K-pop sensation BTS released their highly anticipated new studio album on 20 November, following the historic success of their all-English single Dynamite. The trailblazing septet cemented their prominence in the world’s biggest market in August, becoming the first South Korean act to top the US singles chart, with Dynamite entering the Billboard Hot 100 at number one.
They are credited with generating billions for the South Korean economy, and last month their label Big Hit Entertainment made a high-profile stock market debut.
Their latest effort, titled BE, was released worldwide simultaneously at 2pm South Korean time. The new, eight-track record is the group’s fifth Korean-language studio album, and “contains the most ‘BTS-esque’ music yet,” Big Hit said in a statement ahead of the release.
— Pandora (@pandoramusic) November 20, 2020
“BTS have been on an explosive trajectory this year – an amazing feat considering how much they’ve been continuously attracting new fans for years now,” said Jenna Gibson, a researcher at the University of Chicago. “Before this year, some sceptics may have still had doubts that BTS were just a fad, that the growth would drop off. This year has clearly, firmly, put those doubts to rest. It’s hard to overestimate the anticipation for this album.”
The English single Dynamite is among the tracks on the album, and the first number, Life Goes On, aims to deliver a “message of healing” in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Big Hit said.
“Our goal with the music on BE is that it can be a comfort to a lot of people,” said BTS member Jimin in a press conference. “If many people can relate to it, I will be really thankful.”
— BTS_official (@bts_bighit) November 24, 2020
Since their debut in 2013, BTS have ascended to global superstardom, holding a string of sold-out shows in Los Angeles, Paris and London last year. Their lyrics are often socially conscious, with themes including societal competition and the ills of consumerism, and they consistently engage with fans at home and abroad through social media, having accumulated 30.7 million followers on Twitter.
“What this album needs to do is to persuade the sceptics who have more recently heard about BTS that their work is powerful, original, and deep,” said CedarBough Saeji, a visiting professor at Indiana University Bloomington. “If this album can demonstrate that loyal fans exist in large part because of phenomenal artistic offerings, the critics who attribute BTS’s success only to loyal fans will be forced to reassess.”
According to K-pop music website Soompi, the album sold over 2 million copies within the first 20 hours of its release. and BE (Deluxe Edition) and Life Goes On have hit number one on iTunes in at least 90 different regions each less than a day after their release.
Source: AFP Relax News