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The Path to Persona pt.1

This week we are focusing on the first part of our journey leading up to the comeback and release of ‘Map of the soul: Persona’. This week’s playlist features all the songs from debut up to the release of Agust D (Yoongi’s mixtape).

Which are your favourite tracks from this group of amazing tunes? Let us know @BTSRadioUK

Let Me Know - Michayla

This song is simply one of the most beautiful songs in BTS’s discography and is the 5th track on ‘Dark and Wild’ from 2014. I also feel it is one of the lesser talked about songs which is such a shame because it is just over 4 minutes of bliss.

‘Let me know’ is a sad song, about not wanting to accept the inevitable when a relationship is over. The emotional pain when waiting for the other person to admit that it is over between you. Taehyung’s (V) voice begins the song, setting the tone, so deep and smooth, full of emotion.

‘On top of this ending tune

I am standing here alone

Now tell me

That it’s over, let me know

Suddenly, rain wells up in my eyes

You well up, I see you even when I breathe

Love blooms like cherry blossoms but burns and becomes ashes

Hey girl I know, the conclusion you made by yourself

Your hand, your body, your body heat that was hotter than the equator

I’m still here, on repeat on top of the disappeared tune

I’m turning by myself on top of this music that has ended’

Likening love to beautiful cherry blossoms that then burn and become ashes, is such a harsh descriptive line, but I feel that this line is the essence of the whole song and its meaning. In Hobi’s (J-Hope) verse there are many more emotionally strong lines that really hit you in the heart and I can feel the sorrow:

‘The promises we made disappeared with the time we spent together

The dominos have fallen with our breakup

Like Juliet and Romeo

Did I like you too much?

The heat between me and you won’t cool down

Now I look back at the film with you

Too early to do anything by thinking of you

You took away my stars at night, my sun at day

Only leaving me with the darkness of a single cold cloud

If there are hellos, then there’s bound to be goodbyes? Never ever

I don’t care about that, I don’t want to stick to that

I’ll turn away, hypnotizing myself’

I don’t think we can discuss ‘Let me know’ without talking about the end of the song which gives me goosebumps and makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. After such an emotionally charged song where the angelic voices of Jin, Taehyung and Jungkook really stand out and the rap-line’s versus are so powerful, we are hit with an incredible high note by Jimin which takes the song to its ultimate conclusion.

The path to Persona is an epic journey and I urge you to read the lyrics and listen to ‘Let me know’ because it is an absolute gem.

So Far Away - Charlie

So Far Away is a song featuring female vocalist Suran, from Yoongi’s AGUST D mixtape. It is the final song on the mixtape, making it an emotional finale to it.

The verses discuss how upsetting and demoralising it is to not have a dream; to feel lost in the world and not know what you are working towards in the future. It seems to portray a sadder side of the message from No More Dream.

“It’s really a bitch to not have something you want to do

I know that it seems pathetic

To not have a dream like everyone

“Everything’s going to be alright if you go to university

And do as we tell you”

I really feel for Yoongi’s words in this song; like the other songs on the mixtape, it is personal and full of emotions. The post-choruses are more uplifting, with lines such as:

“Dream, wherever you might be

It will be lenient

Dream, you will fully bloom

After all the hardships

Dream, your beginnings will seem humble

So prosperous will your future be”

This gives a positive message that one day, you will realise your dream, and it will bloom and you will have a prosperous future. However, after each post-chorus, the song returns to the solemn verses about feeling lonely and just wanting to get drunk. The lyrics are dark and discuss Yoongi’s thoughts that he is “only living because he can’t die.”

The song goes back and forth from an optimistic future to a seemingly hopeless present, showing the realistic reality that although your dream will be realised one day, right now you just have to live in the present and wait for the lonely times to pass.

Moving on from the lyrics, the sound of this song is beautiful. It is hard to listen to without feeling somewhat emotional. Suran’s gorgeous voice in the chorus also compliments Yoongi’s voice very well, and makes the song very memorable to me. The third verse when the music gets slower and the song almost halts for a few seconds to hear Yoongi’s voice also stands out to me and makes me pay attention to his dark words:

“I hope everything disappears when I’m alone

I hope things disappear like mirage

I hope things disappear”

Also, when the final post-chorus ends and the outro starts, the melancholic backing music changes to a guitar sound which really amps up the drama of the song for me. It is an epic ending to the song which makes it a glorious final song to the mixtape which has already been full of emotions.

