BE – BTS Album Review

BE - BTS  Album Review

Emma Mathew, Junior High Staff Writer

Be has become one of the most successful albums from the biggest pop group in the world, BTS. As someone who is quite familiar with their discography, from their first studio album to the newest one, Map of The Soul Seven, I thought I would like to do an analysis of the album as a whole. I’ll be looking at the individual songs first and then closing thoughts. Please take everything I say with a grain of salt and listen to the album yourself! My preferences are mine only and you might feel completely different which is more than okay. I’ve also left a quote from the song lyrics translated into English in italics. Enjoy!


“Life Goes On”-The first track of the album, “Life Goes On”, is quite simple compared to the other opening tracks and even B-sides of previous BTS albums. The leader of the group himself even said that it might be boring compared to the band’s smash hit single, “Dynamite.” And although this song certainly doesn’t have a complicated beat or the electronic, bass boosted sound that’s popular now, “Life Goes On” has a charm to it that can’t really be replicated with some of the group’s other songs. The simple guitar line and lyrics about living during the pandemic, not just as a musician but as a person, have touched the souls of many, including myself. I will admit, the first time I listened to the song, purely out of pleasure, I thought it was boring and a track to not give much thought. But upon registering to it for analysis, it felt much warmer and comforting. The day will come back around/As if nothing happened.


“내 방을 여행하는 법/Fly To My Room”– “Fly To My Room” was something. Even after listening to it at least five times to try and describe it, I still can’t understand how to properly phrase how I feel about this song. This is a subunit song, and it includes V, Jimin, Suga, and J-Hope. And overall, I think it would have been better with just Jimin and V. The beginning of this song is definitely the best part. It had this lo-fi feeling to it, with the slow singing and oh so familiar synth chords thrumming in the background. Jimin’s high range when compared with V’s low voice mended beautifully. The chorus had a completely different feel to it, with the same chords but this time an uplifted drum kit and a chorus behind them. The song felt different, but it still worked. It blended together and connected and made me happy. Right after that, Suga and J-Hope came in rapping. I do not have any bias against rap. Suga and J-Hope are two of my favorite members of the band and I love their rap songs more than anything. But here it doesn’t work. Right when they enter, starting with Suga, they rap much faster than the original pace of the song, and the slow drum in the background is immediately brought up faster. To add to this, they kept the chords at the same pace, making it seem even faster as a tempo change. Although yes, each rapper has their own style, both Suga and J-Hope have proved their versatility in times past, leaving no reason to upend the song the way it was. J-Hope’s verse wasn’t much different, and it was overall disappointing. I’m not saying rap can’t work in this song, I’m saying it wasn’t properly executed. As soon as the rap started, I felt like I was in a completely different song and it upended the feeling of peace that I got from the voices of V and Jimin. I didn’t really touch much on the lyrics of this song, but the overall meaning was the feeling of difference and importance your room took on when you started spending so much time in it. They were touching but nothing I really wanted to talk about much. I feel that this song was made to be more sonically appealing. Overall, I think this song should’ve been a vocal line song, with just Jimin and V mending their voices and singing another soft verse to send me to sleep. Even the old desks, the changed sunlight looks special/I’m a little less lonely.


“Blue & Grey”-Words cannot describe the feeling of peace that is delivered by “Blue and Grey”. This song was originally made for a solo mixtape by V, but it was decided to be put on the new album track list. And let me just say, V’s voice is known for being much deeper than all the other member’s. But the instrumental, the melody, it all works so well for all four singers. Blue and Grey is about struggles of depression and hiding and wondering if you’re being greedy because you have everything you could ever want but you’re still sad. It is sung with so much soul and life and the lyrics, if you take the time to read them, might move you to tears. Sonically, this song takes everything I disliked about Fly To My Room and fixes it. This song is sad and slow but it knows what to do with the rappers. They can rap at a different tempo but it was made to fit the feeling of the song and I still felt as though I was listening to the same song. The same way the different ranges of BTS’s vocalists compliment each other, this song was made so that the different voices of the rappers could compliment the song. Blue and Grey embodies laying in your bed in the dead of night listening to the one song that can make you cry every time, and it feels so amazingly human to me that I am absolutely in love. I just want to be happier/Am I being too greedy?


“Skit”-I’m not going to talk about “Skit” for too long because it isn’t an actual song, but a skit, as the title implies. This is very much just a showcase of their personalities, with many laughs and inside jokes. They talk about (and brag to each other just a bit) about how ecstatic they are to reach Billboard No. 1, which is something that has never been achieved before by an all Korean group. What I would like to point out is how they say that they want to practice their debut song, “No More Dream”, the day of the announcement. BTS is seven years old now, and from the beginning many had said they wouldn’t make it. Them saying they want to practice that song basically shows that although they have reached international fame, they still remember their humble beginnings. Still funny though. Oh I’m sorry, Billboard No. 1 singer has arrived too late. I went to the bathroom.


