Albums can be consistently good, consistently bad, or having the title track be the only decent song. Where does Wings and its repackage fall in that spectrum?
BTS’ second full album was hyped beyond compare before its release. Teasers featuring individual members, the fact each member would get a solo, more theory
crap stuff for the theorist fans who seem to not have anything better to do, etc. The next new album Bangtan releases has a lot to live up to after Wings (and The Most Beautiful Moment in Life Trilogy too). But were the songs any good? And were the songs consistent with one another?
How I’m arranging this is from worst to best, based on my opinion alone, and divide the songs in three sections: Bad, as in I would never listen to this song in my free time. Okay, as in not great or terrible, neutral, simply couldn’t cross the borders it’s between. And Good, as in I either like or love the song. Repackages are included to the original album’s ranking since they’re usually a few extra songs.
One last thing: If you don’t like opinions that aren’t yours, or wouldn’t like it if someone were to barely talk about the actual song but whatever he or she wants to talk about, you might not like this post.
I fear for Jungkook’s solo career. It’s obvious he’s gonna go solo in the future, and based on this song and the fact he looks up to people like Zion. T and Justin Bieber, he’ll most likely aim for the R&B route. I’m aware now that the term ‘R&B” is much broader than I thought. To be more clear, the R&B I don’t like whatsoever songs that are too chill for your own good and the singer’s voice sounds delicate, like the stuff Crush and Dean make to name a few. They remind me of shit ballads that are designed to make the singer sound good and not have the instrumental overshadow her.
Begin tries to be different from that by having the chorus be more uptempo with added instruments, but that just makes it worse because it doesn’t match with the vocal melody. I will give the song this though; The stage for Begin was mesmerizing. It’s one of my most vivid memories from the Wings concert. Pity about the music.
18. 21st Century Girls
This aims for the yoloswag/kpop hip hop sound done well like Baepsae and No More Dream, but 21st Century Girl suffers from the problem that it doesn’t sound like a proper song. It’s just a lot of clapping noises and hard synths and shouting. The dance is cool though, so I can understand why this gets a dance practice video instead of the other non-title track that was promoted.
I’m not against jazz in modern pop, and the instrumental is slick, but the problem is the vocal melody and the singing in general. V is a baritone, not a tenor. His voice is naturally better at lower notes and worse at higher notes. Big Hit can’t seem to figure that out and he keeps getting parts on songs that are too damn high. Unfortunately, it results in V having a fragile voice here, thus putting Stigma in the same category as the R&B crap I can’t stand.
Whatever happened to the days when he got low as fuck parts in songs? Like that one short line from Just One Day‘s chorus, or his part in Spine Breaker? The dance tracks seem to be the only songs these days where he doesn’t get high notes. Hopefully that doesn’t change in the future.
Suga’s mixtape as Agust D had some good tracks. I appreciated how there was a clear difference between his mixtape and Rap Monster’s from a year earlier, and the stand outs for me were Interlude: Dream, Reality, So Far Away, and The Last (in that order). So Suga having his solo not be yoloswag-related and leaning towards rap ballad sounded slightly promising. The result is a less angry version of Rap Monster’s Awakening, in terms of a solid beat being found nowhere in a rap song. Fortunately, the song isn’t bothersome and doesn’t have to share a section with songs 17-19.
An extended version of the original album’s Interlude. The thing is the extension in question is an R&B/tropical house/EDM/wubwub/whatever-you-wanna-call-it breakdown. J-Hope rapping during this can’t save it.
Not having that breakdown means this version is shorter. 2 birds, 1 stone.
13. Spring Day
There seems to be a pattern with the EDM/alternative releases BTS make; It goes back and forth between good song and bad. I Need U was rather good, better than the EDM stuff Justin Bieber was putting out at the time. Run was beyond dull. Save Me is one of their very best songs. Then there’s Spring Day, which doesn’t hit the mark well enough to be considered the Korean Obstacles. I’m obviously the only one who can see this pattern since it’s based on opinions alone.
There also seems to be a pattern that if Jin is centered clearly in the thumbnail, I won’t like the song. He’s the center for We Are Bulletproof Pt. 2‘s MV too, which is their worst title track according to my ears. It’s like Big Hit’s media department (and LOEN’s too when they used to upload BTS MV’s) wanted to use my steady ultimate bias to lure me in to a song I’m gonna hate. That might explain why Jin was originally in the thumbnail for Not Today only for the thumbnail to change to a group shot hours later. They must have realized I didn’t hate the song and thought I didn’t I needed the extra eye candy after all.
It’s kinda catchy, I’ll give it that.
I wasn’t sure whether to put this song over Lost or vice versa. While Lost is better musically, Cypher Part 4 is more interesting. While I’m not a big fan of the BTS Cypher series, (Block B’s only rap line song trumps all the Cyphers.) and I was okay with the Cyphers being a concluded trilogy, it is magnificent live. Especially when the rappers are dressed like pimps. Even more so when J-Hope has the most fun being a pimp. I have never been this comfortable having someone bias wreck me like J-Hope has since Wings era.
I completely forgot what this song sounded like the day I heard it. I was so hooked on Not Today that I disregarded everything else on the repackage. The fact it was the only song on the whole album that wasn’t performed at the Wings concert didn’t help its relevancy at all. Coming back to it, it’s like the cousin to Young Forever. Not as good, but it has that inspirational feel adding to the music. Apparently, that’s enough to make the bottom of the Top 10 songs.
9. Blood Sweat & Tears
So close to making my favorites section, but so far from being good enough.
