In a double rare treat, BTS latest comeback seem to pack to title track with “On” and “Black Swan” which was release (the audio) much earlier. Well I say it’s two title tracks because usually only title tracks get the musical video treatment. Maybe this is a signal that this might be the last time BTS will be together as a group to release music with enlistment right around the corner. Well they have left their mark if anything and while I kind of dislike the mentality of the ARMY, there’s no denying that BTS has had some great achievements in their almost seven years career.
Clearly a shift in tone compare to their last comeback of the more bubblegum pop variety of “Boy With Luv”, this time BTS seemingly is trying to swing it towards hip hop. Even though it is clearly autotuned and synthetic hip hop, I must say it isn’t half bad. For the majority of the song, there seem to be two types of beat. One of them with the “Hey HO” and the “Du du du du du” in the background that signify the coming of the chorus, and the other with more of a bass line beat that symbolize the parts that is out of the chorus which is usually raps so that beat is more of a classic beatbox sound, albeit created synthetically. The whole song basically is an overlapping of these two beats, and I must say that they are similar in that the beatbox beat builds very nicely into the “HEY HO” parts, steadily increasing the energy until the chorus hits with the “bring the pain”. I also want to say that props to BTS for actually having a chorus line and not repeating “bring the pain” because when you listened to girl group comebacks and see the chorus compose of two words over and over and over it is very nice seeing that trend break. In fact it is soooo satisfying that it probably played a huge part in me thinking “ON” is pretty nice. The only part that I don’t like is the dance break and the sudden beat change to a more hard synth one+ trumpets, I think it’s very unnecessary put and the transition to the dance break seems a bit off. The beat doesn’t fit, and there’s no sense of “breaking the establish trend” in the song in the last minute just to show off some dance moves. Sure they might have lacked a closer to the song in just layering those two beats on after the other, but they could have just suddenly ended it (like cut the song off after “bring the pain bring the…..”) and it would have ended the song on a way better note than having an entire new set to rhythm to show some dance moves and then returning back to the “hey HO”
Edit: SHIZ I JUST REALIZE THAT’S EXACTLY HOW IT ENDED. GOSH I WROTE THIS WHILE LISTENING TO THE SONG. CAN SOMEONE CALL ME A MUSIC MAESTRO. But seriously if you remove the “Dance Break”, this song would have been pretty good
I don’t like this as much as “On”. For what it is worth, I apprieciate the orchestra setting and the lighting throughout the video, it really works with the tune which is more of a soft bass line along with “plucky string” noises. It’s actually a super nice setting and not over the top with costumes. BTS kept it simple here and seemingly use all their energy that would have been expanded elsewhere to singing and dancing. Except maybe they spent too much energy because I really don’t like the auto-tune the vocal synth which takes place in the majority of the lines of the song. It’s a bit excessive, especially with Jungkook opening lines although I get that it wants to establish some sort of ethereal sense and so it stuff his voice through a hard filter making me barely able to discern the words and I’m an English native speaker. To be honest, I would have prefer something else, we already have a good rap+lyrics sprinkle in song in “On”. “Black Swan” seems to follow the same structure and style except it’s much softer tone when comparing the two but it is still synth-hip hop. I know this was a suprise music video drop, but I would have much prefer a different sounding/structure song. For example a good “two music video” release example would be TWICE last year in their Japanese releases. They release “Breakthrough”, a song with more synth and “mature vibes”, and also “Happy Happy”, a song with upbeat cutesy theme. I actually like that because the two songs were very different in its tune and tone that it JUSTIFIES the release of two music video. Like music video treatment is suppose to be more of the visual aspect (if I wanted just the song, I would opt out for the audio on spotify) and “Black Swan” and “On” is visually similar enough (simple black and white suits with both songs) that it really doesn’t justify the fact that there needs to be two music videos for two songs on the same track. Not only that they sound the same! Not focusing on the indulgence aspect, I do appreciate “Black Swan” somewhat, it’s superior to most Girl Groups releases and it’s a tune soft enough that I can probably study to it. It’s just I don’t understand the need for two music videos and also the song might have been hyped a bit too much, that certainly throttle my expectations to a high. To be honest “On” would have been the better song to hype.