REVIEW: BTS Releases an Energetic Full-English Song ‘Dynamite’
August 25, 2020
Full disclosure: BTS has dominated the minds of many people, whether they want it to or not. With their increasing popularity, it isn’t out of the ordinary to hear a passing conversation about latest news concerning them, or even see their colorful BT21 merchandise decorating a jingling lanyard or phonecase. With the interest in South Korean music dominating the frontier of music as time goes by, people are starting to hop on to the bandwagon to dive into a whole new world of pop culture.
BTS, also known as Bangtan Sonyeodan, is a popular South Korean boy group under BigHit Entertainment that has captured the attention of many people not only in their own country, but internationally as well over the course of several years since their debut back in 2013. Destroying many records left and right, it’s not a big surprise to many of BTS’ fanbase ‘ARMY’ that their new full English song ‘Dynamite’ had broken the world record of most views on a Youtube video music premiere with a shocking 101.1 million views in only 24 hours of it’s release.
Through BTS’ recent achievement, they had surpassed fellow Korean girl group BLACKPINK’s song released in June ‘How You Like That’ that held the record with 86.3 million views within the first day. TXT AB6IX, ATEEZ, Stray Kids, and Hwasa are also among the many Korean artists that had comebacks over the summer, even through the pandemic that didn’t allow them to hold concerts, fanmeets and fansigns that their careers depend on.
The same old quarantine routine seemed to be repetitive: sitting indoors and breathing stale air with not much to do. BTS’ vibrant music video was definitely the fresh breath of air needed. With their comeback, the world had seemed to be normal even for a little moment. At an online press conference concerning ‘Dynamite’, leader of BTS Kim Nam-joon says “The release of ‘Dynamite’ wasn’t in our plans at all. As soon as we heard it, we thought it was really fun and exciting, a fun and cheery song that wasn’t that serious. It just made us feel good when we heard it,” he explained. “We really wanted to share this energy with the fans as soon as possible.”
Notably, ‘Dynamite’ is a song done in completely English, something that BTS had never done before. Popular songs from the boy group had always contained English words every now and then, but Dynamite is filled with Western influence; even up to it’s beat. KPOP had it’s own specific sound, but with the new disco-style song it seems that the line of differentiation has been completely crossed. Usually in pop music from Korea, there are raps in between verses and choruses but ‘Dynamite’ had only two melody raps combined between Kim Nam-joon and Min Yoon-gi, and Kim Nam-joon with Jung Ho-seok in a “look away and you’ll miss it” fashion. Barely being noticeable, the song continues in the song buildups you’d only hear in American music.
The verses in the song are also catchy and repetitive, slowly becoming a song that is bound to become an ear worm after listening. With the lyrics finally being understandable to a bigger audience, it’s a chance that many will be singing along after constantly streaming. As Lead Rapper Min Yoon-gi states, “I hope that everyone can cheer up listening to the lyrics.
The highly saturated colors, energetic dance, and eye-catching retro visuals are also definitely one of the factors that have caught many viewers’ attention. To fit with the concept BTS was heading for, many of the posters featured in the music video were from the 60’s. BTS included disco-inspired clothes, and even included records in the record shop in scenes in order to fit the vibe they wanted to achieve. There was many elements that added to the atmosphere of the music video that made it pleasant to watch as a break from the world. Even before the song’s release, TikTok dance trends began to spring up on the app’s For You Page with audio from the teaser trailer. With the app being known for setting so many trends that teenagers are bound to follow, support increased for the group.
With support from many viewers new and old for their positivism in 2020, the Western audience is only growing as ‘Dynamite’ gets streamed through familiar American radio stations. This allows global music to slip into the daily lives without a bat of an eye. Popular radio station SiriusXM Hits 1 had streamed the song, leaving many BTS stan Twitter users overjoyed.
ARMY is no joke when it comes to streaming their music. With the challenge to get BTS to break a record starting on Twitter between netizens, it was only less than 20 minutes within release for the video to reach 8.1 million views. Hitting the replay button and listening to pop 60’s inspired song on repeat became the common activity among fans everywhere.
Alumni Julieta Martinez states, “This was a huge comeback, the main reason being that this would be their first single to come out in full English.” She continues to say, “The whole fandom got together and we planned a goal to reach 100 million views in the first 24 hours that it came out.”
Martinez has been a fan of BTS since 2015-2016. She was thrown into the community by friends who were already fans, and was invited to dance to a song for multicultural.
“Listening to it blew my mind. I hadn’t felt happiness in so long. BTS said that this song was meant to spread happy vibes through these difficult times, and it did the job. More than enough to be honest.” She states: “All of quarantine I’ve felt like a bum. Everything was going wrong in so many different ways. Summer plans. Graduation. College. Family. And so even though I tried ignoring it, it was always in the back of my head bugging me and not letting me be truly happy. But once I heard this song, I just felt like everything went away for the first time. The fun energy that the song gave off as well as the music was just so fresh.”
On the opposite end of the spectrum, freshman Bhumee Parmar says otherwise. “I didn’t like ‘Dynamite’ that much. It just wasn’t my style, I guess. It has a really fun vibe to it, but it didn’t really get to my wavelength. It wasn’t shocking that it broke a world record; ARMY is a huge fandom. It was bound to happen.”
Junior Stacy Vazquez also speaks about her worries about the latest comeback. “At first, I was scared of them releasing such a westernized song because the industry pressured them into it. I was scared they would lose their style or just sound so mainstream… They’ve had the heart of the US for a long time…”
“The last comeback was a mess because they released so many videos and never released a trailer so ARMY was not ready to stream or didn’t know what to stream,” Vazquez recalls about BTS’ previous album. “This single was a lot more organized and everybody gave it their all. I was one of the fans streaming and I got to see the view count increase. It’s fun as a fandom to break records and work together towards a goal. The song is amazing so it definitely deserves the [record breaking] spot.”
Hoping to let this song win Song of the Year, fans hurry to hit the replay button to add up views and show their support for a win. Though only on day 4 since the release, many of BTS’ fans had planned to stream ‘Dynamite’ until it hits 200 million views before it’s 13th day mark— A challenge they have already managed to crush. In the meantime while a new goal begins to formulate, the channel Big Hit Labels had released the ‘Dynamite’ Official MV B-side that contained extra scenes from the music video that is ready to be streamed as well, standing at 28 millions views as of August 25.
So as ARMY would say: Stream Dynamite.