James: See this reminds me of similar American like dance, like club music almost. Elizabeth: But it’s so Korean and the use of the instruments and the rhythms and that’s, that’s so cool. The blending of these genres is fascinating. Umu: Hey everyone, before we get into the video we want to talk about something pretty important, which is the BTS Love Myself campaign, a joint effort between UNICEF and BTS to help end violence towards youth around the world. We resonate with this cause, so we’ve partnered with LV Bangtan for this video. Hugo: They’re independent promoters of UNICEF End Violence campaign, and work with BTS Love Myself branding in order to make quality clean merchandise to raise money for the cause. To support the cause you can either donate directly to UNICEF or pick up some of their amazing merch on the website. If you buy merch proceeds will go directly towards the Love Myself campaign. Right now there’s actually a 50% discount for the Answer comeback, and you can also get a 10% discount by using the code React to the K. And when you use that code you’ll be entered in for a giveaway for a BTS Answer album. You can also enter the competition giveaway for free by liking the LV Bangtan Facebook page. All the information you need is down in the description below. Thank you again for donating. It’s a really great cause that really resonates a lot with us. Umu: Now, let’s begin the reaction. Jordan: Now you’ll be reacting to BTS August 2018 comeback song called ‘Idol’. Jarod: Hell, yeah! Jordan: Yonhap news in Korea described the song as electronic dance music in the style of South African dance music. Katie: Ooh, wow! Umu: The African beats are layered with traditional Korean rhythms as well as the pounding of a Korean folk percussion instrument used in the performance of traditional Korean farmers’ ensembles. The song is composed by Hitman Bang, Ali Tamposi, RM, Roman Campolo, and Supreme Boi. It is important to note that the music video follows a Korean style of musical storytelling known as Pansori, and the message behind the track is the importance of self love. Apart from the main message the track also highlights the pressure and scrutiny an artist may go through under the public eye. With references to John Woo’s 1997 film Face Off, which is based on taking different identities through face transplants, the song narrates the struggles of embracing multiple identities on and off stage. James: There’s a lot there. Elizabeth: This is my sh*t. I’m so ready (Both): Three, two, one. Jarod: Dude, I’m so ready for this. I’m so ready.
Katie: I love BTS. Isaac: (popping sounds) Isaac: It’s a big hit! James:Yep, yep, we got some midi sax goin’ on. Hugo: Yeah. Hugo: I’m digging the-
James: like the pedal tone….
Hugo: Yeah, I know, but I’m digging the minimalist, like, style. Fiona: Where did that badabada!, come from? Lindsey; Oh my God, RM is killing it. Elizabeth: Ooh, I like this shouting. Elizabeth: This is a very like, “I am here” opening. I really appreciate that. Kevin: The percussion gains momentum in like an unpredictable way Lindsey: Well, the beat in this is actually really cool, it’s like consistent, but also like it’s so strong that it like, it doesn’t get old. Jared: I kind of like how the snare reflects the very aggressive like we’re here and we’re here to stay kinda deal, like unapologetic intensity. James: Whoa
Hugo: Yeah! James: Oh my God! Peyton: Yeah, see that that hit a lot harder because there’s like a framework to it, you know. Like they gave us a little bit of harmony first and then like slowly add in the divisions. Kevin: So all these instruments come together. We have the saxophone, we have the whistle, and we have everything else. Hugo: I like how there’s a lot going on but it never is like over like James: You’re never overstimulated.
Hugo: Yeah, exactly. There’s never like too much going on James: I love his sweater! Peyton: I really think it’s kind of cool how like, informed these guys are when they do stuff like this. Like, I don’t know, it sounds really similar to like, some like American rap artists by just the rhythm they use, and like the intensity. Elizabeth: They’re singing the same melodic fragment, but the bass note is changing. That’s so interesting. James: Uh, huh. Katie: Brrrrra! Jared: Yeah, I know! Like that very, the rhythm and the very, the pacing of that verse very much felt like, like mumble rap kind of, in a way. Jared: (singing) Katie: (singing) James: And I think it’s great because they’re using like actual percussion in the back, but they’re also like doing some vocal interesting percussion. Elizabeth: Yeah
James: On just like syllables, I think that’s really creative, too. Stephen: It’s really interesting that they’re just laying rhythms on top of each other cuz it’s like I’m so used to hearing like a drum set beat but that doesn’t come in until like when they’ve actually dropped the bass kind of, and it’s like fist pump time. Seiji: Yeah Stephen: So it’s just interesting cuz it just…I feel like it’d be a hard song to dance to. Stephen: You know, because it keeps like, changing, like how you feel the beat. Seiji: Right, right. Seji: Like just now.
Stephen: Yeah. Lindsey: Bridge! We’re like, we got a little textural difference. Lindsey: Slowing it down. Lindsey: Oh, we’re building, we’re building… James: See this reminds me of similar American like, dance, like club music almost. Elizabeth: But it’s like, but it’s so Korean, and the use of the instruments and the rhythms, and that’s, that’s so cool. The blending of these genres is fascinating. Peyton: That’s right. Cannot stop me from love myself. Amen Charlotte: Why are they so hot? Elizabeth: And this like big giant dance scene that feels very Bollywood, doesn’t it?
James: It does, yeah. James: You’re right, you’re right. Peyton: Gotta learn how to do that on sax. (imitates instrument) Charlotte: Who is the one in the middle? Umu: maknae? Emma: Yeah, Jungkook Charlotte: I think I’m in love. Elizabeth: It is they took that (Both singing) dun, dun, da dun, dun da dun, dun, da, da, da, da, da. James: Yeah
Elizabeth: They fragmented it and then they transformed it a bunch of different ways,
James: Yeah put in different instruments,
put it in the voice, put it in the bass, and they built like a whole song
James: Uh, huh James: There was the piano, too
Elizabeth: based on that little fragment of rhythm
James: Totally Elizabeth: and then put the the drumming in with it, so it’s like… James: And it’s smart, too, because with popular music like this you need that repetition. You need it.
Elizabeth: Yeah Elizabeth: But it wasn’t annoying
James: No Elizabeth: because they changed the textures and they changed the voicing, and I mean it was just like so high-energy. They were jumping around, they were flailing like, you know, no matter how many times they sung it I was like, I’m here for you.
James: Yeah Katie: I don’t think the focus of this was on the harmonic structure. It was pretty steady, tonic, sometimes like flat six and five. I think the focus of this video was most definitely the rhythm and like this is a dance song and I really, really like the layering of rhythms and Instruments and like riffs, just because it like gets it into the to the ear the listener super easily. But like it just made me wanna like
Katie: Groove. Like I love drums. Jarod: But like there’s like that message of like
Katie: Uh huh Jarod: self-care, self-love, being confident one’s self, and it just but something that’s bold and new. I like that. Katie: There’s no better way to like instill confidence then like, the drums. Like I don’t know why, but I’m just like, f*ck yeah, like this is fierce!
Jarod: (drum sounds) Isaac: I don’t know I felt like it was more anthem-like. So there was a lot of, um, I think there was like a lot of World Cup like, in soccer, soccer songs, where they just really emphasize on just making just sound effects. So like they really focus on oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh Kevin: O lay, o lay, o lay, o lay I thought it was really interesting, cuz they really used small motives, like I guess like subtle beats, that just appear throughout the whole entire song It’s like, ba da dum, ba da dum And it’s just the anticipation of this which really drives the motion of the piece. And the primary focus on the c-sharp minor triad, do, di, da, and then really emphasizing that even more by showing the notes that are in between, and so, do, mi so, mi, re… with the D sharp and going back to c-sharp minor triad and just keep repeating in different forms. Kevin: You know, I appreciate them for not shying away from some of the harder topics when it comes to K-pop, because they have succeeded in bringing the gravity of the situation, just the heavier themes, and combining it with the video and the music in a way that’s more satisfying in the past. With this song, It’s the anthemic qualities. I just find something less attractive because it’s like they know they have an American audience that might not have seen some of their older stuff and they might have only known them post Grammys or post DNA, so they have to cater towards them as well. And while the video is very sort of like weird Asian YouTube style, It doesn’t really fit with the themes of the song. Yeah, one moment I did like was when you see them doing the dance on that little CGI stage and then you see like the bigger versions of them in the back. I think it’s like a puppeteering type of theme going on and I thought that was really cool, but all in all, it just felt like the visuals distracted from the music because it was just like, let’s throw some stuff in. Hugo: It was a lot less singsongy. I thought that overall it was a much more rhythmic song than any we’d heard You know, we’ve heard a lot of their songs that were rap heavy, or that were rhythm heavy, but this really was rhythm centric. Beyond the saxophone, that wasn’t a complex melody. Its range was small and it didn’t move very far, but the rhythms themselves or where they were finding..
James: Yeah, man, it’s full of syncopations. Hugo: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, that’s where they were finding themselves was their rhythmic complexity. I think they did a really good job of that because when it changed from person to person, rapper to rapper, I even mentioned while we were listening to it There’s one point where someone was a little bit more, dun, dun, dun, dun, but then the next rapper came along, it was like, da dun, da, dun, it was a cool moment because they subverted our expectations. You were hearing a lot and there was a lot of sound going on. Each line was clear, it wasn’t just like a wall of sound. On a song like this, a lot of the work comes in in the dancing and the music itself, but a lot of work does come in when you’re in the studio, and you’re putting it all together. (name?): I mean you touched on it in terms of the instrumental variance. They kept everything very center at first, in terms of panning, and then over time as more and more instruments came in I mean, it’s obviously a really, really good idea that they start spreading out where those instruments lie. Stephen: So it’s really cool listening in this as a drummer, and the reason why is because a lot of the music that we play nowadays and all the rhythms that you hear you can trace back to Africa, and so hearing a song that’s incorporating African rhythms with traditional pop music, to me it’s really really cool because you can hear how in the traditional African beats like (slow clapping) You know like (slow clapping) And then you hear in pop music, like (fast clapping) which is literally just (slow clapping) but placed in cut time, so it’s just really cool to hear how they’re layering that, and I mean it sounds great but also just the history behind that. (name?): Yeah, I guess for me. I was mostly listening to a lot of the synthesizer type of stuff. I guess like the development of the song as a whole. Yes, they start with the opening theme and they have those rhythms, and change the beats a little bit. They’re very similar to a lot of different pop music. There’s the idea of having a drop, right, and then having breakdowns and stuff like that. I think that was really cool to see, and definitely whoever came up with this checked out a lot of things and kind of the formulas behind successful pop music and developing energy. Stephen: I feel like a lot of times when you try to mesh a lot of different things together it wasn’t work out, but they did it in a way. that was very tasteful. James: I like the ending. These songs, they subvert our expectations a little bit, almost every time two different degrees, like this one at the very end, it did subvert us because like it was so high energy and was going the whole time, just this constant forward motion, and then the silence and then the return of the saxophone. It was like nice and cyclical. I thought that was nice. I thought I was a little repetitive. I thought there could have been a little more variation with like, I mean the bum bum be-dum. Like that, you can repeat that, that’s catchy, but maybe just like change the harmony in some way or do a little something different That’s what I would like to have liked. Elizabeth: So I loved this, very much. It combines pretty much everything I find interesting in music, which is fragmentation of the melody and then using that to build a whole piece. Polyrhythm, world music, so influenced from other places. Fusion of like the pop and world music. I thought it was fascinating. We’re talking about Bach Inventions right now in music theory, and you start with a subject and you take that subject and you build the piece out of it. You just change it and move it and do a bunch of different things to it. So you can create a piece out of it. And so they picked a very catchy subject. That’s the key. James: Yeah Elizabeth: When you build a piece out of one small chunk of music, it’s got to be catchy, and James: It has to be good.
Elizabeth: That was very catchy.
James: It was very catchy. Hello, everyone Umu and I’m the channel runner of ReacttotheK. I really hope you enjoyed watching this video. If you’re curious about the videos that we’ll be reacting to in the future, I put a link to a doc with our release schedule in the description. Last but not least, if you’d like to support our channel, you can help us out by pledging any amount you would like on our Patreon. On Patreon, you can get access to full, unedited pair reactions playlist, reactions to Japanese releases, and much more. And of course a huge shout out and thank you to our superstar patrons. Thank you so much for your support. Bye