BTS Japanese single ‘Lights’ review: K-pop meets J-pop in love letter to ARMY

BTS Japanese single ‘Lights’ review: K-pop meets J-pop in love letter to ARMY

The K-pop heartthrobs release Japanese song written for their dedicated fanbase

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BTS' new track, 'Lights' is an ode to their supportive fans, who they call the Army.
Photo: Reuters

After releasing their last Japanese album Face Yourself in April 2018, BTS has returned with a new Japanese track, Lights.

Produced by leader RM, Yo-Hei, Sunny Boy and UTA, the song is an inspiring power ballad with a strong baseline and clear piano chord progressions dedicated to the BTS fandom, the ARMY.

The lyrics talk about how BTS and ARMY will always be together, “We are connected by sound”, and how ARMY is BTS’ light, “When I close my eyes/In the darkness, your light…/Lights the way for me” and “You're my light/Always shine into my heart/…No matter how far apart we are/Your light shines on me”.

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The translated lyrics provided in the music video will be very touching to dedicated ARMY members. The song itself, as usual, is a bop and extremely well-produced and written, but with the lyrics literally written for the fans, the song will take another treasured spot in every ARMY’s playlist, as it talks about BTS’ love for them, and simultaneously, ARMY’s love for them.

A surprise comes after the vocal line, members Jin, Jimin, V and Jungkook belt out multiple high notes. Rapper J-Hope joins in, going one step further than his signature pitched rapping, singing a melodic line after the first chorus. Even Suga and RM join in with some melodic lines rather than their usual rapping.

Besides the song itself, the septet gave the fans another gift, a music video. The last music video they released for a Japanese song, Blood, Sweat and Tears (Japanese Version) was over two years ago, and ARMYs believe the music video contains easter eggs that extend their Bangtan Universe that started from the I Need U music video back in 2015.

Multiple fans have tweeted about theories they got from the video. “I noticed that Jin rarely appeared in the MV when all of them appeared in some scenes. [And] some scenes showed… Jin watching them [through] the big screen. He knows that even if he [wasn’t] around them, each of them [are going to] be the [lights] for each other,” said one Twitter user.

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Another user also said, “They went inside [the theatre] to see their real self and not the persona they keep on hiding. There they found the light that has been inside them all along. Love yourself to see and know the answer.”

Nothing has been confirmed on BTS’ side, but it’s interesting to see all the ideas the fandom is coming up with.

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The song was dropped a little under a week after the septet released the original soundtrack for their game with Netmarble, BTS World, that features collaborations with Charli XCX, Zara Larsson, and Juice WRLD, along with ballads by Korean artists Lee Hyun and OKDAL, and instrumental tracks used in the game.

Besides their musical work, BTS is also releasing a concert documentary, Bring the Soul: The Movie, hitting cinemas worldwide August 7.

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Kerry Hoo

15:14pm