AMEN, HALLELUJAH, PRAISE BE, ETC. For on this 106th day in the 2018th year of our Lord Jisoos Christ, K-Pop gods Bangtan Sonyeondan hath officially announced their new album. Love Yourself : Tear, the full-length follow-up to September’s Love Yourself: Her, will drop on May 18th–leaving you with only a few short weeks to both gird your loins and secure your wigs.
That’s right: a full-length album. While its predecessor Her was a puny-ass (but amazing, don’t get me wrong) 9-track mini-album, Tear–judging by the band’s prior LPs Dark & Wild and Wings–will probably bless us with around 15 new songs. And pre-ordering begins tomorrow!
Many fans were perplexed by this announcement because BigHit had already dropped some surprise music video shenanigans for “Euphoria,” a Jungkook solo track that was a part of a highlight reel-esque video called ‘Euphoria : Theme of LOVE YOURSELF 起 Wonder.’ Theories had already been circulating about Love Yourself being a four-part series based on obscure hints stans sleuthed out from the visuals during BTS’s performance at the 2017 Melon awards; but according to the agency, the Euphoria sequence that many anticipated as a prelude to a Wonder mini-album actually represents the Wonder concept in its entirety. It also serves as a prequel to the weird, nebulous timeline (JIN IS AN UNDEAD TIME TRAVELER??) of the angsty Bangtan Universe first visited in the “I Need U” and “Run” music videos–and later potentially re-visited and revamped throughout the Wings album.
(Or at least, that’s what I understand. There’s a lot of complex conspiracy theorizing going down on Youtube and Reddit that I don’t have the stamina to explain here.)
But basically: that’s it for Wonder. It’s on to Tear, now! And mayhaps the return of Emo!Bangtan. Meanwhile, I’m still obsessing over Face Yourself, the Japanese album they dropped on April 4. Hopefully I’ll have enough to time to fully process that fangirl experience before Tear drops (ha), but I’m not optimistic.
Anyway, most devoted ARMY will have already heard the big news, but I am here to provide you with a few other fun tidbits & incredibly vital details the other news outlets aren’t obsessive enough to write about:
- It’s the long-awaited triumph of All-Black Bangtan™ (ft. Mullet!Taehyung)????
Very jazzed about this gorgeous au naturale hair look. Less enthused for the potential mullet scenario. Also kind of angry, though, because it doesn’t look nearly as terrible as it should. Curse your literal angel’s face, Kim Taehyung.
2. Spoiler Alert! According to RM, one of the album’s Top 3 best songs was written by a member of vocal line!
All the singers have written or contributed to producing their music in some way, but the rap line definitely holds the vast majority of album credits. So this is a Big Deal! Get to speculating, guys.
3. BTS might perform their first single at the Billboard Music Awards!
Admittedly, this is largely Reddit conjecturing, and is by no means confirmed by anyone in charge. But it feels like a likely possibility: the album drops two days before the BBMAs, which the boys attended last year when they made k-pop history by winning the Top Social Artist Award. They’ll almost definitely win again this year–and after their set at the AMAs , they’ve now set a precedent for performance. Many Western artists debut their latest singles at awards ceremonies like this, but the k-pop industry has the whole music show comeback roster pretty engrained, and BTS might not be able to work both into their schedule. So this is still a maybe!
4. Theories: a darker concept with socially critical themes!
People are deep in their receipts by now and despite the bright bop that was “Europhia” all signs point to a much different overall tone for ‘Tear’ than ‘Her.’ I mean, there’s the name, for one thing: “tear’s” not really evoking a lot of cheery vibes. Other fans are theorizing that the May 18th release date is meaningful, as it falls on the same day as a significant political uprising in Korea.
Ok….so, y'all know that BTS and BigHit always use dates and messages in their comebacks to show what type of album they're releasing? Well May 18th, the album release date, is also known for the gwangju democratic uprising, a mass protest in Korea 1980 against the military gov
— 방탄소년단 아미 (@BTS_ARMY_INT) April 16, 2018
And while I was getting full-on warm fuzzies from the middle part of the “Wonder” video–the Debussy-fueled intro & outro, on the other hand, definitely had a more somber tone–a lot of the other comments on Reddit seemed that it was *suspiciously* happy–almost creepy. So maybe that was just the DJ Swizel calm before the Steve Aoki storm! WHO KNOWS?? LITERALLY NO ONE BUT BIG HIT ENTERTAINMENT.
So in the meantime, here’s some more theory videos to hurt your brain: