BTS - DNA
BTS is the one of the biggest acts in the current K-pop world, so it goes without say that expectations are always high when the seven-member boy group announces a comeback. Somehow even with everything else the boys have going on, they've managed to prepare a new mini album entitled Love Yourself 承 'Her. "DNA" is the title track for that EP, and it's fair to say that I was excited to hear what the boys were going to deliver to fans this time around. The two teasers for the song gave two different vibes and fairly different styles of music for each, with only the whistle portion recurring in both videos, so I went in expecting to hear a smoothed out combination of the two.
The song starts off much like the first teaser, incorporating that whistle and having it looped quite often and intentionally just slightly off-beat. The bright sounds of the acoustic guitar compliment the whistling while a low bass guitar and a kick drum propel the song forward at a quick pace. Both singing and raps are used in the verses, with the song dropping back on all of the heavier instruments just as the pre-chorus kicks in and progressively reintroducing them alongside an escalating synth to give a sense of build up to the refrain. This is where the song takes a turn that's unexpected, introducing an almost entirely instrumental-focused drop of sorts. This sort of sound has mostly faded out of K-pop by this point, so it was definitely an interesting choice to hear.
During the bridge the song pulls back most of the instruments again and instead offers an empty atmosphere with electronic sounds. There's a clear attempt to have a heart monitor beep kind of sound for this portion, which is pretty interesting and definitely provides something unique for the section. I have to admit, upon my first time listening to the song, I felt like my ears were being overwhelmed. I honestly thought that I'd accidentally opened up another video and both were playing at the same time because there were so many things happening at once.
As is my usual opinion, I still hate songs that use whistling as a "catchy" gimmick. The good news is that I actually do think the whistling in this song is catchy, so it's not something that sounds artificial or forced to me. Instead, it's actually used to good effect and it's not during the chorus which makes it an actual, interesting piece of instrumentation rather than a contrived effort in my opinion. I think that this song is incredibly unique in the current state of K-pop, straying away from the typical sounds that are defining the genre right now. It's certainly an interesting style for BTS to try out, but I think that they did it just about flawlessly.
The video starts off with some kind of cosmic universe that fades back out to reveal that it's inside of Jungkook's eye. He then proceeds to whistle while chemical structures and formulas are plastered behind him before a swift transition to several scenes that are just dripping with effulgent palettes. A ton of the video is devoted to the boys dancing, which is exactly what I would hope for since I love BTS for their typically intense and on-point dances. Did I mention the absolutely gorgeous spectrum of colors used in the video?
The start of the video is absolutely bizarre to me. The cheesy green screen effects along with the awkward zooming about of the camera are just too comical, though I'm sure the director intended that. There's such a good mixture of cheesiness and fun tied in among all of the more serious bits that I was actually really impressed it managed to string them together so cohesively. There's even a dance section that looks more on the cutesy side than we've seen from BTS, which is a great change of pace for them.
I'll say it one more time, just because it's done that well here, the colors in this video are heavenly. There are lots of really weird shots and some obviously cheesy green screen effects, but it feels intentional when paired up alongside the rest of the video. If there's some sort of meaning behind all of the video besides looking super pretty, I have no guesses. Instead, all I can say is that this is a feast for the eyes that I loved.
It's honestly hard, if not impossible, to ignore the fact that BTS has been delivering high quality music on a very consistent basis for the last few years. The boys are clearly putting in a ton of hard work, and it shows in every facet of their artistry. Whether it's their impressive dances, the unique style that they bring into all of their songs no matter the genre, or even just the intriguing (albeit confusing at times) imagery that they feature in their videos, it always feels like it comes from their genuine efforts. This might not be my all-time favorite BTS song, but it's certainly got me excited to check out the rest of the mini.