“잠/Telepathy”-Thefunk in this song is real and I’m here for it. This song diverts the sad, calm feeling of the previous songs and throws retro synth and some auto tuned-on-purpose vocals and dares you not to smile. This song was owned by Suga and there really is no denying it. The first time I listened to this song, without any sort of lyrics or indication of who was singing what part, I genuinely thought that Suga had a solo track. Everyone in this song sounded like Suga and it was almost insane. This song is about love and being the island in the turbulent ocean for other people. The song was dedicated to their loyal fan base, and I’m sure it made them smile. This song doesn’t really inspire to0 much analysis, because quite literally the only thoughts I had listening to this was “It’s Suga rapping an entire seventies style song on his own with some singing too.” Easy serotonin boost? Check. Every time during the same day/I feel the happiest when I meet you/Every time, even in a different everyday life/You’re the most special person to me.


“병/Dis-ease”– Someone possessed BTS and it was definitely and old school hip-hop artist because whoo boy this song went for it. It’s old school, and reminiscent of some of BTS’s earlier songs. Although the sound is, as a whole, one that I enjoy, I want to focus on the lyrics for this one. This song talks about how a disease can be defined as a harmful development, or, even more relevantly in this song, trouble. Although we often think of diseases with the medical definition (especially during this time), the disease that BTS talks about here is their love-hate relationship with their work. The song talks about how yes, they’re weary and overworked and exhausted and need a break. But at the same time whenever they try to, they are immediately overwhelmed with the feeling of needing to get back to work again. This is something I’m sure we’ve all felt before. “Yes, I’m exhausted and haven’t slept in days and really need the help and rest but I don’t want to sit still and waste time.” This song having such meaningful and bittersweet lyrics combined with such an upbeat melody makes it feel like someone is saying these words, but they’re trying to get over it and have a more positive outlook. Everybody’s got a lot of diseases/I’m confused by that/That humankind is inherently disgusting. (No this doesn’t really have much to do with the overall meaning but I can’t be expected to not call out the fact that I was just told that humankind is inherently disgusting with synth in the background.)


“Stay”– The 2000s nostalgia this song decided to unleash upon me was unreal. The extended build ups, the chorus drop beats, the singing in the middle of the chorus with no intention, and the single rapper that was collaborating with whatever pop artist was popular. What is that, you may be asking? Dance Dance Revolution flashbacks. This song was originally meant for Jungkook’s solo album, and I honestly have very little to say about this songs musicality. It is catchy, I can’t deny that, but it follows a pop formula that is out of style now, but was still used way too much back when it was. I’m still trying to figure out what song this reminds me of so much, but I can’t place my finger on a single one. As for the lyrics of this song, it’s about missing their fans and all the experiences they shared with them, such as stages, music shows, and concerts.  I figured it out. David Guetta. This song reminds me of every single song that David Guetta has ever put out. Good day. I think I saw you/When I open my eyes again/The room’s empty.


“Dynamite” -If I could not talk about “Dynamite”, I wouldn’t. This song was a smash success and was the American break through that BTS was looking for. It was arguably their most successful single…and that makes me angry. Almost every BTS single and title track in Korean is well thought out, self produced and written, and has so much meaning in the lyrics that whole YouTube channels have been made to decode and explain them. This song was given to the group and the lyrics consist of every cheesy American saying you could ever imagine. Sure, you could listen to it for the serotonin boost. But for me it just shows the hypocrisy of American radios and music awards. We don’t value good music with meaning, we value westernized music. I did not want to put a quote from this song here, so I’ll put this one instead: “Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films” -Bong Joon Ho


This album is one of the most unique in BTS’s discography when compared to their other albums. It’s short, and doesn’t have the classic heavy hitting bass boosted hype music sound that everyone seems to live for these days. Also some songs were a bit disappointing, this album feels like a cup of hot chocolate on a warm day. Sweet, comforting, and wholesome. If I had to rank the songs, it would go something like this:

  1. Blue and Grey
  2. Life Goes On
  3. Fly To My Room
  4. Telepathy
  5. Stay
  6. Disease
  7. Dynamite

With all of that being said, I hope that this article (and the hours spent listening to their songs) compels you to listen to the album. And if this one isn’t your cup of tea, try looking closer. The discography of BTS is insanely long and different pretty much every time they release an album. Many people refuse to listen to music in Korean because of false stereotypes. I bet that if you look past the stereotypes you could find a group, male or female, that would sing about, seemingly, all of the feelings you feel and the struggles you face. The only wall to a non-discriminatory world is prejudice. Climb it, and you will be free to anything. Thank you for reading!