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Narratives(5)

May 24, 2019

BTS, drawing the Map of the Soul and the future of the music industry

It's very nice to hear groups like BTS, for me, they represent what many of us dreamed decades ago, those of us who once tried to make our way in the music industry of our country always had the dream to succeed not just locally but also beyond our borders, both in the countries that shared our language and, why not, in countries where they spoke a language different from ours. I think that for a long time that was only possible for English-speaking artists. The formulas used by those who created and produced music in that language, in addition to the commercialization of popular music trends such as Pop, Rock, Disco, and Soul (to mention the most popular), universalized the dissemination of their music. When generating such a massive success of the music that came mainly from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, the industry grew so much that it was very difficult to give access to other things that were not the ones that guaranteed success. It is normal among orthodox businessmen not to experiment and only concentrate on what has already proven to be effective when it comes to producing money. In some cases, countries learned the formula and replicated it by adapting it to their culture and, of course, to their language. In different countries, there were also very successful artists at the local level but, for the reasons that I have mentioned and some other inconveniences, real jewels of music were limited to be known only in their countries or in the countries that shared the language, in the best of cases. The big showcase of the popular music industry was reserved for English-speaking singers. Of course, many of those who had global successes in the English language, also underwent a lot of work and pressure, including some were not happy with the direction that large companies imposed on their careers, for the same reason, I'm not implying that they had it easy just because of singing in English, but at least I think they were closer than others on the platform that could throw them into stardom. Of course, throughout the history of popular music, there have been exceptions and several artists from different latitudes, cultures, and languages have managed to place great successes worldwide, but that only confirms the rule. Fortunately, we are living in other times in which the work of artists as diverse as our planet can be shown and disseminated widely and demonstrate to those who run the industry that it is worth investing in them without fear because they know how to do things equal to or better than those who have traditionally been doing it for decades. This is the case of BTS, a Korean boy band that has come not only to break down language barriers, but also the paradigms of the music industry.

Written by @JorgeDiaz from Electro Arpegio
Mar 28, 2019

On Album ‘Love Yourself ‘Tear’, K Pop Group BTS’ Music Sounds Much Like The West’s Various Mainstream, Hip Hop, And Neo Soul

Perhaps switch out the Korean and Japanese language on album Love Yourself ‘Tear’ for English and you will have a standard mainstream album on your hands, incorporating familiar elements such as EDM Pop lite and international Latin Dance beats (think Despacito) and the infusion of certain Trap and R&B influences which have permeated into Pop. This is of course a smart business move from production company Big Hit Entertainment, with designs on world domination, and thus, there are plenty of expected flavors to choose from on this pretty decent album. I remain a little non-plussed though, not honestly on the same wave as everyone else out there, because at the end of the day, I’m less interested in albums designed by process of box checking what sounds various audiences will respond to. Alas, I’ll probably die penniless, whereas BTS will live a rich life indeed, already showing signs that they are currently the most popular and successful boy band since EXO. What works here are the slick and polished productions on each song, and additionally, the impressive rapping displayed herein. Vocals are pretty good too, yet perhaps unavoidably, there is some definite processing that can be heard here and there, plus the occasional unintentional comical phrasing of an English word which sort of snaps this American listener out of an almost seamless fantasy – which honestly would not even occur if K Pop groups would do the revolutionary thing and sing in all Korean, on all parts of all songs for an album. Now, would that even work, in an industry that is committed to being bilingual lyrically? On the subject of pronunciation, yes, BTS do a mostly fine job, but does anyone ever really stop and ask ‘why speak English’ and run the risk of not knowing what you are talking about, or, God forbid, mispronounce something pivotal which kills the vibe. I strongly feel I would like BTS and other K Pop groups even more if they would stop pretending so much to be something they are not and just give their own language a proper chance to shine in all its history and nuanced complexity. But it doesn’t look like that will happen anytime soon, and rather, that musical content of this genre will just get more and more Americanized.

Written by @taylor
Mar 28, 2019

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

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.

Written by @taylor

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