Our Take: 5/5 Stars
BTS, the world’s biggest K-pop group, released their first English language single, “Dynamite,” on Friday, August 21. The song’s music video racked up over 100 million views within 24 hours, making it the most viewed music video premiere in YouTube’s history.
At first glance, the music video of this single resembles the group’s iconic style – pastel pink and purple hues and an overall mellow aesthetic. Seconds into the video, though, and it is clear that the song is anything but a conventional BTS song.
A tribute to Michael Jackson and the upbeat music of the 1980s, “Dynamite” features a disco rhythm. This vibe is a stark contrast to the music video’s muted, calming vibe. Later in the song, though, the music video and choreography begin to don a more retro aspect, with outfits inspired by the ‘80s, brighter colors, and louder, higher harmonies to keep up with the fast-paced melody.
Perhaps the most noticeable difference between this video and that of a more traditional BTS song is in the choreography. As a way of paying homage to Michael Jackson, the dance includes poses and Jackson’s classic leg kick.
Most importantly, BTS incorporates their own style into this single; they seamlessly blend their esthetic with hallmarks of an older genre to introduce music history to a new audience. The lead singers maintain the breathy feel of the melody, while other band members harmonize by incorporating elements of rap music and staccato beats to give the song a more upbeat feel. Outfits have elements inspired by the ‘80s – tinted glasses, bright colors, denim and patterned clothing – which are paired with BTS’ signature pastel-colored loose clothing.
Most of the scenes in the music video feature the band at the center, while using set piece locations, like a donut shop, to add to the scenery.
Through this song, BTS hopes to bring a smile to peoples’ faces in a time of uncertainty. According to a press release, “BTS sings of joy and confidence, treasuring the little things in life that make life truly valuable and special.”
Overall, the juxtaposition of ‘80s disco rhythms and relaxed pop harmonies make “Dynamite” the perfect rekindling of an older genre with a new twist. BTS is set to perform “Dynamite” at a premiere performance during the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, August 30. Give the single a listen, fans and newcomers alike will surely be humming the catchy hook in no time.