[Album Review] BE (5th Studio Album) – BTS

If I were to put BTS’ latest album on the usual agenda for review, I probably won’t get around to it until the start of the new year. And I feel that timeframe for a BTS related review would be too late for posting. Hence, I have decided to fasttrack the album review for BTS’ fifth studio album, BE. The album features both Life Goes On as the title track and the international hit Dynamite at the very end of the album, alongside five other new tracks. In total, there are seven tracks on this studio album (including the non-musical skit), which makes it one of the shortest studio albums I have ever seen. But that does not meant the quality is reduced! Continue to read to see what my thoughts for each of the songs were.

BE Album Review

1. Life Goes On (Title Track) Click here to read the full review for Life Goes On. (9/10)

2. Fly To My Room (내 방을 여행하는 법) (performed by Suga, V, Jimin & J-Hope)Fly To My Room follows the group’s softer approach from the title track. At first glance, I actually enjoyed the song by the four member unit. But that was when I was occupied with other tasks. When I sat down to write this album review today, Fly To My Room didn’t really stand out for me (compared to the other songs on the album). It is still a nice and pleasant track to listen to, especially with the pop-centric instrumental. I really like the use of the keyboard in the song and there was an enjoyable display of falsetto and low tones. The best part of the song has to be when all the members are singing together for the chorus, as the happier tone that the song brings forth calls for this. The rapping seems a little too punchy for my liking. They just shoot out of nowhere and I didn’t like how they didn’t take the opportunity to match the vocals and the tone of the song. (7/10)

3. Blue & Grey – BTS’ ballads have always been the most captivating side tracks for me. And I am glad that there is a ballad on this toned-down album. It is a perfect excuse for a ballad if you ask me. Blue & Grey draws me in with stunning vocals from all the members. V is probably the standout member if I had to pick, with his husky and raspy tone starting off the song and infusing an amazing sense of texture. The rest of the members did an equally stunning job as V, especially with that bridge where each vocal-line member had a line. The rapping in Blue & Grey is much better and cleverer than in the preceding track, with Suga (in a separate section) and J-Hope easing us in with a really soft rap sequence before moving to RM’s slightly more powerful tone/delivery. This all over a really atmospheric slow-paced instrumental, starting off with acoustic guitars and later slow-pop influences. (10/10)

5. Telepathy (잠시) – While the first half of the album consisted of mainly a toned-down atmosphere and slower paced songs, the latter half of the album is more upbeat territory. Kicking off entrance into the upbeat territory is Telepathy. There is a feel-good vibe to this song that I really enjoyed. It is the type of song that I would hope for a performance for as it sounds like it can be a very fun stage. I love the retro nature of the instrumentation, particularly the cow bells (which instantly makes this sound so better). The vocals and rapping are really good, fitting in with that feel-good vibe that I mentioned a moment ago. It may not be at the level of Dynamite, but its great enough. (8/10)

6. Dis-ease (병) Dis-ease has this super catchy old-school hip-hop to it. The energy that comes off Dis-ease is pretty infectious, so much that I really want to boogie along to it. Given that the song falls into the hip-hop genre (and that they also participated in the production), the rappers shine the most in this song. I really like the “Byeong” sequence that finishes off the choruses. That paired with the disc scratching was pretty memorable and is my favourite part of the whole song. The vocal-line do a splendid job themselves. I really liked how they used the same technique in Blue & Grey (i.e. giving each member of the vocal line a section in the bridge) and having the song build towards a slightly more amplified final chorus. It is what I personally hoping for when I heard the song and I am glad they delivered! (10/10)

7. Stay (performed by RM, Jungkook and Jin)Stay tackles the future house sub-genre of EDM. It is a very clean track and it doesn’t have any crazy surprises to throw us off. In other words, I find Stay to be straightforward. While that could be a flaw in other songs, straightforwardness in EDM is a blessing as it doesn’t get complicated (and hence obnoxious). It doesn’t drown out the vocals and rapping sequences, which allows us to hear RM, Jungkook and Jin clearly throughout the song. I particularly like how satisfying the drop was and the mixture of acoustic guitars in the second verse and piano at the end of the song. I also like how smooth the vocals and rapping were. To me, the ending of the song isn’t as satisfying, as it gave me the impression that something should have followed it. That, or I just didn’t want Stay to end. (10/10)

8. DynamiteClick here to read the full review for Dynamite. (10/10)

Overall Album Rating – 9.1/10

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