I was slightly happy with the song when it came out, because the teaser got me worried this would be Just One Day 2.0 when that was only the song’s bridge and sounded much better in the final product. It’s a good song and doesn’t have that much problems. It’s just missing that oomph for me to love it. And pelvic thrusts and barely grabbing their dicks aren’t oomphy enough
After seeing how everyone went head over heels about Suga’s mental state addressed in The Last , it seems RapMon decided to have a go at using his insecurities for his solo but not have the music be at a constant crescendo and not have his voice’s volume go over the top. Having an instrumental that sounds like an OST for a scene set at city late at night, where the lead character would look out her window to see the skyline and reflect on what brought her to that point, works in his favor.
When he’s saying “I wish I could love myself”, I thought for months he was saying “I wish I could end myself”. Being one of the less popular members might take a toll on you when some kids younger than you are the ones in demand. Then again, he didn’t seem completely unpopular when I saw him. So he shouldn’t be someone to worry about. Especially when his song is included on the better half of an album ranking.
7. Intro: Boy Meets Evil (J-Hope Solo)
This really was J-Hope’s era. The last time his styling was this great was 2014 and he got two solos this time around while the rest got one. Also, the fact he performed in the comeback trailer while Rap Monster and Suga let animators do the visual work shows he’s willing to go above and beyond. The shouting is what stopped him from getting number 6, because he’s trying to rap like someone who can actually rap. He’s much better when he’s simply making noises.
I feel bad having a fan song up this high when it’s technically a fan song directed towards me. “Fan song” to me sounds like an excuse to make a shit group ballad, since it’s supposedly something only fans will enjoy. By “fans” it should be specified towards stans who won’t admit they like their bias more than his group’s music. That’s why fan songs have groups be all cutesy and smiley for the camera when the song has an MV. I may be blinded by my consistent admiration for Bangtan, but this sure sounds like a nice song to me. I could research other fan songs to prove other groups can make good fan songs, but I’d probably die of cringe.
Another example of how I’m probably not judging on the music but whoever is singing it. Well I can assure you this really is the best ballad he’s ever done on his own. If he did one of those two covers from over a year ago instead of Awake, it wouldn’t make the top ten. The fact those were covers and written for other people who are most likely better singers than Jin means they focus more on showing off the vocalist rather than try to be a great song. Since Jin is given a ballad designed for him, it’s written for his limited vocal skills and lets the instrumental have some of the limelight. The fact his teaser/short film includes the instrumental by itself without Jin singing should make it more clear.
While I would have liked to not wait over a week for Jin’s short film, the song fits as a conclusion to the teaser series. It gives off a video game credits and an 11-o’clock musical number feel, which is good for a ballad. And that is something in K-Pop I’ll welcome.
4. Not Today
Songs like this are what made me fall for BTS and Korean boy groups in general. Being surrounded by nice-guys-who-jump-around-because-their-label-doesn’t-force-them-to-dance groups, it was nice to find boy bands who can act touch and not be boys in (all of) their MV’s. Sure, BTS are currently doomed to make soft songs like Spring Day and Blood Sweat & Tears, but they can’t forget what they started with and what got them a growing fanbase and will drop songs like Not Today, Fire, and Dope (just to name a few) occasionally. I’ve known this since between Run and Fire, so I can’t help but predict they won’t stop. Or maybe this is their last hard song and I’ll have to leave the fandom after years of Spring Day clones. Only time will tell.
This really suits J-Hope like a glove. It’s funky, upbeat, giddy, and you can’t help but sing “Hey Mama!” during the chorus. One thing that I’m a bit disappointed in is there wasn’t much emphasis on the mini-gospel snippet teased in the short film. You can’t always get what you want.
2. Am I Wrong
There are two types of Americans; one fucking blasts Country music as far as their county can stretch, and the other would brutally murder Country music if it were a person. The Country music in question are songs about tractors and beer and such where the singer almost always sounds like a hick. I don’t hate Country music, I’m just disappointed in it. Because Country music used to be bluegrass and Appalachian folk to name a few, genres much more melodic than Country music. Whoever got the rights for BTS to sample Kevin Moore’s Am I Wrong should get a raise.
Slightly off topic, but this was not the original thumbnail. You know who was in the thumbnail at first? Pause the video at 1:59 and see for yourself. Big Hit must have tipped off MBC.
This song is glorious. Can Jimin’s solo debut please be this song? Everyone will notice he’s using a song he’s already released, yes, but we won’t care because there will be a proper MV and promotions for this wonderful song supported by the Latin-inspired finger-plucking-guitar backings. Not a fan of the choreo though. Frankly, I’d prefer Jimin getting a ballroom dance partner and learn how to waltz for this song, since the time signature is 6/8.
On my fap scale, I rank Jimin last in terms of attractiveness among BTS members. But if a song he or any idol I don’t fancy makes is great, I won’t let his face block me from loving it. Jimin, you’ve done well.
The way I see it, the songs that got the feature track treatment were the best choices. The songs I liked more than Blood Sweat & Tears (excluding Not Today) are 5 solos, a fan song, and a cover. If they were still nugus, they could have had Am I Wrong as a title track. But now they have this reputation of being composers and “real artists” so picking a cover as the title track could hurt them. For the repackage, Spring Day and Not Today were literally the only two songs worth picking as a title track.
For the album itself, the songs are everywhere on the genre plane, which I think is a good thing since only a very few songs sound like filler tracks. I’m okay with an album not having a consistent concept for the songs. I just care if the songs themselves are any good. Overall, I give it 3.5 piles of laundry out of 5.