K-Pop music has really taken over the world over the last year, and standing at the front of the revolution is BTS. The boy band has taken over American pop culture and spread the influence of the genre far and wide, so it's no surprise that their new album stands as a shining example of what it is. BTS shows the world the reality K-Pop in Face Yourself, their big new album that brings out all the stops.
What's most notable about K-Pop is the production. Unlike current American pop, K-Pop is full of daring moves at every turn, big synths and loud beats at every corner. Opening track, 'INTRO: Ringwanderung' opens up Face Yourself dramatically and cinematically, 'Best Of Me' coming through with a pretty safe style, nothing too daring or too different, but a good example of what K-Pop is all about. Things start picking up with 'Blood Sweat & Tears,' where the drop in the chorus is just plain infectious and in 'DNA,' which is filled with interesting instrumental and production moments.
The biggest gap any K-Pop artist has to bridge with an international audience is the language gap. Face Yourself is the band's third effort sung in primarily Japanese, so many Americans are going to be left listening to the melodies over meaning. 'Don't Leave Me' is one of the few songs sung with an even amount of Japanese and English, and helps show some of the emotions that lie behind the language gap. The intimate, dark verses lead to giant choruses that heartbreakingly plead, "Don't leave me, I believe." 'Let Go' is similar, the phrase "I'm ready to let go" serving as the core of the songs meaning. You can get a sense of the emotions from the song's melodies, which are what really bridge the communication gap: the attitude of 'Not Today' gives it that badboy vibe as the big instrumental explodes underneath, while the crystalline delivery of 'Crystal Snow' and the sweetness of 'Spring Day' help establish the moods.
BTS shows the world the reality of K-Pop in Face Yourself, packing the music full of swagger and emotion. It's constantly full of energy and the music feels like its dancing, making it serve as a great example of what K-Pop is all about. The music itself, for the genre, isn't anything groundbreaking, but is definitely a great segue from a national audience to an international one.
Favorite Track: Don't Leave Me
Least Favorite Track: Best Of Me
Rating: 73 / 100
Stream or buy Face Yourself on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: