My vote for best album of 2016 went to Wings, BTS’s second studio album. Hence, today I decided to take some time to look back on their award-worthy album. However, as the album was re-released with new songs in 2017, I have decided to combine the two albums and make one long album review for it. The Wings album was dropped on October 10th of 2016. It was then re-released as You Never Walk Alone on 13th of February 2017. Please note that this is a very long review and that I apologise for that.
1..Intro: Boy Meets Evil – J-Hope opens the entire album with Boy Meets Evil. And while it is just an intro track, it deserves to be an entire song on its own. J-Hope does not hold back, throwing his lines out at us in a manner that makes it sound so dark and intense. That intensity matches the string/dubstep instrumental of the track. The lyrics themselves are quite deep. (9/10)
2. Blood, Sweat & Tears (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for Blood, Sweat & Tears (9.5/10)
3. Begin (Jungkook Solo) – While Jungkook does seem to go down the ballad route, he manages to add synths and elements that could potentially make it into a dance song. The lyrics are definitely something to look at here, as he references the members whom he basically grew up with. The track is amazing but there is just one minor detail. It seemed a little repetitive. It kept to itself, which was good, but I was expecting some change up to make it more interesting to my ears. (9/10)
4. Lie (Jimin Solo) – That classical orchestra instrumental. It gives the track a very grand and epic feel. I love the twist and turns that this track provide. Everything felt so mysterious and dark through the verses, but the chorus caught me off guard because it went higher than what we have heard. Jimin’s vocals have always shined throughout BTS releases, but it managed to shine brighter here. Good enough that I give it a (10/10).
5. Stigma (V Solo) – Out of all the BTS members, I always thought that V’s vocals were the most interesting out of all the members. And this song proves just that. His raspy vocals and higher tones just blow you away. The slow jazz based instrumental is quite good. But if you ever get the chance, try looking into the English translation for this song. Following the other tracks, this one is equally as deep, dark and mysterious. (10/10)
6. First Love (Suga Solo) – I am not really into songs that are mainly based around raps. But there is always something about Suga’s songs that catch me off guard. The instrumental is relatively quiet at the start but his voice adds the dynamic side to the song. As the song progresses, the instrumental build up into a grand orchestral piece, which I thought was spectacular. Listening to it by itself, you can hear the emotions. But once you look up the lyrics, you can tell the level of emotion that was put into the song. (10/10)
7. Reflection (Rap Monster Solo) – The instrumental of this song is 100% eerie and I love that. It slowly becomes a nice instrumental that is calming and soothing. However, it was still powerful enough to fit Rap Monster’s delivery of his lyrics, while maintaining that calmness. Once again, the lyrics leave a huge impression on you. Just try searching up the translations for these songs and you will be blown away. The just felt very neutral throughout and after listening to Suga’s solo, it needed some sort of buildup to keep me there. (9/10)
8. Mama (J-Hope Solo) – Unlike the previous songs, which went down the emotional route, J-Hope takes a different direction with a more upbeat and happier sound. That being said, the same level of emotions are present, just delivered in a different manner. It was super easy to get into the groove of this song and it was really catchy. He writes about his mum in the song, which made it extremely touching. His voice sounds so good and it shows a softer side, compared to his powerful and strong raps that we hear often in BTS title tracks. (10/10)
9. Awake (Jin Solo) – The most underrated member (vocally, that is) finally get justice by having his own solo track. That is a celebration in itself. This song just proves that the group needs to use his vocals more. Here it is so dreamy and so damn amazing. The melody of the song is the type that I really enjoy. That is, the type that gets you swaying along to it. He also appeals to my taste of violins and classical type instrumentals, which I love. Combine them together and you got a winning combination. (10/10)
10. Lost – This is a song that features the vocal line of BTS (Jungkook, Jin, Jimin & V). Given their vocals in the solo songs that featured before this track on the album, it was a given that they would sound amazing. And they did. The song delivers a burst of energy, that was needed after listening to the slow, ballad-like tracks. It was a song that was easy to get into and the second half of the chorus (the ‘lost my way, way, way~’) was super duper catchy. (9/10)
11. BTS Cypher Pt. 4 – I am quite sure this is meant to follow on from the rest of the Cypher tracks in which BTS releases on their albums. I don’t really listen to them, so I am not going to include this track in the final album rating score. But if you want to hear a hip-hop centred track from the 3 rappers of BTS, do check this one out. It is pretty good from first glance.
12. Am I Wrong – My most favourite track off the entire album. And no, it is not wrong to fall for this song. I first heard it watching it on stage at one of the weekly music shows. While the rest of the album was serious and on the emotional side of things, it was nice to hear a few lighthearted and fun sounding songs to lighten up the mood. The raps and vocals in this song are pretty good as well. And most importantly, it is really catchy, which makes me go back for more. (10/10)
13. 21st Century Girls – All you ladies put your hands up! I personally thought the song was quite good. It wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, though. The song itself provided empowerment for the female listeners, hence may be the reason why I am not into the song as much. But the rapping here was good and the vocal work was amazing. I feel a little rude to describe the song this way, but it had a carefree feel to it, while also maintaining a level of seriousness. (8/10)
14. Two! Three! (Still Wishing There Will Be Better Days) – From what I am reading, this particular track is a song for their fans. And it one pretty good song. Just the lyrics alone already pack a punch with their meaning. The rapping fitted the more mellow song, while the vocals contributed to the sweeter melodies during the chorus. What makes the song even better is that it ends with all the members singing to the chorus, making it a worthwhile song for anyone who identifies as an Army. (10/10)
16. Spring Day (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for Spring Day (9.5/10)
17. Not Today (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for Not Today (9.5/10)
15 & 18. Outro: Wings – This track is the Interlude on the Wings album but an extended version is present on the You Never Walk Alone album. And it too is a damn good track. It ends both albums on such an upbeat and fun-sounding note. The instrumental is striking and BTS sounds amazing. (10/10)
19. Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone – We have reached the final song on this review. And they managed to finish off the album with one fantastic song. Suga and J-Hope sang in the song, which caught me off guard. What I loved about the track was the “Walk, Walk…Walk, Like it, like that” part which the vocalists each sing. It was super catchy and gave the song a nice pop vibe, which I totally dig from time to time. (9/10)
Overall Album Rating – 9/10