November 21, 2017

Gordon Hayward Injured -

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Mrs. Tribuzi, Dance Teacher Extraordinaire -

Monday, October 30, 2017

theSkimm: The Millennial Generation of News -

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Cross Country Runs into the 2017 Season -

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Should You Attend the Women’s Marches? -

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Bearcats Blown Away by Chalk Fest -

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The New Tardy Policy Pilot Is Over -

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

SMHS Chalk Fest is an Instant Successes -

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Chalk Fest is Shaping Up Well This Year -

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Boys Volleyball Season Comes to a Close -

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Bearcat Chefs Compete in Nacho Contest -

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Bearcat Invitational Track Meet a Huge Success -

Monday, May 8, 2017

Concert Band Prepares for Spring Concert -

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Students: “Beware the Banality of a Busy Life” -

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Roger Federer Proves he is the GOAT -

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Coach John Tells Us About Boys Tennis -

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Olaiha Fonua and His Friend Perform at Green Week -

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Eureka, We Built It! -

Thursday, April 20, 2017

International Week Celebrates Diversity -

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

International Week Shines -

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

BTS Breaks Records With New Album

[By: Sydnee Tan and Cindy Yan]

After keeping fans at the edge of their seats and eagerly anticipating for four months, BTS has finally come back with four new amazing tracks to satisfy their fans. These four songs have been included in the repackaging of their album “Wings,” which was newly titled “Wings: You Never Walk Alone.”

Bangtan Boys, more commonly known as BTS, is a seven-member South Korean boy band. The band name for BTS in Korean translates to “Bulletproof Boy Scouts.” The group was formed by Big Hit Entertainment, after the current members showed up for the company’s “Hit It” auditions. Before debuting as a band in 2013 with their album “2 Cool 4 Skool,” the members came from different musical backgrounds and parts of Korea.

The members consist of Rap Monster, the leader, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, Jin and Jungkook. Both members Suga and Rap Monster started out as underground rappers who had released a few informal tracks prior to the band’s debut. J-Hope started in a street dance team that participated in underground competitions. As a student in modern dance, Jimin started at an art high school in Busan, a city in Korea, but later transferred to another art school with V, who is also a vocalist. Jin started as a film school student but was street-casted and picked for the band when he auditioned. Jungkook is the youngest, but also has the widest range of skills. He is the main vocalist, main dancer and rapper. Before their debut, he had already been accepted for other agencies, but ended up picking Big Hit.

In 2013, the band’s newly released album with hit track “No More Dream” won several New Artist of the Year awards. Later, BTS also released mini-albums “O!RUL8,2?” and “Skool Luv Affair” with hit track “Boy in Luv.” The band later showed a more “Danger”-ous side with their album “Dark and Wild,” with the title track “Danger,” as well as a more fun single called “War of Hormone.” In early 2015, the BTS released the trilogy for “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life” which won an award for being one of the “27 Best Albums of 2015 So Far” by a TV show called “Fuse.” By the end of 2016, BTS finally released their second full studio album, “Wings,” with their hit “Blood Sweat and Tears.” The music video for “Blood Sweat and Tears” broke YouTube’s record for most views in the first 24 hours by a Korean artist, with six million views.

As for their album, “You Never Walk Alone,” which was released on Feb. 13; pre-orders for this album hit 700,000, which is the highest number that any BTS album has ever received. One of the new songs for this album, called “Spring Day” is an alternative hip hop song that weaves in electric and British rock beats. When the music video released for “Spring Day,” BTS broke their own record of most YouTube video views in 24 hours with nine million. However, a week later, when the music video for “Not Today” was released. The same record was broken once again with ten million views. BTS also became the first Korean artist to enter the U.S. iTunes Top Ten chart, with “Spring Day” at 8th place.

A week after the release of the new album, BTS performed for the first time for the  “2017 BTS Live Trilogy Episode III: The Wings Tour” in South Korea. So many records and awards have already been won and achieved with just four new songs. Fans are already eagerly awaiting BTS to release more new music.

When referring to their music as a whole, freshman Grace Wang said,“I think it has encouraged some people to read more.” Indeed, BTS’s recent concepts have revolved around happenings in novels. The “Wings” album was released with a series of seven short films, with each one opening with a quote read from “Demian,” a novel by Hermann Hesse, first published in 1919. “Demian” is about the process of maturing and self-realization, and the “Wings” short films are heavily layered with metaphors and hidden symbolism that can all somehow be connected to events in “Demian.” Countless fan theories circulate on the internet, and it is widely believed that the “Wings” stories are continued from the stories told in the music videos from “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life.”

Concept photos and scenes from BTS's "Spring Day" and "Not Today" music videos.

Concept photos and scenes from BTS’s “Spring Day” and “Not Today” music videos.

The “Wings: You Never Walk Alone” album’s hidden meanings do not disappoint. The “Spring Day” music video features a motel sign showing the word “Omelas,” which just happens to be the main focus of yet another story. “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” is a short story written by Ursula K. Le Guin, originally published in 1973. It outlines a society where happiness and beauty prevail, but one child has to constantly remain in misery and pain in order for the magnificent utopia to exist. The “Spring Day” music video gave rise to theories where one of the members “dies,” further fueled by a scene showing shoes hanging from a tree, often symbolizing death, and the ending scene, where the shot shows only six out of the seven members.

As for the “Not Today” music video, BTS tackles a rather different subject, digressing from the novel-based storyline. The group’s music video concepts and lyrics have always had an overarching theme of empowerment and individuality, but “Not Today” makes their standpoint all the more blatant, reiterating their general theme with more of a flair and a bang, quite literally. Part of the choreography for this song mimics the members getting shot, which fans have joked about (they’re supposed to be the “Bulletproof Boy Scouts,” and now they’re getting shot!).

Now, taking a closer look at the lyrics. “All the underdogs in the world,” Rap Monster starts in English, rapping over an escalating beat. “A day may come where we lose. But it is not today!” The song then launches into an anthem of endurance and survival, with the backup dancers in the music video clothed in seemingly ninja-inspired attire. It can easily be inferred that the lyrics are talking about oppression, with lines like “Throw away the fear in your eyes. Break the glass ceiling that traps you.” (Lyrics translated from Korean from by pop!gasa.) “Don’t kneel, don’t break down. That’s not today.”

Since their debut, BTS has gathered a fanbase from all over the world, their music reaching people from countless countries. For many, their lyrics are a source of inspiration and support for when they’re going through difficult times. Hopefully, BTS’s rapidly escalating popularity will continue to rise, and they’ll keep on making amazing and beautiful music.

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