BTS's "Break" Is The Best Thing Ever, Here's Why
Goodbye Beyond The Scene, hello BangTan Sonyeondan.
In case you haven't heard the news, BTS is going on an indefinite 'break' from group activities.
Now this won't mean that we won't be seeing them anymore; all of the members have a bunch of solo activities lined up, including J-Hope's upcoming performance at Lollapalooza and Jung-kook's collab with Charlie Puth. But what this does mean is that they will be taking a break from all group activities for the foreseeable future and focusing mainly on solo work. That means no more new BTS albums, no more group promotions, no more concert tours for a long, long time.
This news may seem sudden, but it sounds like it was a long time coming for the boys. BTS's leader RM explained that the reason why they are going on hiatus is because he felt like the group lost their sense of identity and direction in the recent years with releases like "Butter," "Permission to Dance," and "Life Goes On." He always thought that it was important to have a meaningful message behind the lyrics that they wrote, but with their recent songs, he came to the realization that they had said all that needed to be said as a group, but there was so much left unsaid as individuals.
So rather than just making music for the sake of making music, they've decided to focus on exploring their individual voices to the fullest extent, and will only reunite at the moment when they feel like BTS has found their voice again within the overarching cultural narrative.
Now this. This is profound. Not many people would see themselves at the height of their career, and rather than milking that cash cow for everything that it has, choose to step out of the spotlight to find true artistry again.
And while I am still a true ARMY down to the bone, I can't help but agree with the members' reflection on their recent music. I will readily bop along when I hear that "Smooth Like Butter" play on the radio just like any other music-lover, but as someone who has been a BTS fan since listening to their debut album back in 2013, I must say that I noticed the shift in their music.
Now don't get me wrong — artists evolve, and their music evolves along with them. And I have seen that evolution over and over again in BTS's music. Their 2020 release "Black Swan" is an evolution of their 2017 song "Spring Day," which is an evolution of 2015's "I Need U" and the 2014 unofficial release of "Born Singer." The musical style changed, but the heart behind each message stayed the same.
You can say the same thing about their 2020 song "ON," which is a direct callback to their 2014 release "N.O", and a reflection of the other anthemic songs released throughout the years ("Dope," "Fire," "Not Today," the list goes on).
But there is a slight difference between evolving your identity and losing it. I've said it here, and I'll say it again: "Butter" is an objectively good song. But it isn't really...Bangtan. And if even the members feel like the song represents a moment at which their music no longer reflected BTS as a whole, who are we to disagree?
Now is this a huge blow to Big Hit Entertainment and the K-pop industry as a whole? Potentially. But never underestimate the K-pop industry's ability to bounce back. There is plenty of BTS content out there to keep your ARMY heart satiated, and if you are only a recent fan, then I recommend you check out this article about BTS's best b-side tracks, if you want to dive into the full discography of Bangtan Sonyeondan, a.k.a. Beyond The Scene, before they became the enigma that is BTS.
I will leave you with this gif of BTS commemorating new beginnings on the day they made the big announcement.
Cheers to you BTS! Together or apart, know that the ARMY will be behind you in everything you do. <3