BTS show the PROOF of their success on newest album

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Cover for BTS' album PROOF. Silver, geometric font spells PROOF on a solid black background, and the "o" letters are formed from the door symbols of BTS' logo.

Recommended Tracks: “Born Singer,” “Yet To Come,” “Run BTS,” and “For Youth”

Artists You May Like: Seventeen, The Rose, and Got7

 

When I think of BTS, I think of duality. In stan terms, many cite idols’ duality for their ability to appear innocent and cute one moment and completely the opposite the next. What I mean here though, is the juxtaposition between the seven members who view themselves as everyday peopleand the absolute juggernaut that is their legacy.

Their new compilation album PROOF starts with “Born Singer,” a previously unreleased song that was popularized through live performances. This track is reminiscent of the early version of BTS’ sound, one focused on hip-hop influences and the impactful lyricism of their rap line, j-hope, RM, and Suga. “Still I’m nothing different from a rural Daegu rapper,” Suga raps over a synthesized instrumental. From their inception, they’ve openly shown their struggles with finding security in their internal beings and balancing their idol image amidst the frustration of a disrupted generation. This sentiment is shared in “No More Dream,” their debut song where they criticized the passive way so many younger people were livingas if all they could amount to was what was expected of them. It’s then carried on in “N.O,” a cry for people to reject that rhetoric and find their own path, their own self.

 

 

As the journey through their discography progresses, it is hard not to be impressed by both the range of their works and of their reach. Many may see PROOF as BTS’ way of saying they deserve a spot at the music industry’s table because look: here’s the proof of our impact. There’s two responses to that. One, promotions have focused solely on sending messages of gratitude to their fans and supporters. Two, BTS do not need to prove anything to the industry; every release they have has been them setting the table for others to join in the celebration and there is more than enough to go around.

With any music there is much room for interpretation, but PROOF feels like a love letter, just not a typical romantic one. The anthology is evidence of BTS’ appreciation for ARMY, and it asks: do you see this? This is what you have done, what we have accomplished thanks to you. Love comes in many forms, and the mutual respect between the group and their fandom is a tangible representation of it. It is a force that goes beyond the music with messages that transcend any language barriers. The donations to charities, the movements in support of equality, the generation rising with kindness and positive energy, those are proof of the symbiotic exchange that has led BTS to be one of the greatest acts in history.

Yet, they are still ordinary people who face internal conflicts, sometimes they just play out on a bigger screen. Their struggle of self is again referenced in “Idol,” a quarter-stop through this collection of 48 tracks. “There are hundreds of me’s inside of me/It’s all me,” shows the growth in their self-acceptance, something they often credit their fans for giving them. A global example of this commitment is LOVE MYSELF, a campaign launched in 2017 that BTS champion in partnership with UNICEF. In the face of external rejection, their message has consistently been to reflect inwards and find an unshakable sense of self.

The group has grown alongside the exhausted generation that sought comfort from them. Pressure felt with each comeback, disappointment, regret, fear and more are not taboo topics for the group or their lyrics. “Yet To Come” is their current psyche response to those familiar shadows: our past, the one shared with our fans, was the best in those moments, and we are looking forward to the future moments we’ll share. “Run BTS” is another new track in the mix, and while lyrically less sentimental, it is no less fun. “For Youth” is the true message of the album, though. Contemplating their lives without the support they have, the seven members sing an impassioned ballad of their gratitude for not having to imagine it. The song and album end with a renewed vow to stand with and support the fans who have built them to what they are today.

With the heat of summer outside and the past seasons behind, this album feels like a waypoint in BTS’ journey. They have taken a moment to reflect on the intense encompassing catalog they have curated, stop to “cool off,” and then reorient. Now, they are ready to keep running with the love and support of ARMY as their compass.

There are additional previously unreleased tracks available only in CD form and there are more packaged mementos included in the album’s box set.

 

Ways to listen: Apple Music // Spotify // Melon // Genie // Disc 3 and Box Set available online and in-store at Amazon, Target, and Walmart

Stay up-to-date with BTS: Twitter // Insta // Website // Facebook // Weverse // BTS Blog

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