BTS, along with VIXX and Block B, is currently one of the fastest rising groups in K-pop and based on their first studio album Dark & Wild, it is easy to see why. While the 14-track effort retains the group’s signature hip-hop style, the boys have progressed from the school theme that underlined their earlier albums and each song on Dark & Wild was written and composed to illustrate how much they have grown musically since their debut EP 2 Cool 4 Skool.
One thing that truly sets BTS apart from the rest of the pack is the raw teen emotions behind their music. The Korean hip-hop genre, just like in the US, often features frank admission of feelings and thoughts that are sometimes concealed or packaged diplomatically in the pop sphere, and BTS has achieved a fine balance between the two. Each of their albums discusses certain topics that youngsters are concerned with and Dark & Wild is no exception as the members fill our minds with the inspirations behind their music on ‘Hip-Hop Lover’ and their reflection of their journey to fame on the cheeky ‘2nd Grade’. The contrast between Rap Monster’s hard-hitting rap and the subtle R&B vocal delivery on ‘Hip-Hop Lover’ makes the song memorable.
And BTS being boys are naturally keen to share their thoughts on romance. Title track ‘Danger’ depicts the fickle side of a young relationship (a similar subject explored in the smooth ‘Does That Make Sense’) with hints of rock and electro guitar riffs while the insanely danceable ‘Hormone War’ speaks about their attraction to the opposite sex. The group went experimental with slower numbers ‘Let Me Know’ and the jazzy ‘Rain’. ‘Let Me Know’ features a soulful performance from the members, but their voices are perhaps highlighted more prominently in ‘Can You Turn Off Your Cellphone’ and ‘Blanket Kick’. Now, who says a group that raps cannot sing?
Recommended tracks: ‘Danger’, ‘Let Me Know’, ‘Hormone War’ and ‘Can You Turn Off Your Cellphone