BTS, or Bangtan Sonyeondan to give them their full title, are a seven-member group that debuted in 2013, and have consistently released excellent music since then. Whether you like slow, mournful ballads or are in the market for some pump-up jams, this the group for you. If you haven’t read it yet, I recommend reading our disclaimer. BTS are my ultimate bias group, and as such this is gonna be a long review. Strap yourselves in, this is gonna be a good one.

 

Spring Day

Song

If you’ve never heard a BTS song, let me give you some background. BTS, from the very beginning, have always had a lot of creative control over the songs that they release. The members each contribute in various ways to each album, but a lot of the heavy lifting, both musically and lyrically, is done by the “rap line’, Rap Monster (Namjoon), Suga (Yoongi) and J-Hope (Hoseok). Because of this, each of BTS songs always sound like a BTS song, regardless of when it was recorded and released. There is an overall cohesion that links them altogether, something that make it undeniably BTS.

Spring Day is no exception. From the opening piano strains, we are put in the mindset that this song is not going to be one of their more upbeat ones. The music is soft and gentle for a time, but as the song goes on, it gets increasingly intense, matching the lyrics perfectly. What I like about this song, is that even though the song is a “ballad” for all intents and purposes, it’s not one in the traditional sense. Generally, whenever a group is singing about more serious matters they use a slow melody to make it more impactful, and sometimes I feel that it is done for no more reason than “it’s time the group released a ballad”. Not in this case. No part of this song is done because it had to be. Spring Day is created as it is because that’s what worked best.

The lyrics are my absolute favourite part of this song. If you have seen our Top 2016 list, you know that my favourite BTS song is “Young Forever”, but “Spring Day” might be giving it is run for it’s money. Asong can be interpreted in a multitude of ways. It can be seen as the boys looking back on a failed relationship, that perhaps is not as failed as it would once appear, and maybe they can put it back together. But the way that makes most sense to me, and the way it speaks to me the most, is that they are speaking to a friend that has passed on.

The lyrics start out longing. Namjoon speaks of missing his friend even though he is looking at their photograph, and how the time apart feels like an never-ending winter, even though it’s August. He wants desperately for this time to end so that he can see his friend again. Its nice to hear Namjoon get such a long part to sing, and it’s the perfect introduction to the song. Then we have Jimin and Taehyung singing the bridge, asking that perhaps if they were small, insignificant pieces of dust or snow, would they be able to reach their friend quicker. This conjures up a beautiful nostalgic image of a dust filled room, one that hasn’t perhaps been used in a while and the first snowfall of the winter. Both are lonesome images and I can’t help but feel a sense of sadness thinking of it, which sets up the chorus perfectly. Jungkook sings of the snow falling, and it has a sense of hopelessness about it. It’s something that he cannot stop, he cannot change, just like how he misses his friend. Its an inevitability, and a sad one at that. Taehyung again joins the chorus and asks how much longer it will be before he can see them. How many more sleepless nights before they can meet again. Jimin then comes in with some hope. He says that even though winter is there, please just stay on the edge of it, spring is coming, and soon. The spring flowers will be blossoming soon and winter will be over. This chorus hits me in a place that is a little tender at the best of times. For anyone who has suffered from depression or suicidal thoughts, the song tells us that things will eventually get better. Every winter ends. Just hold on for spring.

Suga starts the second verse, and the lyrics are painful to hear. He questions whether he changed or his friend did, but time changes everyone. Suga is so angry here. He speaks of his friend leaving him, even though Suga never stopped thinking about them, not once. The pain of remembering them is almost too much, and Suga thinks it would be easier to just erase them, that way he doesn’t blame them. Having lost someone to suicide, this is a startling similarity to my own feelings about it. It’s easier to not think about it, because if you did, it would bring up all sorts of blame and anger. Jin echoes this, saying that if he could, he would exhale the pain like smoke, but he cannot. It’s not time yet.

We then have the chorus again to really underline what Suga and Jin have relayed.  And finally, finally we have the resolution. Taehyung reminds us that morning will come again. Jungkook sweetly tells us that no darkness or season can be permanent. Jimin tells us that perhaps the snow we are seeing is cherry blossoms and that spring has finally come. The winter is over, and we can finally see the light.

I love this song. It makes me sad and hopeful at the same time. Very few songs touch my heart in this way. The song reads like a poem, a heartfelt cry from those left behind in the wake of someone’s death. I cannot recommend it enough.

Video

The video for “Spring Day” is one of the most aesthetically pleasing videos I have ever seen. Let me explain my idea of what the video represents, just because I feel like BTS have put a lot of effort into getting us to look more closely at their videos, and we have the same themes of many videos. Each of the guys have died at some point, in their previous MVs, except Jin, who may have been dead all along. Our (my friends and I) theory is that Jin was trying to help the guys through each of their lives, by giving them a buddy (hence the pairings in “I Need U”, “Run”, “Blood, Sweat and Tears” and the short teasers for Wings), but each time he paired people up, they weren’t able to keep each other alive, they died and Jin had to restart all over again, being left with nothing but the memories of his friends.

The video as a whole, aside from the theory, is beautiful. Not only do the guys look incredible at every turn, but some of the cinematography is flawless. Namjoon, Suga and J-Hope’s shot as the snow falls around them in front of the Omelas hotel is possibly one of my favourites of the whole video. Suga atop the giant pile of clothing looking incredible in pink. Jin looking up through the staircase as the camera slowly moves towards him. Taehyung as he kneels in the snow. Jimin as he throws his head back and his arms out in the wide open plain. Jhope atop the train as the sun sets behind him. Jungkook as the carousel lights up behind him. So many beautiful shots that never take away from the story or message of the video. None feel superfluous, none feel like they were added last minute. All work together to provide a cohesive, beautiful MV.

EXTRA: Theory regarding the video:

My belief is that “Spring Day”, being that it is on the “You Never Walk Alone” album and not “Wings” is that we are seeing the other side of the story now. We are seeing that the others are alive, and mourning the loss of Jin. The train being the metaphor for taking them to where Jin now is, we see Taehyung placing his head on the track, listening for it’s approach. We see Namjoon pacing the corridor of the train. Jungkook sits and watches as the world passes by on the outside. Jhope is on the outside, calmly watching the sunset and playing in the breeze. Suga and Jin are the only two we don’t see interact with the train in a meaningful way. However, we do see Suga initially on a giant pile of clothing, that is reminiscent of an artistic piece on the meaning of morality and fate. And we see Jin looking up through a staircase, trying to take a photograph of his friends but without his trusty camera. Finally, we get to our destination and Jimin leads them off the train, to a wide-open ground with only a tall tree to be seen.

There is some speculation online that the shoes that Jimin is carrying at the edge of the sea and again we see them on the tree at the end, is a signifier that someone has died. And yes, I guess in someplace shoes on trees or electrical overhead wires means that someone has died there, but I grew up in the 1990s, to me it means that there is a drug dealer nearby and I don’t think that’s what BTS is getting at!

 

Summary

An incredible video with an even better song. I know I’m biased, but this is a pheromonal effort by BTS, especially coming up to their World Tour.The visuals and the music work together to produce an instant classic to the BTS discography. It sounds new and likes it’s always been there at the same time.I am excited to see the video for the upcoming “Not Today” also.

If you liked “Spring Day”, I recommend you check out “Run”, “Young Forever” and “I Need U”, as they have a similar sound and style. I would recommend their entire discography also!

Personal Recommendations of Favourite BTS songs:

Lisa: Young Forever

Nah Dee: Baepsae (but it changes so often!)

K: Ma City