Because BigHit doesn’t seem to think there is a problem with it, BTS are back with another full album (titled Wings) and the lead track to be promoted is called Blood Sweat and Tears. A supposedly romantic track about what sounds like a broke ass love…I don’t know. I am just kind of here to write the review. Let’s get to it.
I feel like…There is a lot to be said…and most of it is not about the song. So let’s get into it!
I am not a fan of BTS as a group but I will give them everything they deserve. I think they are one of the more forward moving groups, and their entire brand seems to be built on them being ahead of the curve. BTS’ artistry is built on continuous narratives, storytelling, and great visuals. This era alone started with a series of short films. My opinions on the actual finished products aside, I found this to be one of the most engaging moments of an era by far…and the actual music had not even been released! BTS has always been a group that moves just ahead of their contemporaries, and even many of their seniors. That is not to say that they are the first, or only (B.A.P. had taken the lead on this the year prior to the group’s actual conception). But I think they have been by far the most successful by actually sticking with it and producing content that works with it.
If I am to criticize something, the video adds one section that makes it…well…borderline pretentious. The addition of the organ playing and narration felt like a smart move in theory, but ultimately disrupts the flow of the song in the worst way. Had they included an a capella version of one of the vocal layers in the background to help reintroduce the song…it would have been perfect. What’s worse is that I don’t think the video could exist without this section. Instead I think it was very necessary, just not done well enough. But the imagery is still well done and absolutely engaging. I love it.
These last couple of years have been very formative for the group, and it is all coming to a head for them. That being said, musically they are just floating by. Where they exceed visually they kind of just can’t get it together on the music front. At least for me.I can move through their music, find something likable, but never return to it. I think their talent is wasted with their current set up (no matter how much shine is put on them, I do think the vocal line has the weakest grip on any of their promo tracks). Their are a rap group with a vocal line that seems to simmer but never shine (even on tracks that they are given emphasis on). I find that really hard to get into.
On Blood Sweat And Tears I feel like the vocal line should have been the more emphasized part of the group. They were more interesting to me, sans the more and more part J Hope was doing as a hook. Their somber falsettos really paired well with sexy dimness of the song. In fact what actually makes this song worth it is the music. The Island vibe that has been going around in music has been fun and a small reminder of several genres that never get the love they deserve. Blood Sweat and Tears feels like a more pop attempt at the genre, and while catchy tries to make something more palpable to a completely unaware audience. And it kind of works. I’m not whining in my seat, but my shoulders are shimmying.
Blood Sweat and Tears is nice song. Easy listening, sweet on the ears, while having a lulling feel that forces the group to take it easy. Unfortunately it is not the song or even the group that make this so interesting. Instead it is a gorgeous video (with only a slight hiccup), and easy production that manages to stay on trend. BTS are definitely a group in it for the long run, and it would be a shame not to acknowledge the efforts put into getting them there.