I’ve been rambling a lot these past few days about the new album BTS is coming out with next month, but I haven’t actually explained anything about it. The new album is an extension to their last release WINGS, titled You Never Walk Alone. There’ll probably a few new songs, maybe one or two remixes if we’re lucky, but mostly nobody has any fucking clue what the new album’s going to entail – so far there’s been no concept photos, no teasers, no nothing. Just a general information post about the album.
Stylistically it’s a huge departure from WINGS:
The pastel colours and rustic imagery is more Hwa Yang Yeon Hwa than WINGS, almost reminiscent even of HYYH‘s prologue with the sea motifs. While WINGS focused more on the darker themes of temptation and introspection, influenced heavily by Hermann Hesse’s Demian, You Never Walk Alone has been speculated to (maybe) touch upon the themes of loss and support. Much of the speculation comes from the news that BTS and their company BigHit Entertainment had donated a total of ￦100 million to the families of the victims of the 2014 Sewol ferry accident.
(If you are unfamiliar with the Sewol ferry accident, The Korean from Ask A Korean wrote an excellently detailed series of posts explaining everything you’d need to know about the tragedy . A warning for the weak-hearted: it’s very upsetting.)
Knowing how the South Korean government under Park Geun-hye deals with the aftermath of the Sewol ferry accident (read: callously unsympathetic and tries to sweep the whole issue under the carpet), it makes one respect BTS even more considering how some celebrities have been blacklisted for showing support for the victims’ families. This was also the source of the aforementioned speculation – some have wondered if the album might not be an unofficial tribute of some sort, or a message of support for the victims’ families. The sea motifs certainly do nothing do offset that idea.
Having said that, there are still no concept photos or teasers for You Never Walk Alone. There’s a leaked concept photo making the rounds, apparently, but I’m not going to disgrace this blog with that. Literally no one has any ideas about what’ll be on this album, but fan response has been so overwhelming music sites crashed the moment they opened for pre-orders. Multiple music sites, both Korean and international. It’s nothing short of amazing, honestly.
I ordered both versions of the album.
My bank account is definitely weeping, so that’s a bad decision on my part. Do I need both versions of the same album? Probably not, but the temptation (ha!) of two different sets of photobooks and posters is too much for me to refuse. I’m hoping I can get the first press albums because the posters are first-press limited editions, but with how crazy the fan response has been… Hopefully BigHit’s learned their lesson and are putting out bigger numbers for the first press.
The album itself will be released online on the 13th of February, with the offline release the next day. I’ll be reviewing the album once it’s released online and then the actual albums once I’ve received them, and also any tracks/MVs they release before that. It seems a lot of my favourite groups are making a comeback next month and I’m really looking forward to it. There’ll be lots of stuff for me to talk about and review, so it’s definitely a good thing for the blog!
Another good decision to come out from this whole thing is I’ve finally decided to buck up and start taking commissions for proofreading and translating theses. I’ve been meaning to do it since last semester but I never got round to making the advertisement posters for it, so before the next semester starts, I’ll get the ads printed out and I’ll put them up across campus. I’m going to be using a lot of money to pay for new textbooks and the albums and shipping costs for merch and all sorts of stuff, so I really need to get those commissions. Here’s hoping I’ll actually get customers.
Til next time.