High Quality Pop Gets All The Notes Right On BTS’ Flawless Album ‘Wings’

taylor
Written by taylor
/ 6 mins read

The eclectic boy band BTS perhaps never sounded as eclectic as they did on the sophomore album Wings, where each member gets to soar on great solos throughout, and where I am completely satisfied with the attention to detail given to each genre of music tacked here. One of the most versatile boy bands, perhaps ever, show that they can take on any style and do it justice. Shoot, take the first track “Intro: Boy Meets Evil.” It comes on like a Wu-Tang Clan track before transitioning into an aggressive Trap EDM hybrid, definitely raising my eyebrow as the details are so finely executed. And then to go form this hype ass energy to “Blood Sweat & Tears”, which showcases Reggae Fusion that fits in a club and also in the bedroom (for it’s sexy parts.) This band will keep you guessing if you are not familiar with them already. Like, I thought I wasn’t going to enjoy “Begin”, really worried that it was going to barely stray from its hazy opening notes, but my impression was totally reversed by all the great criss-crossing elements, borrowing from The Weeknd on the one hand, but also some wholly original patterns that definitely paint BTS accurately as stylistic risk takers. This is both sexy R&B and something with a Drum n Bass complexity. The more adventurous the group gets, the more I want them to succeed, and this is how I think they gain so many fans. Their Pop is of super high quality.

Who Knew Some Of The Most Soulful Guys In The World Would Be From Seoul

“Lie” starts with an operatic, almost gangster movie symphonic intro, before switching into a real kinky sound which features feline falsettos - and everything bumps on some Prince or Funkadelic shit, but for the slight canned nature of the swing rhythm. If this had been a more straight forward funk beat, this would have been a killer song on my playlist, yet, in many ways, it still makes the playlist because there is a serious ace up the sleeve – when the song switches to a completely different key that I was not expecting, changing the track now into something Justin Timberland would produce. I’m really loving the variety of BTS, and they sure do know what makes R&B great – totally evidenced by the absolutely patient and soulful vocals on “Stigma” – seamlessly mixing nineties slow jams with lots of jazz, but also correctly applied Trap and digital effects. This R&B is better than the R&B which was being produced by Americans in 2016. “MAMA” continues the R&B creativity, mixing in Hip Hop and striking a balance of analog (jazz horns and Boom Bap samples) with modern effects and Trap. Another great balancing act at work here is the mix of aggressive urban edge with a really adorable atmosphere. How do these guys manage to bring together such divergent sounds together all the time? I’m getting Spike Lee Terrence Blanchard vibes on the opening string parts for “Awake”, and likewise was delighted when breathy heartfelt vocals played out over a symphony which adds finger snaps and builds to one of the most satisfying hook explosions I have heard in years. It just hits you right in the heart. Goosebump city baby.

BTS Are Sound Chameleons And These Songs Prove There Is No Style They’d Shy Away From

Digital video game notes blink away over a cute and decent love ballad on “Lost”, which begins to build in that sort of way that BTS are so deft at. Somehow, the song turns into this huge Trap hit with loud pumping melodies. The kind of tune that screams to be an intro track for an anime. You know its gotta be Hip Hop when the word cypher is included in the title – and on “BTS Cypher 4”, the boy band shows that they are masters of style – completely hitting their stride and rapping with immense accuracy, whether that means rapping with a triplet flow, or a bratty and aggressive vocal tone, or even the wavy autotune oddness made popular by Future, Young Thug, and Lil Uzi Vert. You want style? BTS has got it – they even do one of those standard American Revival type of songs, but with a totally refreshing twist. Instead of just presenting a clap along hoedown boot stomper, the beat becomes much looser and Hip Hop flavored, dancing back and forth between digital effects and old fashioned Southern charm. Oh, and BTS raps real hard here – showing that Country can mix with Club and Hip Hop music way better on their productions than what Americans seem to come up with. “21 First Century Girl” is the type of song that belongs on a Fast and Furious movie, but definitely has more creativity than your average movie soundtrack hype song – incorporating layer after layer of dizzying digital trickery, samples, skewed rap vocals, and beat mashing. This is the one that all the K Pop girls will wanna twerk to.

With Nothing To Dislike Except The Fact That The Album Was Over, ‘Wings’ Flies Highest On Its Last Song

Really had a hard time finding songs I disliked – and “2!3!” continues the Soul Train that is BTS – as they yet again mix perfectly R&B and Hip Hop, blowing me away with the authentic phrasing and accent on the English opening, and really reminding me of what used to make these genres such a pleasure to vibe too. I am impressed with BTS’ particular sound bank the same way Basement Jaxx impresses me with all of their great analog and digital noise choices. Though it says ‘Interlude” in the title, it should have been called ‘Outro’, right, for “Interlude: Wings” is the very last song on this basically flawless album. When singer RM commands me “put your hands up to the sky / yeah, if your feelin’ the vibe” – man, my hands shot up real fast, as I was already falling in love with the jubilation of the beat – mixing nineties House/Trance with an overall last chance to dance atmosphere that this club track completely nails down. The song gets ridiculously exciting, where every instrument is responsible for a special rhythm, and even the rapping is swift and exhilarating. What a great way to end an already impressive album.

2. Track List (15)

3. Official (15)

4. Live (11)

Reflection

BTS

MAMA

BTS

Awake

BTS

LOST

BTS

5. Featuring Remixes (12)

7. Similar Albums (1)

Wings

BTS

8. Similar Artists (11)

9. Album Info

About

Wings is the second Korean studio album (fourth overall) by South Korean boy band BTS. The album was released on October 10, 2016, by Big Hit Entertainment. It is available in four versions and contains fifteen tracks, with "Blood Sweat & Tears" as its lead single. Heavily influenced by Hermann Hesse's coming of age novel, Demian, the concept album thematically deals with temptation and growth. It was later reissued as a repackage album, titled You Never Walk Alone, on February 13, 2017, a continuation of the canon for Wings. Three new songs were added to the track listing, with "Spring Day" and "Not Today" promoted as the lead singles.
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Songwriter

  • BTS

Label

  • Big Hit

Producer

  • Pdogg