Two BTS videos in one week is certainly a treat, and two videos and songs that are so incredibly different from one another is even better. BTS constantly surprises me with their new music, especially when it sounds so intrinsically “BTS”. Everyone knows that BTS can do the slower, more sombre songs, but they can equally produce incredible uptempo songs, that bring “pump up” songs to a whole new plain of existence.

Not Today

Song

I am glad that BTS released “Spring Day” before “Not Today”. Both songs are very different and bring contrasting sides of the group to the fore (check out my thoughts on “Spring Day” here). “Not Today” is a fight song. There’s no other way to describe it. The lyrics speak about knowing that failure is a possibility but it’s not going to happen today. Today is the day we stand together and fight. I particularly like the imagery in the bridge, that even if you can’t run, walk, if you can’t walk, crawl, but whatever you do, you have to fight. It’s got a similar overtone to the final  message of “Spring Day” in that while you can often get knocked down, just get back up and keep going. Today is not the day to give up. The lyrics go on to speak about how Bangtan (as a group) have been successful and the reason behind their success is that they believed in each other from the beginning and nothing could shake that belief, that they were going to make it. The verse that follows can either be seen as Bangtan speaking to each other or to ARMY (their fandom), in that as long as they have each other, they can fight. It’s a really sweet image either way, and works whether you believe it’s directed at the fandom or the members themselves.

The chorus has one of the best hooks I’ve heard from a song in a long time. The way Jungkook sarcastically sings the “Chung! Jojun! Balsa!” (Gun! Aim! Fire!) will easily get stuck in your head for days,  and it completes the overall tone of the song, a fighting spirit that won’t back down.

The rapline, Suga (Yoongi) Rap Monster (Namjoon) and J-Hope (Hoseok), feature very prominently in this, and the song benefits from it tremendously. Whenever the rapline take the front, you know that things are getting serious and that the song is going to be incredible. They are supremely talented and they bring a level of hard hitting lyrics and beat to everything they do, and this song is no exception. Suga especially does a great job of setting the stage for how the song is going to flow, from the very beginning. When Rap Monster comes in to support him, it not only reinforces this “fight song” idea, but kicks it up a notch. This song is consistently getting more and more intense until the very end, just the way every decent fight song should. Whilst J-Hope’s part isn’t very long, it ties well into the overall song.

Again, I am disappointed that Jin did not get more lines. He seems to have been relegated to one or two lines in the final chorus for his own lines. Of course, he does harmonise with the rest of the vocal line but I would like to see him get some solo lines, as his voice is beautiful.

Video

This MV has a movie like feel to it. From the beginning scene with the camera swooping into the empty building, we are already getting an idea of what to expect. When we see Rap Monster standing on his own, walking and giving the opening spoken word part of the song, it really helps to set the scene.

The visuals are incredible in this video, in a different way to the “Spring Day” MV. Wheres “Spring Day” has an almost dream like quality to it, this video is the complete opposite. It has a hyper-realistic, almost thriller movie-like feel to it. From the epic chase scene, where the members are running with  dozens of people in black outfits, to the scene where we see them hit the ground, it’s  got a great aesthetic to it. I particularly like the shot of Jungkook dancing on his own on the roof of a building as we see a beautiful pink dusky sky behind him, and then as quickly as he appears on his own, he is joined by the others. It’s such a quick change of scenario, and yet it looked wonderful.

This video does focus more on the dance routine.  I would guess that the video is probably about 80 percent dancing and the rest is taken up with really breathtaking scenario or camera work. But what a dance it is! The choreography is incredible in this, and it really highlights just how talented BTS are as a group. There are some dance moves in there that I am sure I’ve never seen before, and yet, BTS manages to make it look effortless and like it’s always been a thing.

Summary

“Not Today” is going to be another smash hit from these boys. It’s got the right amount of sass and sincerity that will resonate with those who listen. The song is one that manages to sound like it’s always been a BTS song and honestly, there is no higher praise that I can give. A fantastic addition to their already incredible back catalogue.

My recommendations for other BTS songs, If you like this one, are “Fire”, “Dope”, and “ We are Bulletproof Part 2”.

Personal Recommendations

Lisa: Look Here

Nah Dee: Baepsae

K: Trouble