‘IDOL‘. A clever acronym for something deeper in connection to the ‘Love Yourself‘ series, or a track which highlights and examines what have now become K-Pop industry norms? And if the latter, will it be praise, criticism, or the ushering in of a new era of love and acceptance? BTS‘ initial concept images for this comeback seem to lean towards a more critical commentary, but it’s purely a waiting game at this point.
The bold capitalisation, and the (presumed) use of English in the track title, ‘IDOL‘, reminds us of the opening lines of diss track ‘BTS Cypher Pt. 4‘: “이름, 이름 sorry bae / 발음, 발음 sorry bae / 딕션, 딕션, 딕션 sorry bae / Oh, face not an idol, sorry bae”.
Roughly, this paragraph translates to a tongue-in-cheek apology for perceived public-facing imperfections in a K-Pop idol’s name, pronunciation, diction and image, expressing an in-track disdain towards the faultless perfection demanded at both local fandom (sorry ARMY, we’re broadly generalising here) and industry levels. Refer also to RM‘s acidic onomatopoeiac verse in 2018 BTS Festa Soundcloud release, ‘Ddaeng‘, which has a similar, if more confident and mature, flavour.
Regardless of whether or not ‘IDOL‘ turns out to be the title track, it’s entirely sparked our interest. Fans have also flagged ‘I’m Fine‘ as the potential title based on images from the ‘Love Yourself‘ highlight reels, tour props and VCRs, and past MV releases (e.g. ‘Save Me‘ / ‘I’m Fine‘).
Getting back on track now, it seems that ARMYs were absolutely right to assume that this repackaged release would contain alternative mixes and versions of existing songs, similar in style to the structure of ‘Young Forever‘. Will this new generation of mixes hold up to well-loved masterpieces, such as ‘Like (Slow Jam Remix)‘ (from Skool Luv Affair – Special Addition), ‘I Need U (Urban Mix)‘, or ‘House of Cards (Full Length Edition)‘? What do you think?
- ‘Trivia 起: Just Dance‘
- ‘Trivia 承: Love‘
- ‘Trivia 轉: Seesaw‘
- ‘I’m Fine‘
- ‘Answer: Love Myself‘
Physical releases for existing tracks
- ‘Serendipity (Full Length Edition)‘
- ‘Love (Rocking Vibe Mix)‘
Unreleased alternate versions of existing tracks
- ‘DNA (Pedal 2 LA Mix)‘
- ‘MIC Drop (Steve Aoki Remix) (Full Length Edition)‘
Note: Tracks ‘Her‘ and ‘Tear‘ are assumed to be the same versions of the outro tracks from the preceding albums in the series, so we haven’t included them in the lists above. ‘Singularity‘, ‘Epiphany‘ and ‘Euphoria‘ also lost their comeback trailer tag; if you ask us, the tracks are set to take on a new significance as part of the completed ‘Love Yourself‘ concept.
The Chinese characters placed against the ‘Trivia‘ track titles correspond with the Korean narrative structure that has been used by the group throughout this series; fans have also speculated that these three tracks will be driven by the rapline (RM, Suga and J-Hope), which makes sense, given that the lyricism and insight of their usual lyrical stylings are purpose built for storytelling.
The topsy-turvy order of their releases ties in well with the time-travel concept the group have played with since their ‘HYYH‘ era (a.k.a. 花樣年華/Hwayangyeonhwa/’The Most Beautiful Moment In Life‘), or even as far back as their ‘Boy In Luv‘ if Jin‘s latest ‘HYYH’ teaser note was anything to go by.
‘Love Yourself: 結 Answer’ comes out on Friday 24 August, from 6pm KST.
Full Tracklist for ‘Love Yourself: 結 Answer’
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Writer/Editor: Carmel-Lee Skinner