The first Korean song apart from “Gangnam Style” to make the top 10 on US iTunes. Our top 10, though…
Madeleine Lee: BTS’s last album series before Wings/You Never Walk Alone was called in English The Best Moment in Life, and in Chinese characters 花樣年華, or “the age of flower blossoms.” Though probably not by design, “Spring Day” is a song about what comes after the best moment in life, when all you want is that happiness again. The lyrics aren’t as subtle as this makes them sound, but BTS have always been about expressing the full intensity of youth’s emotional turbulence, whether that was about school, a breakup, or, here, missing a friend. Besides, the complexity is in the music: it’s in a major key, but there’s something muted and sad about it, like the way you can go through your everyday life and even laugh but still feel unfulfilled; and it doesn’t resolve, like the little bit of hope you hold onto that today will be the last cold day, and that the flowers will bloom again soon.
Alfred Soto: I understand its crossover potential: a rap break that I swear could’ve been by Pitbull, a sweetly sung verse that Ryan Tedder could love; to remind its fans of what they’re capable of, a paint-shredding guitar in the background. The incongruity is the point. But at their best BTS don’t strain.
David Sheffieck: Sounding epic from its opening chords, this only falters during the rapped verses — luckily they’re a sidenote. The heartfelt ache of the song is palpable, massive, and wrenching. And the hooks are big enough, in sound and in catchiness, to move a mountain.
Maxwell Cavaseno: I’ll never be able to commit to when pop-rap sounds like rappers badly spread throughout music that is clearly designed to be “the pop-rap song.” It conveys the worst aspects of shameless sell-out records by Eminem or B.o.B, where there’s still a lot of effort going in but a deliberate sanding down, to almost hide what the record’s trying to get away with. I’ve never particularly stanned for BTS’ rappers, but I can appreciate them when given the chance to showcase themselves. So when they’re treated like textural afterthoughts to get to a big chorus, it defangs one of the best aspects of this group. Songs about melancholy and depression don’t have to be so boring.
Katherine St Asaph: “See You Again” stripped of its celebrity context… still isn’t that great.
Ryo Miyauchi: Suga’s rap feels the most welcome in “Spring Day” than anyone else in BTS sad about an endless winter. His verse breaks up a song that drags a little too much, and true to the season, his voice feels the coldest. I know his type firsthand: it’s easy for a heart to turn into ice obsessing over a relationship lost for a long, long time — during the loneliest of the four seasons, no less. A type like his doesn’t really care for spring to come, so he might agree with me when I say I’m more into winter songs that remains icy all year long.