The World is a Complex

There’s a new girl kpop group that’s under the same label as BTS and they’re called Le Sserafim, so I’ve decided they’ll be the first girl group I’m going to support! They just debuted a couple of days ago and I really like their mini album I’M FEARLESS. Le Sserafim is a group of six aged 16-24, and they are really talented. Kim Chaewon, the leader and my bias, seems really sweet and she’s got a great visual presence. Then my second fave has to be Huh Yunjin, a Korean-American and the tallest of the group. Hong Eunchae is the maknae (youngest) and from all of the videos I’ve seen she seems goofy, bubbly and sweet so she’s also one of my faves. And then the eldest, Sakura, seems like the funniest and most easy-going in the group. During the VLIVE they did this morning Sakura was making Eunchae laugh so much! I’m excited to see where Le Sserafim goes and I’m really happy to be with them from the start!

At the end of Le Sserafim’s livestream, Min Yoongi/Suga from BTS went live so I quickly switched over to catch the stream even though I needed to get out of bed and start my day!! Is this what being a fan of multiple kpop groups is going to be like during comeback season? Well, I ended up listening and watching the stream while I had a shower so I guess it’s a good thing I know how to multitask.

After Yoongi’s livestream ended, everyone in the group chat noticed how active many of the members of BTS were online considering it was getting closer to 12AM KST. Just as we were all about to call ourselves clowns for thinking something would be announced or released at midnight KST, BTS dropped an announcement video and released a statement on Weverse. BTS announced the title of their next album: Proof. It’s an anthology album comprised of songs across their entire discography, as well as three new songs.

Now, bear with me while I try to break down my feelings about this news! The discourse on ARMY twitter is really chaotic at the moment, so it’s helpful to remember that you can be critical of the things you love and that opinions can change over time. I’ve seen so many ARMYs jump down each other’s throats when they voice anything that isn’t pure, unadulterated praise for BTS! It’s important to keep in mind that we’re all human and we’re allowed to speak our minds. Now with that out of the way, I’m going to attempt to break down my thoughts about this new anthology album.

Firstly, I’m just happy to be here, you know? I officially became ARMY last June after Butter skyrocketed. The hype around Permission to Dance was infectious and addictive, and totally unlike any other fan/artist interaction I’ve ever witnessed. I was in awe of how many different elements made up the PTD comeback era, and that was just the release of a single! The buzz in the group chat and on the timeline made PTD feel larger than life and I really felt the strength of the community as a whole.

At the end of the last PTD Las Vegas show, when they announced the date of their next album for June of this year, I was ecstatic at the opportunity to witness the same magic that I had seen last Summer when Permission to Dance came out. From speaking to my elder ARMY friends, I got the sense that a full album comeback would be even more intense than PTD was, so my expectations definitely rose. I think everyone’s did! ARMY loves BTS, and when you love someone you get excited to see them excel at the things they’re passionate about, so the thought of BTS releasing an entire album of new tracks was mesmerizing.

The last full-length album BTS put out was Map of the Soul: 7 in February of 2020. We all know that the pandemic shut down everything, but what many non-kpop fans may not know is that it also made the Map of the Soul: 7 world tour an impossibility. Many of my friends had bought tickets for that tour and are still sad that they never got to see the stages and concepts, as am I. For many, myself included, it feels like the Map of the Soul: 7 era for BTS was the one that got away.

So it’s been over two years since BTS has released a full album, however they did release a mini album, BE, in November 2020, as well as the singles Butter and Permission to Dance. All together, BTS has released a total of nine new songs in two years.

Okay now that we’ve got a bit of context, I think it makes sense that some ARMYs might have been disappointed to find out that we aren’t getting a full-length album of new songs in June, right? Sure, an anthology album likely featuring unreleased versions, demos, or re-recordings of old songs will still be enjoyable, and at least we’re getting three new songs. I just think that a lot of ARMYs are feeling a little sad that they won’t be getting a new era just yet.

Right now my thoughts on BTS’ anthology album are this: I’m happy they’re releasing new music, I wish it was all new music, but I will still fiercely support them and can one hundred percent see myself jamming out to War of Hormone and Attack on Bangtan.

At the end of the day, I’m just really proud of BTS and I want them to be happy and healthy as long as possible. I’m excited for the possibility of a world tour later this year, especially if it means we get to see debut-era songs performed by 2022 BTS.