I have to admit, when this song came out, I was a little bit disappointed. I was a fan of BTS the second they debuted with
No More Dream and Bulletproof pt 2. To be honest, BTS reminded me a lot of B.A.P’s earlier songs. Their videos were the epitome of power…powerful vocals, powerful dancing, powerful rapping, meaningful lyrics, and videos that consisted of more than just seductive camera stares and sexy lip rubbing. After I learned their names, I became a hardcore ARMY. I guess what I’m saying is that the problem isn’t with the song, but the concept is what’s disappointing me.
The song was lovely. The transition from rapper to vocalist was pulled off smoothly without sounding choppy or disjointed and the build-up to the chorus was phenomenal. Jimin and Jungkook did wonderful with the high-pitched chorus and Jin’s breakdown was amazing. The rapper line usually impresses with their eye-opening lyrics, but they seemed to hold back more for the song, which complemented the vocalists well. I Need U has an R&B type feel, which I really loved from this hip-hop type group.
The video was…depressing. It was sad, it was unhappy, it was heart-crushing to watch. It has become cliche for K-Pop boy bands to release sad and dull music videos, but I like a well written cliche…they become cliche’s because they work. This video definitely worked. I liked that they each had their own story, their own problems to get over, and even though it didn’t have a happy ending, it will remain one of my all time favorite music videos from this band. I only have one question to ask…did they all fall in love with the same girl? Really, the only explanation is that I Need U is the epilogue to their ‘Skool Love Affair’. They went from “wanting to be your Oppa” in Boy in Luv to wanting to spend “just one day” with said girl in Just One Day to “you’re in danger” in Danger to “I can’t control my hormones around you” in War of Hormone. I guess what I’m asking for is a little backstory. I’m hoping that in their In the mood for Love pt 2 release, we learn more of what happened for seven perfectly happy men to become so depressed that 5/7 commit suicide.
Despite the concept confusion, the video fit the song very well and I was quite impressed with the acting, which with highlighted even more in their 19+ version. From J-Hope’s overdose on the bridge to V’s anger-fueled attack, BTS really shocked with their talent. Perhaps somebody will debut in a drama soon? The cuts from the depression and sadness to happiness and brotherly-love when the chorus hit was well done without looking awkward. I also like that they did a separate video for the dance, which was amazing, but wouldn’t have fit well in the music video.
Even though I loved the song and the music video, I don’t quite understand why BTS is taking this road for their concept. Even Dope from their repackaged release had more of a pop feel than hip-hop. Since Rapmonster is even furthering his rap career by releasing a mix-tape and collaborating with American artists, it would make more sense for BTS to continue with their bad-boy concept from their debut. They’ve already released the trailer for In the mood for Love pt 2, and it seems they’ll be continuing their comeback. I love BTS, but I’m hoping that they continue down their hip hop road and release powerful tracks in the future.