as we know someone has died in previous music videos. Who, exactly, the shoes are representing isn’t exactly clear. We might never find out (but I hope that isn’t the case.)

There seems to be a running theme of being lost in many of BTS’s music videos. They’re lost, confused, stuck in a maze (which is a lyric from ‘EPILOGUE: Young Forever’), unsure where to go from there or how to cope. This song, however, seems like a stepping off point. At least, partially.

In the beginning of the video, each member seems lost—some of them in a daze, even. In fact, it seems as though their themes from ‘I Need U’ are still the same: RapMon is pushing forward, trying to move on. Jungkook is numb and out of it. Similarly, V seems to have become so overwhelmed with emotion that he’s now just tuning it out; he’s become numb. Jimin is alone but near water, though it seems this time it functions as a comfort rather than how he meets his downfall. Jin is also alone, isolated from his brothers the same way he was before: seemingly lonely without ever once being completely alone. This isn’t as prominent with Suga or J-Hope, but the feeling is still there.

The loneliness makes its peak close to the bridge when Jungkook finally breaks past his numb facade and shows this emotion. It’s a melancholic combination of loneliness, confusion, and wistfulness. He’s lost, like they all are, and is desperately searching for his hyungs. For whatever reason, he needs them, but he can’t find them. And then when he does, he smiles. And the emotion on his face? Relief.

This is what I think is the stepping-off point from that feeling of being lost. It is here that they then run down what looks like an alley, only to be stopped short by a train speeding by—the same train we see Jungkook on earlier in the video. I think it represents a past self (JK on the train) seeing a possible future, catching a glimpse of what could be and getting to taste a sliver of hope, and a present (or future) self (JK in the alley, surrounded by the other members) looking back on the past, realizing how much he’s grown, and feeling gratitude for it.

Then the scene cuts back to the train. This time, as the camera pans out, we see Jungkook is no longer alone. He’s surrounded by his hyungs. It has the feeling of someone giving you a tight hug and telling you that things will work out, and I think it’s supposed to. Because Jungkook isn’t going to walk alone in this (ha). His hyungs are with him, every step of the way. And everything is going to be okay.

When they go out to the tree in the middle of the desert and hang up those shoes, I believe it can mean one of two things.

It either symbolizes that they’ve accepted the imminent death of their youth and that they’re ready to move on from that, to fully embrace what adulthood entail, or that they’ve accepted the death of whoever died and they are making the conscious decision to continue on with life while grieving healthily instead of wallowing indefinitely. Whichever it turns out to be, it’s beautiful, and so is the music video.

This video, I can honestly say, is a masterpiece. I can’t think of anything more visually stunning or lyrically astute as ‘Spring Day.’ Few things even come close (hint: they’re mostly BTS). To be honest, they’ve outdone themselves, though I can’t say I’m surprised. They somehow managed to surpass my expectations, which were astronomically high, but I don’t doubt that they’ll continue to go beyond my (and everyone else’s) expectations.

In short: props to you, BTS. This was incredible.

‘봄날’ (Spring Day)

The single piano chord at the beginning of the song hits me dead-on. I knew already from the teaser that I would like the song, although it does sound slightly different. I didn’t know I would like it this much. I didn’t know that it would already have me wanting to cry in under ten seconds.

The sheer beauty of the song struck me in the first ten seconds. I knew it would be the kind of shit that people want to hear played live in stadiums. This is the kind of song that people will sing at the top of their lungs along with the artist, the audience swaying left and right with the beat. This is the kind of song that stays in people’s hearts forever.

This also expresses a common theme that occurs in many works regarding winter: a longing for spring. The metaphor refers to being in a dark, cold time and wanting to go back to the light, to be encompassed in warmth. It relates to being in a bad place and yearning to have good times again. And BTS effortlessly expresses this yearning in the lyrics of the song.

One of the lines repeated throughout the song is, 보고 싶다 이렇게, which roughly translates to: I want to see you, highlighting that message of yearning.

I think one of the most significant lyrics in this song is, 그리움들이, 얼마나 눈처럼 내려야 그 봄날이 올까, friend (which roughly translates to, How much longing should we see snowing down to have the days of spring, friend?), because 1.) it absolutely nails the longing+winter/spring metaphor I mentioned, and 2.) it plainly states the word “friend.” The person behind these lyrics isn’t speaking to a lover; they’re speaking to a friend. This isn’t about romance, but it is a love song. It’s a love letter to someone the writer and/or artist has formed a close bond with, written to show how much they care for and miss them, which is what makes it so bittersweet.

I’ve already said this about the music video, but I don’t care; this song is a fucking masterpiece. I really, really can’t wait to see what else BTS has in store. I can’t wait to hear these songs live.

Not Today

Yoongi mentioned in the ‘You Never Walk Alone’ preview show earlier today that ‘Not Today’ was up there with ‘불타오르네’ (FIRE) and ‘쩔어’ (DOPE) in sound and tone (or something like that; I can’t remember, exactly). I very much agree with this statement. Like both songs, ‘Not Today’ jumps straight into it, building up from a midpoint as opposed to starting low. It takes the listener by surprise but almost immediately gets them hyped thereafter.

