And so it has begun……
Undoubtedly the biggest group in the world, the release of BTS’s newest album, aptly titled “7” is undoubtedly one of the years most anticipated musical moments. And with the pre-release of album track Black Swan, fans and listeners alike are given their first glimpse into the contents of this new record.
But before I delve into my thoughts on the song, I absolutely have to talk about how beautiful the performance video is. Performed by The MN Dance Company, the choreography along with a full string arrangement of the track elevates the video to masterpiece tier videography. Each shot, each movement is so expertly framed that it manages to transcend a performance video such as itself into something much much more. Symphonic and beautiful, yet still carrying a sense of unease and dread it perfectly conveys the mood and thematic brilliance of the song.
Onto the song itself, I think it’s a solid b-side that BTS wisely chose not to promote as their main title track. Taking inspiration from Tchaikovskys Swan Lake, the track is a very interesting mixture of asian folk, classical and trap which sounds very bizarre on paper, but comes out much better than expected. Opening with symphonic asian instrumentals that strongly recall elements of 2018’s Fake Love, the song quickly drops into its trap laced backing track. Normally this would be a problem for me as I absolutely detest autotuned trap as a musical sub-genre. To me, most of it just feels extremely lethargic and lifeless. However, much like ATEEZ’s Illusion from last year, Black Swan manages to ignite some sparks not normally found in songs of this genre. The pre-chorus, backed by a healthy dose of percussion is arguably the strongest aspect of the song, and provides an exhilarating build towards the unfortunately limp chorus.
The verses themselves are also quite decent, providing an addictive collection of subtle hooks that are unfortunately undone by that non-starter of a chorus. The production is also excellent, imbuing the track with an eerie sense of dread throughout. The autotune, although a stylistic choice, is one that I could have probably done without and could have possibly improved the tracks overall quality in my eyes.
If I had my way, I would have likely stripped most of the songs trap elements and replaced them with more prominent percussion and/or strings.
Given the dark nature of the track and upcoming album, i’m just going to sit and hope the next title track is something as dynamic as Blood Sweat & Tears or I Need You
Final Rating: 7.5 / 10