BTS – Love Yourself: Tear – Track by Track Review

Eight months after the release of their record breaking mini album ‘Love Yourself: Her’, BTS are back with their third full length album ‘Love Yourself: Tear’.

The album is the second in their Love Yourself series and as explained by the band themselves, tackles the darker side to love, such as sadness and guilt.

The record opens with ‘Intro: Singularity’, sung by member V (Kim Taehyung), expressing how one can lose themselves in amongst the realms of being in love and not knowing who you are anymore. The smooth, raspy vocals mixed with an old school R’n’B and soul influence sets the tone for the album’s deeper message in comparison to the last release from the boys. Taehyung shines on this song and provides a closer look into his capabilities within the group.

Title track ‘Fake Love’ is arguably their strongest single to date. The grungy, hip hop and trap mix, while sounding odd on the surface, works immensely well together. The ratio of vocal to rap gives each member the time to showcase their potential – no member outshines the others. The angsty tone provides the heartache showcased through the lyrics, especially evident in the rap lines verses. The vocals contrast the anger and angst of the rappers, sounding delicate and broken.  Fake Love presents everything that the album stands for, wrapped up in one song.

Prior to the release of the album, BTS announced a second Steve Aoki collaboration, with fans expecting another EDM influenced feature, and boy were we wrong. The Truth Untold is a delicate ballad from the vocal line (Jin, Jungkook, V and Jimin) of a broken love and filled with insecurity, sorrow and despair.  The vulnerability of the members vocals adds to the heart-breaking tone set within the lyrics, accompanied by the piano melody carrying the song to be the power ballad of the album.

134340 has stapled itself as one of their most mature tracks production wise. Stemming from the name that ex planet Pluto is now referred to, the lyrics follow that theme, discussing casting yourself away from the ones you love and losing them by doing so. The repeated ‘I missed you, I lost you’ in the chorus emphasising the message of the song. Overall, the smooth vocals paired with the almost mumble rap of Suga, RM and J-Hope provide a solid, boppy track.

Paradise takes fans back to the R’n’B sound that used to be the forefront of BTS’ albums.  Paradise took inspiration from Suga’s (Min Yoongi) message on New Year’s telling fans ‘you don’t need to have a dream’. The heartfelt song teaches fans that it’s okay to not know exactly what you want to do or where you are heading in life. The final 30 seconds are some of the best moments from the record. The repeated chant of ‘Stop running for nothing my friend’ touches a soft spot and will provide for a sweet moment during their world tour.

Love Maze is a stand out song from the album.  Everything falls perfectly together; the song doesn’t need overpowering vocals or raps, the power is shown through the higher ranges reached effortlessly by vocalists, especially Jungkook and Jin. The raps remain powerful while not being in your face. Love Maze is an easy listen but keeps you coming back.

Magic Shop shows Jungkook’s first major production on an album track. Penning the song for their ‘ARMY’, it showcases the style that Jungkook has become accustomed to, the EDM influence isn’t overpowering. Some of the best vocal moments are present on this track, Jimin and Jin’s impressive belter high notes fit nicely alongside Jungkook and V carrying the chorus. The rapline provide some of their best verses on this song, especially Suga. Magic Shop is a touching track for the fans and is a fast fan favourite as a result of this.

Airplane pt 2 is one of the most challenging productions that BTS have ever tackled. The Latin- bachata influenced track has a sultry and seductive groove to it, easily being one of the sexiest moments on the album. J-Hope throws back to his mixtape track ‘Airplane’ by repeating a verse from the song. The lyrics speak about their feelings after completing their world tour last year and preparation for their 2018-2019 tour. Paired with the correct choreography, this could be one of their best performances on their comeback stages.

Anpanman is a fun filled anthem. The trap influenced track would not go unnoticed on a Fetty Wap record in the best way possible. The song creates an atmosphere of joy and enthusiasm. Anpanman’s repetitive chorus doesn’t get boring but rather hypes you up and sticks itself in your head. The Love Yourself Tour will not be complete without the chorus of this song being chanting by 20,000+ fans and BTS themselves.

So What is the ultimate summer dance track. Using their platform to tell their fans to let yourself be free and not held back by anything, BTS have provided another feel-good anthem that stems away from the angst at the first half of the album and shows a step up from the sorrow and setting foot on the path of freeing yourself from the sadness and enjoying yourself as a young person.

Outro: Tear closes the album with a heavy hip-hop song from the rapline. J-Hope, RM and Suga while not releasing a Cypher for Tear, instead provide a 5 minute long outro. Each rapper showcases why they are a force to be reckoned with; RM showing some of his fastest flow in a BTS song ever on Outro: Tear.  J-Hope is distinct in his style and keeps proving his place in the rap industry year after year, with this track providing the proof if this and Suga reinforces why he is considered one of the best idol rappers.

Lyrically and production wise, Love Yourself: Tear shows some of BTS’ best work ever and may have stapled itself as the best BTS album released. The line distribution gave every member the chance to show off their potential and why they are at the level that they are. Love Yourself: Tear is the perfect album for BTS to have their first major global release and we cannot wait to see what

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Written by Ellie Nicholas

A 23-year-old UK-based graduate.
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