The preternatural powerhouses known as BTS have given us spectacle and showmanship before, but on their latest album, BE, the seven-piece group from Korea are showing off their versatility.
Nowhere is that more evident than on “Fly to My Room,” the second track off the new album. Co-written by RM, Suga, and J-Hope, the song rides a sparse, laid-back groove that really hits the pocket once the chorus kicks in. “Come on now, let me fly to my room/Get me outta my blues/And now I’m feelin’ brand new,” the guys sing over a funky keyboard line and rollicking drum beat.
The song is one of two sub-unit tracks on BE, and leads off with Jimin and V trading lines in the verse and chorus, before rappers Suga and J-Hope jump in to add a little one-two punch to the proceedings, with their signature sing-song style of rap.
If “Dynamite” — BTS’ summery anthem that earned the group their first Number One single in America — was an instant earworm, “Fly to My Room” is a more nuanced listen, with a staccato-style melody that starts slow and suave before climbing to a crescendo (and indeed, reaching V’s falsetto) in the final, glorious chorus.
While much media coverage has centered on BTS’ tightly choreographed dance routines and ‘Gram-worthy style, the boy band has long been one of the more confident vocal groups in the crowded K-pop industry, with each member boasting impressive singing and rapping chops (check out Jungkook’s emotional solo in “Euphoria,” or Jimin’s stylized verses on the 2016 track “Lie” if you need an example). With songwriting credits on “Fly to My Room,” the guys open up in their lyrics too, breaking the shiny “K-Pop” facade to express their realities in surprisingly personal and intimate doses.
“It’s so frustrating, it’s driving me crazy/Feel like it’s still day one/Somebody turn back the clock/The entire year got stolen,” they sing, turning the track into a quarantine anthem of sorts. Elsewhere, they lament that “Somehow there’s no joy, no sadness, no emotion/It’s just me here,” addressing the uncertainties of life when everything suddenly seems to be upended.
The track ends on an uplifting note, with the guys choosing a journey full of “optimism” and inviting the object of their affection to fly over (yes, to their room) to help ease the monotony of quarantine life. It’s an apt metaphor for the biggest boy band in the world right now, and something their ARMY have known for years: Even in the midst of a global pandemic, BTS continue to find unique ways — and unique sounds — to reach fans old and new. The album, BE, has its share of familiar party jams and raucous club bangers, but on “Fly to My Room,” BTS prove a subtle swagger can still make a big impact.