|Lyrics & Music||8||Performance/Choreography||9|
|Lisa’s Opinion||8||Lisa’s Opinion||9|
BTS are back after the longest interval between their releases to date. In the intervening 8 months, BTS have been on a world tour, won a Billboard award, and have worked on this new mini- album. If you want more information on what the talented guys from BTS have been up to, or just want to know more about them, check out the “All About: BTS” page.
The first thing that it is evident upon hearing “DNA” is that it’s nothing like what BTS have released in the past. This can be a cause for worry, because it’s hard to know if the new direction will be a positive one. In this case though, the electropop additions to their sound are a welcome one. Sometimes, groups take too much of a genre and run with it, often distorting their original sound, but in this case, the conventions of electropop and EDM are used sparingly and there is never a danger of them overtaking the song as a whole.
“DNA” walks the fine line between being too vocal orientated and too rap orientated that BTS is renowned for. The verses remain very rapline focused, with the rappers continuing to bring the hip hop ambiance to the fore. The vocal line does an excellent job in providing the link between. Nothing feels like there is “too much” of it. There is, however, a further imbalance with the line distribution. This time, whilst Jin gets lines, they are taken from Jimin, and Jungkook is made the primary vocalist. This is a common theme with most BTS releases, and one that many fans would like to see corrected.
The lyrics themselves can came across as being cheesy, with the members describing how an unspoken, biological impulse drew them and their lover together. Their “DNA” marks the members and their prospective lover as a single unit that will be together forever, regardless of the constraints of time and space. However, it’s the earnest delivery that helps sell this sentiment a little more, and the listener can be forgiven for wanting to believe BTS, and their declarations of love.
The one thing that is missing from this song (that has been a staple of past BTS releases) is a killer chorus. The chorus that hooks the casual listener in, the chorus that everyone, regardless of their ability to speak Korean, can sing along to. This song doesn’t have that. “DNA” has an excellent pre-chorus, with fabulous work from the vocal line, but just as the song sets up the chorus, it doesn’t quite deliver the powerhouse expected. There is a key change and more electronica kicks in, but it’s not the same.
The video leans into the space aesthetic pretty hard. There are brightly coloured galaxies and planets at multiple times in the video, as well as pretty skies and vibrant scenery. It works to help place the viewer in a magical world, a place where anything is possible, and even gravity doesn’t work how we know it to. This isn’t a soft place, like seen in other videos with a similar concept (WJSN’s “Secret” being a good example). The palette in “DNA” is bold. Everything from the backgrounds, and lighting, to the member’s styling are all vibrant colours.
The choreography is stunning, as fans have come to expect from BTS. It is intricate and fast paced. It has all the hallmarks of what makes a BTS choreography intrinsically theirs. Each member has a little piece of it for themselves, although some of the focus remains on some members for a little bit too long. Again, as with the line distribution, BTS need to work on their screen distribution some more.
The video overall tends to have a much less serious feeling to it, especially after the emotionalism of “Spring Day” and “Not Today”, and the intensity of “Blood, Sweat and Tears”. This video is not as “serious”. There is an air of frivolity that comes across in this video that is not as present in their previous recent releases.
I didn’t love “DNA” upon release as much as I have previous tracks. The different sound didn’t grab me as much as I wanted it to. However, upon listening a little more, I was able to discover parts of the song that made me fall in love with it as a whole. The lyrics especially, as they are sweet and romantic, and I wasn’t quite expecting that from such an electronica based song. I loved the concept of the video. It was bright and cheerful, and showcased the members differently to how we have seen them in the past, in that there is a sense of earnest about this video. It’s a little innocent in a way, and works nicely with the overall concept of the song.
It’s hard to recommend a few of BTS’ songs, as I love so many of them, but I will recommend “Forever Young”, “Save Me”, and “Not Today”