Yoongi also created a second version of this song, which used the instrumental from his Wings solo First Love and featured Jin and Jungkook. Their breathy vocals of “So far away” and “First love” at the end of the song particularly give me goosebumps.

Hold Me Tight – Eve

"Hold Me Tight" is a song from The Most Beautiful Moment in Life album.   I heard this when I started to discover BTS last year, and I spent a day listening to their albums from the beginning to the latest releases. It really quickly became one of my favourites, it’s such a power ballad and I have a massive soft spot for a romantic tragic love song.

As I’ve said in my other Spotify playlist entries, my favourite place to listen to BTS is in the car and this song lends itself perfectly to the freedom of being in your car singing at the top of your voice. It’s a song about being in the middle of losing love, a boy that has taken his girlfriend for granted and when he feels she is moving on, he realises too late that she is the one.

Look, I’m fair with everyone else but you

Now I can’t live a day without you, please

Your cold face tells me everything rather than words

I can see a break up rising over me like a high tide

I know it will soon be our last but I can’t let you go

Don’t talk, don’t leave, just quietly hold me girl

I especially love the combination of Suga and Jungkook’s voices when they sing together;

I can only see you

I can only see you alone

Look, I’m fair with everyone else but you

Now I can’t live a day without you, please

The opening piano music and finger clicks really set up the stripped back feel of the song which builds as the emotion in their voices builds through the song.This song was also co-written and co-produced by V along with Suga, it really shows off Vs emerging song writing skills that we have seen develop over the years.

Coffee – Michayla ‘Coffee’ is a love story in the form of coffee metaphors and is the 6th track on the album ‘O! RUL8 2?’ released in September 2013. ‘Coffee’ samples the song by the same name originally done by Urban Zakapa in 2011. I feel this is a song that is underrated and isn’t given the credit it deserves, perhaps getting lost amongst songs such as ‘N.O’, ‘Attack on Bangtan’ and the first Cypher. The song starts with the beautiful sound of Jungkook’s voice and this really sets the tone for the whole song with the verse repeated throughout. Who wouldn’t want to be compared to a caramel macchiato? ‘Baby baby, you’re a caramel macchiato Your scent is still sweet on my lips Baby baby tonight Yeah'’ Namjoon’s (RM) verse tells the story of a break-up and the bitterness left once you are no longer with that special person. This verse is a confession to that person, about how you are left with memories and an inclination to torture yourself over what was: ‘Girl, I debuted, that’s enough right? I made a bet with the world on how much I’d succeed My half-moon eye smile that I only showed you I’m doing it again these days My fans are curious Oh and I don’t drink macchiatos You know that I started drinking americanos because of you When we dated, I wondered what kind of taste this was But this cold and bitter aftertaste Makes sense now that you’re not here girl If I’m gonna get used to everything like this I would choose the full-of-regrets, playing with fire Our heartless promises Countless mistakes and other wrongs Our unspeakable and small wounds The glass filled with memories is more bitter as I drink it But I think I know why I keep drinking it Why am I getting so sad that everyone lives this way? Oh oh oh’ Yoongi (Suga) continues the talk of torment but first the sweetness of becoming lovers from friends: ‘Our first date was sweet like a caramel macchiato. Wherever we went, we wanted to go together’ Whilst Hobi (J-Hope) talks about the memories and how time passing doesn’t seem to make a difference because you still choose to do things that remind you of that person or that period in your life. I think this is something most of us have done in our lives, whether it be to bring back happy memories or think about a time that you have regrets over, it doesn’t necessarily have to be related to love. ‘1,2,3,4 The days when I used to be Intoxicated with your scent all day I remember we chose to break up After promising our futures together As I drink this minty coffee that you Used to like, I think of you, rewind A lot of time passed and these days I sometimes miss you, I wonder why?’ Coffee is a tale of sweetness and bitterness, good memories and those memories that torment you. The rap-line play a huge part in this song and each of their verses are deep and meaningful as you would expect from BTS.

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