BTS - FAKE LOVE
If you don't know who BTS is, you have to have been living under a rock for the past year. They're one of the biggest, if not the biggest, acts in K-pop right now, and "FAKE LOVE" is their first comeback since "DNA" (which I reviewed here) last September. I'll be upfront and admit that I was tense about this comeback, especially because of how much attention BTS has been receiving in western media lately. I don't know how to explain it, but that sort of attention puts a type of pressure on people and groups that usually leads to some unfortunate results. That being said, I just went in with open ears and simple hope.
This song is a little different right off the bat. It starts off at the pre-chorus, which was an interesting choice to say the least. The entirety of it feels very atmospheric with all of the low bass synths, but the little bits and pieces help fill in that space in a subtle way. The verses being driven forward by the rap line stayed true to what has separated BTS from other mainstream boy groups for years now, and it definitely helped retain that classic BTS feel. Jimin's vocals shined the most to me here, especially with the emotional delivery. There's a very underhanded sort of punch there that twists them into a pained, powerful pang of passion. It adds a great deal of weight to the song on the whole in tandem with everything else, and also brings even more gravity to the lyrics.
While there are hints of western influence here and there, "FAKE LOVE" strays away from a strict dive right into that style and instead stays mostly within the realm of what one might expect from BTS. It's definitely something that you'll likely find yourself singing long after you've finished listening to it. I personally think that this song is good; I don't think it's absolutely mindblowing and amazing, but I think it's solid. It's not a song that I'll be going out of my way to listen to, but if it came on my playlist I wouldn't mind it at all.
Again, as one might expect from BTS, this music video stays true to the highly artistic and metaphoric visuals that they're known for. I'm going to waste very little time and just be honest here - a lot of BTS videos are intertwined and done in such a fashion that I can't get a grip on what's going on without spending hours combing through all of their videos, which I just sadly don't have the time for. So if you're looking for a theory on this one, I'm afraid you'll need to look elsewhere. Sorry!
Instead, I'll just be talking about the fantastic choreography that was shown. I know that it's expected out of the group by now, but damn I was blown away from even just the first few seconds of this song's dance. It's incredible and entrancing, and I definitely can't wait to watch live stages and the inevitable dance performances. The color palettes were a lot more muted here than in a video like "DNA," but it seemed to fall in line with the more minimized sound for the song. For ARMYs, I'm sure that this was a great ton of fun to try and piece together, and I have no doubts that they'll have already figured it out by the time this review is posted.
"FAKE LOVE" presents a moody, intense, and emotional track for fans across the world. Rather than allow for the western media to influence the direction of their music, BTS stayed true to their roots and continued to build upon what's made them the beast of a success that they are today. While the song is by no means my favorite title track from the group, it's a solid piece that will undoubtedly receive tons of praise and attention. You should give this one a listen no matter who you are - everybody's going to be talking about it and you should, too. Be sure to check back next week for my review of the full album as well.