I am now so excited to do a music video review of BTS. And they did not fail us, by showing off their talent in their comeback song Boy With Luv, the lead song for their album Map of the Soul: Persona.
It has been almost eight months since they released their last lead song Idol, and we might have thought if they will bring something new this year.
Since I haven’t done any review on the now-famous boy group, and now is the chance, I reviewed it immediately. You may watch this first here before proceeding to the review proper:
- Video must have a storyline – 5 points (Updated)
The storyline tells of a girl, upon seeing the clock, closes the ticket booth in a movie shop. Outside were the boys waiting for the movie theater to be opened, but then danced. The boys, as they change places, are being guided by their desire for love. And sometimes they have to portray it by entertaining not only her but also the audience.
- Theme must be consistent and clear – 5 points
I see that BTS applied consistently the oldies theme throughout the whole video. This helps a lot in bringing readers to the other side of time.
- The music video as a whole must be colorful – 5 points
Initially, if we hear or see something retro, what comes to our mind is that they are all painted in black and white. However, the group also decided to feature it with color. This enlivens the mood of viewers.
- Must be done in good taste – 5 points
- Does not celebrate Halloween, Easter, or similar celebrations – 5 points
- Does not feature astrology – 5 points
- Less horror is featured in the video – 5 points
- Not too revealing outfits – 5 points
- Ability of the music to excite the listener – 5 points (Updated)
I have to rate it that way, as it seems that it is not exciting enough for me. It lacked energy, but they did not make it too sad.
(Update: I have to say that after several listens, I find this sooo exciting.)
- Music should not be deafening on the ears – 5 points
I did not find it too deafening, as they simplified their tune. Also, they did not raise their voices.
- Dance can be learned easily even by beginners – 4 points
The only point for improvement was on shuffling of their feet at 1:15 – 1:17. Would beginners easily learn this style?
Other than that, their moves in the chorus were very simple enough.
- Dance must not be too sensual – 5 points
- Moral lesson must be clearly stated – 5 points
Based on the closed captions, they imparted a bit of lesson about love, and that is to know more about the one we love (romantically). This is essential in loving him/her, for how do we love if we don’t know almost everything about him/her?
- They must impart something beneficial for their viewers – 5 points
Primarily, BTS made the viewers aware on what happened in the past – on what are the places, how they dress, and how they act. These things we take for granted, and these are faded by time. However, they enliven it to spark interest on something antique:
I can confidently tell that if the Persona Building will stand by now, the graphics and the exteriors will look faded and unfit for use. But by portraying it in full color, somehow this will enliven curiosity on the viewers’ part. And somehow, do something to preserve these type of long-neglected buildings.
- Inject sense of humor in the music video – 5 points
I think that was their only funny moment:
Hope I might be mistaken on this. If you see another funny moment in the MV, please let me know, and I’ll change the rating below.
- Ability of the song to make it to mainstream media – 5 points
I am pretty confident about this, as ARMYs are also active in promoting their group. Like what happened to their previous song Idol, this will also be heard on the TV and radio.
(Update: Mainstream media had picked this song. It was so popular such that even a website told that “Schoolboy Q postponed his album release” till the song loses relevance. That’s the power of the group.)
- Review by other sites – 4 points
Obsessed and Assessed felt that his/her affection to the group had faded, and further so upon this release. According to the blogger, this song did not renew his/her feelings to the group.
It reviewed the song as one with a colorful and different approach. This was their weak point, except for RM’s bridge, which was used to cater to international audiences. While smooth and consistent, it lacked some points to make it stand out.
On the video, it noted also some similarities with their previous song, DNA, as we will shortly discuss later. This was “fun to see,” and finds their choreography – which also popularizes them – as spectacular. The blogger noted that this was the only video that pleased him/her.
TheBiasList was concerned on the K-Pop’s trend towards “globalization.” Though not bad per se, somehow this robs its “unique touch”. They made the best choice on not repeating their previous singles, but we’re not sure if this will be included in their most iconic songs. The blogger ended it with a note that it was “a nice beat and a good melody”, and hopes this will be the trendsetter for other music releases to come.
- Review of the music video as a whole – 5 points
Their comeback is essentially a reflection of them, looking back on what they have done in the past. It is given that we see BTS as all-energetic group that deals with modern styles. In this case, they matured a bit by featuring themselves in retro style, something that you don’t expect from them.
Their use of the word “Persona” fits well in their lead song, as this revolves on knowing what’s inside the personality of the person we love. In this case, they are portraying how they map the soul by knowing the girl better.
The members that stood out for me are Jin, RM (my bias), and most of all, J-Hope. The energy Hoseok he shown in the song Idol (1:40 – 1:47) has been retained here, especially in 2:10 – 2:25:
- Other factors
- Portrays their other side – 5 points
This is seen at the end of the video, where they shout. In this case, we are seeing a glimpse of their other side in the video, or their behind the scenes.
- Shares concepts with MOMOLAND – 5 points
This can be seen in several instances from 3:27 – 3:59, where they perform in theater with Broadway-style signages:
Perhaps they drew inspiration from the girl group in their song Baam:
While the group featured mostly their songs here, BTS featured mostly their various albums. They might want to tell viewers to look back on their past through these milestones.
- Looks back on their previous song – 5 points
Not only that, their setting almost copied the “sky concept” of the song:
- (Update) Shares tune with other artists – 5 points
This refers to the tune of their chorus, which shares similarities with Jay Sean’s “Down”:
- (Further update): Completeness of members – 10 points
I really have to revise this MV review of BTS so as to recognize their efforts. I am assigning ten points in favor of the Bangtan boys. Even if some of them are injured in various instances, they still manage to perform for ARMYs.
In fact, Jimin supposedly got injured on their tour in Japan, but still they kept going. Seriously, the boys needed more rest.
In every thing that they do, they always make sure that they are complete, from MVs to concerts to meetups. Hope this criterion will give an added boost for them to do more.
TweetNewscaster’s Overall Rating: 94.17% (Updated)
BTS started from being one of the less-known groups, and through their efforts and the ARMY’s efforts, reached their status we know today. They are now heard on Western/American mainstream media, and they became the first boy group featured in TIME Magazine. With their rise to fame, here comes their challenge to give fresher approaches.
Their inclusion of Halsey signals a good step in reaching out to the other side. By offering themselves to the West, we hope that they can offer alternative music to other listeners in the months to come. This is a good start, but some points must be considered, particularly on maintaining the K-Pop vibe.
For ARMYs, you may inform BTS of this rating so as to inspire them further.
(Side Note: As I am writing this draft, they got 19.8 million views (4 hours since upload). Now that I am publishing this, it gets viewed 76 million times (23 hours since upload).)