When compared to the scruffy, emotionally tinged BTS of 2015/16, the boys have become almost unrecognisable today. Their shift into safer more bright territory to appease the western market results in tracks that while strong, don’t feel anything like the BTS that many have come to know and love. But every once in a while you get something as great as May’s Butter, a track that took the classic pop fluff sound of something like Dynamite and tacked it onto an excellent melodic backbone. Unfortunately, Permission To Dance brings the group’s sound down to the most generic of pop sounds.
Written by Ed Sheeran, Permission To Dance is a track with no character what so ever. From the lyrics to the instantly forgettable instrumentation, there is nothing here to grab onto. Sure it’s a feel good track that I know many army’s will instantly latch onto but songs like this need something memorable to really drive them home. Something Permission to Dance has none of. I attribute this mainly to the god awful vocal processing in this track. I, alongside many others have complained about HYBE’s vocal processing before but it’s rarely been as bad as it is here. The groups instantly recognisable vocal blend has been reduced to nothing but mush here, giving Permission to dance a compressed quality that takes away from what could have been a potentially enjoyable if throwaway vibe. It all sounds like something you would hear at the end of a Target ad and that is not what you want to be hearing about a single by Korea’s representative group.
But the biggest problem with Permission To Dance is its incredibly generic and cringeworthy lyrics. I don’t usually give much thoughts to the lyrics of a track but since Permission To Dance presents itself as an all English song, it’s hard not to give some mind to them. And boy do they suck. They take away so much from the track and lend to its sense of consistent monotony. It doesn’t even have a killer central lyric like Dynamite (“Light It up like Dynamite”) or Butter (“Smooth like butter”) to compensate. I know Permission To Dance will top the charts all around the world through sheer fan power alone but it’s the culmination of all the fears I had for BTS’ future work.
Final Rating: 5.25/ 10