New BTS album 'Be' offers a message of hope

The video for the album's opening track, 'Life Goes On' has already had more than 81 million views on YouTube

A still from the BTS music video for 'Life Goes On'. Youtube
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K-Pop superstars BTS unveiled their latest album Be on Friday, November 20.

"The name Be is a verb, it is a very open concept," says band member Jimin, who took on the role of music project manager for this latest effort, at a press conference announcing the album. "In our discussion, 'life goes on' came up as a recurring idea."

This, fittingly, is the name of Be's opening track, which sets the tone for an album that is reflective and focused on the idea of resilience, which is in keeping with the global mood.

"This is what we wanted to say through this album. No matter what happens, despite what happens… life goes on," band member RM elaborates. "That is the topic, that is the motif."

The music video for the gentle ballad Life Goes On is a decidedly low-key affair, largely devoid of the high-octane dance routines that K-Pop is famous for. Instead, it shows the band members at home, wistfully looking out the window, in their pyjamas playing video games, brushing their teeth, driving around quiet roads or staring thoughtfully out at nature.

As is the band's wont, the video racked up more than 81 million views within 24 hours of being posted. It also surpassed 150,000 Shazams in the same period. BTS is scheduled to perform the song remotely for the 2020 American Music Awards on Sunday.

Life goes On is followed on the album by Fly to My Room, Blue & Grey, Skit, Telepathy, Dis-ease and Stay. The album closes with the band's hit single Dynamite, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart this summer.

Following swiftly on from February's Map of the Souls: 7 album, Be runs at slightly less than 30 minutes and consists of eight tidy tracks that, at their core, strike a hopeful tone. Which is precisely what the band's army of fans no doubt need in these trying times. "Feels like they're giving me a warm hug while tapping my back whispering 'it's okay' is how one fan sums up the experience on Twitter.

Band members RM, Jin, Suga, Jimin, J-Hope, V and Jungkook were heavily involved in the album, with the pandemic having given them time to immerse themselves in songwriting, production and visual concepts for the album, they said.