[Review] BTS bring a lot of noise and not much of a chorus in “IDOL”

BTS have been off to a great start in 2018 by my estimation, with Ddaeng standing out as particularly excellent. As usual there was a lot of anticipation for where “IDOL” would take them, and while it certainly provided a change of pace it didn’t exactly come the way most people were expecting.

When the teasers were released, everybody was hyping the usage of traditional instruments, and I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff being woven into modern pop tapestry, so I was excited as well. Maybe they’d give us like an updated/improved version of Topp Dogg‘s “Arario and spread that sound to a wider audience. However, that is why you don’t place your trust in teasers, I suppose.

After the initial disappointment, the South African beats that we actually got were still a good start. The verses utilized this well, and while not perfect thanks to things like the heavily-edited voices used throughout, I enjoyed the change of pace from typical flows even if simplistic. The pre-chorus edged towards more of a generic hip-hop sound, but it wasn’t necessarily a deal-breaker as the build was decent enough.

Unfortunately, then the chorus hit. It was a disappointment as there just wasn’t much there at all. Like there were a lot of ad-libs and chanting, but mainly just the instrumental going on in the background like the trendy choruses of last year, but this one didn’t quite work. “IDOL” almost seems like it was supposed to be a hook song but they just threw the hook away and decided screaming “you can’t stop me from loving myself” with a distorted voice and having the “OOH OOOH” stuff thrown in there was enough. The busyness of the song itself didn’t bother me as noise can definitely be used well, but I definitely didn’t get a sense of direction in this.

So yeah, “IDOL” is probably one of my least favorite BTS’s singles. That said, I’m glad BTS are going into new sounds for their releases. I mean, why not? No matter how good or bad it is, the thing is gonna kill it anyway (especially at concerts), so why not use that safety to explore new avenues? I respect that, but part of what goes with it is not everything quite working out ideally, and “IDOL” falls into that category for me.


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