BTS Blossom Into Superstars With 'In The Mood For Love' Mini-Album
Flawless RappingNo Boring BalladsNo Generic Electro-PopPossible Wong Kar-wai Reference
4.4Overall Score
Reader Rating 29 Votes

I originally wrote BTS off as yet another one of the many B.A.P hip-hop knock-offs that have flooded the K-pop industry over the past few year, but I eventually saw the error of my ways late last year when the Bangtan Boys simply become too big to ignore any more.

Their last album (the 100k-selling Dark & Wild) guaranteed that BTS were headed to the top, but their latest album, In The Mood For Love┬áPt. 1 (The Age of Blossoms)***, is the one that’s going to put them there.

The blockbuster lead single “I Need U” (produced by Hitman Bang) takes all the familiar elements of recent boy band K-pop –dubstep, hip-hop drums, pre-chorus handclaps– and turns it into an explosive epic. It’s a massive record with all the makings of a real breakout hit.

I thought I was over K-pop’s OTT brostep obsession, but after this and UNIQ’s equally as amazing “Listen To Me” it’s suddenly become my new favorite thing.

All six tracks on the mini-album reach varying levels of quality; the lowest being good, the highest being great. It’s probably the best boy band release since GOT7’s Identify. (That is, until BIGBANG’s Made drops in full, of course.)

Next best track, “Hold Me Tight,” is either emo baby-making hip-pop or fist-clenching melancholia, depending on whether you understand the lonely lyrics or not.

“Converse High” (amended to “Lovers High” for broadcast performances) is a breezy love letter to sneakers and the low maintenance girls that wear them.

Countdown to BTS landing a Converse CF in 3, 2, 1…

There’s also a really fun turn up record called “BTS Diss” that sounds like something 5ive would’ve done back in the day. This will be lost on my most BTS fans though, who I’m sure are all too young to even know who the fuck 5ive is.

The retrospective album close, “Move,” sounds like a radio-friendly ’90s rap record, with BTS rhyming about how their lives have changed since debuting.

In the American version of this song, the rappers would be shouting out their dead homies and reminiscing about what life in the ghetto used to be like. In this version, BTS talk about getting their dorm upgraded because they’ve hit daebak.

Oh K-pop. Never change.

***I’m not sure if the album is named after Wong Kar-wai’s stunning film of the same name or not.

  • BadB*tch

    Absolutely love I Need U and Hold Me Tight, amazinggg

  • I’ve been waiting for the one song to cement BTS, like Infinite with The Chaser or Got7 with A, and I Need U is it! Wished their music video evoked Wong Kar Wai in look and feel, rather than bts footage for an editorial, but life goes on.

    • I agree the WKW reference seems kind of a waste since nothing else from this comeback references his work smh

      • a waste of potential. In general BTS has eh videos. How cute would it be if they did something like Chungking Express? One of them could have eaten all the canned pineapples!

    • somehow i just don’t think that this is their ‘chaser’. i feel like this is more of their ‘paradise’

      • I get that. Chaser blew me away on first listen, while I just really like I Need U. But honestly, what could compare to Chaser. Such a defining song.

  • you know i trust your musical taste and even if it takes long i try the things you rave about. you are also aware that i’ve finally come to terms about my total carelessness about k-boy bands. but i started reading this and decided to give it a try… until i read this:

    “dubstep, hip-hop drums, pre-chorus handclaps”

    meh. nah thanx.

    EDIT: lol but i decided to watch the lovers high performance because you know pretty boys on shorts and i woke up horny like a motherfucker today. pretty cute, rap monster is YUMMY! but i muted the whole shit after the first 20s of song lol

    • Smh well you are missing out on lots of good boy band music with that attitude.

      Converse High is so cute and agree about being horny from the school boy outfits! I felt like that after I need u performance

  • every time i see bangtan live my only thought is ‘this group would have been great without jhope jimin and jin’
    ugh jungkook why are you so young

    didn’t think i need u made a big impact at first but i found myself humming the chorus later so that’s something. thank u jacques for telling me about converse high. that feels like it’s going to be my jam for the next few weeks tbh

    • bangtanstan

      wow that’s fucking rude. don’t like BTS at all if you can’t appreciate all the members

  • Nicole Naeun

    So you finally cope in the charms of my oppas… Hmm…

  • SSN_SPEARS

    In other news Stellar’s Minhee is serving slutty Hani realness in this fancam: https://www.facebook.com/koreaboo/videos/10153394412461412/?comment_tracking={%22tn%22%3A%22O%22}

    • hyosungfangirl

      this is 5million views :0, the song is good,

  • I remember writing them off in 2013 as another generic boy group, then finally giving them a chance in early 2014 and had the wig blown off my head with “No More Dream” and their album. Now they are my second favorite boy group after SHINee.

  • JammySmoochie

    Truly an exceptional release. I Need U is by far my favorite Kpop boy group single this year (that is if we don’t count SHINee’s wonderful Japanese release Your Number).

  • MY 5IVE FEELS THOOOOOOOOOO
    ::weeps while singing when the lights go out::