The song has a very badass, sassy, hell no kind of feel, if you get what I mean. It’s kind of telling off everyone who’d ever doubted them while simultaneously hyping up anyone who’s on their side of the equation. This song makes me want to go out and do something awesome. In a way, it’s sort of inspiring. It’s the kind of song that makes the listener feel invincible.

I’m super stoked for the music video for this song as well. We don’t get to see much of it from the teaser, but we do get a small hint as to what might happen in it. Just with the few seconds of footage, an allusion is already made to the lyric about running.

Production-wise, this song is also a masterpiece. It’s catchy and can very easily get anyone pumped up. Lyrically, it’s also great—it sends an excellent message and in the best way—but I don’t think it’s quite on the level of ‘봄날’ (Spring Day) in its intricacy and beauty. Also, can we talk about how one of the lines is, 방탄이란 걸 믿어, which roughly translates to, Trust in BTS? Like… my dudes, this is the cutest thing in the world.

Like I said before, BTS has truly outdone themselves. I’m excited to see the music video for this song. I’m sure, like both ‘불타오르네’ and ‘쩔어,’ it’s going to be sick. As of today, there’s only a week until it’s out!

Outro: Wings

Now, this… This is something. This is the full version of ‘Interlude: Wings,’ which can be found on the WINGS album. I’m very indecisive when it comes to music, especially when it comes down to my favorite artists and their albums. With the WINGS album, I was very conflicted. I was constantly switching between ‘피 땀 눈물’ (Blood, Sweat, and Tears), ‘Lie,’ ‘Awake,’ and ‘Lost,’ saying one or the other was my overall favorite off of the album. But I can honestly say that my absolute favorite was ‘Interlude: Wings.’

It’s such a great, uplifting, wonderful track. The song has the kind of feel that makes you feel like you can do anything. Not quite the badass invincibility of ‘Not Today,’ but a motivational I-can-do-anything-I-set-my-heart-to kind of vibe. This version of the song is mostly the same, except it’s longer. At the bridge, we get a taste of Hoseok’s effervescent talent in a rap that wasn’t on the interlude, following a breakdown of the beat.

It’s a good thing that J-Hope got this bit, too, because many fans (myself and others) are bitter that he doesn’t have any lines in ‘봄날,’ and not without reason. J-Hope is almost as underappreciated as Namjoon, which is completely unfair. (But that’s a discussion for another day.)

The beat, the lyrics, the overall vibe of this song make it an incredible piece of art. It’s a song that I rarely ever skip (and, if I do, I usually regret it and go back). Although its sound is akin to much of music today, it truly is unique in the message it sends out and how it relates to the theme of the WINGS album as well as BTS’s past albums.

I’m getting a bit redundant, I’m sure, but ‘Outro: Wings’ is a genuine masterpiece.

A Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone

This, I think, was actually the song I was most anticipating, given that it had the same title as the album but wasn’t the title track; fate was telling me there was something special about this song. I was really eager to listen to it. I knew I was in for a huge treat, just by the name of this song.

The song itself reminds me of something like Hayley Kiyoko’s ‘Citrine EP’ in sound (which, if you haven’t listened to, I highly recommend—it’s amazing) but Swedish House Mafia’s ‘Don’t You Worry, Child’ in message. It’s very clear what BTS wanted to express with this album and, in particular, this song.

My favorite lyric from this song at this point is, 넌 같이 걸어줘, 나와 같이 날아줘 하늘 끝까지, which roughly translates to, Will you walk with me, will you fly with me to the edge of the sky? That is, by far, one of the most beautiful pieces of poetry I’ve ever hear.

BTS has never failed to stun me with the beauty, intent, and depth of their lyrics, but this line truly struck me with awe. I legitimately got chills the first time I listened to it. The lyrics with the chilled-out dream pop and each of their voices (whether rapping or singing voice) was an inspired combination. I mean, given their history, there’s no way it wouldn’t work—it seems near-impossible for BTS to put out a bad song—but it was just stunning how wonderful this song turned out to be.

Overall Thoughts

As you can see, I absolutely adored this album and the four new additions. I think I might even like some of the new tracks more than some of the tracks on the original album… But don’t tell anyone I said that lmao

I legitimately cannot get over how much thought, creativity, passion, and devotion goes into the making of these tracks. BTS puts so much work into their music, and it truly pays off. In my eyes, their biggest competitor is my first love, One Direction. But One Direction doesn’t put out the same music that they do—they’re working in two completely different genres—so it will never be fair to compare them, because they’ll never really be on the same playing field.

But I firmly believe that BTS deserves to be as successful as One Direction has become. They’re right up there in talent, intellect, and potential. BTS has soooo much potential, even from a purely business standpoint. But we’re getting slightly off-topic.

Back to the album.

Although it pretty much was just a repackaging of the WINGS album with a few new tracks and one extended version of another, BTS really delivered. They once again went beyond everyone’s highest expectations, making sure to set the bar astronomically high for other groups and even for themselves. They seem to be challenging themselves to grow bigger and better each time, always leaving ample room for improvement. It’s pretty admirable, and one of the biggest reasons I adore them. (Getting off-topic again…)

In conclusion, ‘YOU NEVER WALK ALONE,’ regardless of the fact that it was a repackaging of the WINGS album is a true treasure, a stunning piece of art. It’s not something I’ll stop listening to any time soon. BTS has really done it this time.

SUPPORT THE ARTIST.

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