BTS have completed the release of their concept teasers, unveiling a final set of images for Versions L and F of their upcoming album, ‘Love Yourself: 結 Answer‘. With just the tracklist and MV teasers to go, ARMY all over the globe are eagerly counting down the last remaining days to the group’s second comeback in 2018.
However, as far as we know, BTS will not be following a traditional K-Pop promotion schedule this release; they have not confirmed any music or award show appearances other than their scheduled live comeback stage during their ‘Love Yourself Tour‘ concert dates in Seoul on 25 and 26 August at Jamsil Olympic Stadium.
Both fans and have K-media have speculated over this decision since their album release date was first revealed; it’s entirely possible that besides the infamous difficulty that other companies and artists already have in trying to sneak into their packed schedule (insert quote from James Corden complaining that he’d been trying to book them for a solid year, before successfully snagging them for a short mission on the Late Late Show), the group have deliberately chosen not to promote this album, in order to let it speak for itself. We’ll only truly find out this weekend, just what BTS and Big Hit Entertainment have in store for us.
In case you missed it, here’s a link to our previous article for Versions S and E! For now though, let’s break down Versions L and F a little and see what we discover.
Version L is stunning in its simplicity. Switching sides from member to member, the coloured half is said to represent the stage personality, and the monotone half, their more private face. Jin, for example, versus Kim Seokjin, or RM versus Kim Namjoon.
Interestingly however, as BTS share a considerable amount of their private lives with their fans through social media, the monotone side is almost as familiar as the coloured. RM‘s unstyled hair and simple hoop earring could easily be a black and white outtake from his much loved ‘Kim Daily’ tweets (a.k.a. where he shares his favourite outfits from days during his private schedules, wandering around art galleries or cycling near the banks of the Han River).
Those who watched BTS‘ YouTube Red original series, ‘Burn the Stage‘ earlier this year, will recall the surprising depth of the behind the scenes content revealed to both fans of the group, and the general public through this medium. This concept almost feels like a reinforcement of the rawness of this series, to gently remind fans that behind the perfectly on trend eye-makeup and head-to-toe Gucci, are seven twenty-something year old artists, struggling with self-doubt, pressure of astronomical proportions, mistrust, and at times, even anger with each other.
Coming from the most humble of beginnings, BTS now have significant influence over millions of people, whether they designed or wished it to be that way or not. Sharing their own journeys of growth, struggle, acceptance, maturity, and now joy, through the slow realisation of self-love, is one that is incredibly important for today’s youth. If Jin‘s introductory MV is anything to go by, ‘Love Yourself: 結 Answer‘, may just live up to its name.
Despite the blinding cyan blue of Version F’s concept, a distinct melodrama belies the bright jungle gym exterior, in keeping with the darker images released earlier this week.
Rather than portraying an easy, childlike playfulness that would make perfect sense with this style of set, both the group and individual shots are instead thoughtful and solemn against the happy background (admittedly with the one exception of RM, who is clearly dangling with nothing other than glee from a set of monkey bars).
Many fans have linked Version F to Jungkook’s performance in the previously released standalone MV, ‘Euphoria‘. Although the raw energy of their youth is as present as ever, a sadness still perpetuates in the images, which makes this writer think that they’re not quite connected. Jimin‘s individual shot especially, exudes that same sense of entrapment we could feel in Version S and E; will this comeback continue the drama with a soulful, serious han (한) ballad, or will BTS floor us all with a glittering glam rock extravaganza on August 24?
And as always, here’s everything else you may have missed since our last BTS article
In the whirlwind of BTS-related news that emerges almost hourly now, here are a few other achievements that the group added to their ever-growing list in the last few days!
BANGTANTV, their official YouTube channel, celebrated 10 million subscribers!
‘Fake Love‘ was certified gold by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), joining ‘MIC Drop‘ and ‘DNA‘ as the third single by the group to reach this milestone! It’s also the first achievement of its kind for Korean artist.
And last, but not least, after booking their first ever stadium venue in the US, tickets to BTS‘ tour date at Citi Field in New York sold out in less than an hour, as 40,000 seats were snapped up by fans (you can check out Citi Field‘s official Twitter if you want to fully understand the chaos).
Keep following Officially Kmusic, as we help you keep up with BTS! On a personal note, I’ll be attending their concert dates in Seoul later this week (as well as a few other concerts and festivals), then swanning around South Korea for the next three weeks on vacation; if you see me anywhere, come over and say hello!
Writer/Editor: Carmel-Lee Skinner