Fresh off an acclaimed #1 album (Map of the Soul: 7) and 4 wins at the 2020 Bulletin Awards, BTS is back with their latest single: “Dynamite.” The Bangtan Boys are undoubtedly the biggest group, and one of the biggest musical acts, in the world. In 2020 alone, they’ve broken numerous records and dropped one of the biggest albums of the year.
“Dynamite,” which they will perform live for the first time next Sunday at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, has the special distinction of being the first taste of new music from their next era. The boys have sung in English before on hit tracks like “MIC Drop” and “Boy with Luv,” but “Dynamite” is their first completely English-language song.
Somewhere between Bruno Mars and Maroon 5 at their funkiest, “Dynamite” is an effervescent slice of pure pop that is bursting at the seams with genuine joy. The infectious melody is anchored by a foundation of disco-influenced synths and plucky bass. The song fits right in line with the recent revival of disco, europop, and 80s synthpop aesthetics in mainstream pop music. Jungkook’s expressive falsetto and saccharine tone breathe life into the admittedly less-than-innovative lyrics (“Cause I, I, I’m in the stars tonight/So watch me bring the fire and set the night alight”).
Where “Dynamite” falters lyrically, the song more than makes up for it with smart musical choices. From the euphoric horns to the ebullient key change at the end of the song, BTS is committed to bringing a little light to such a dark time for everyone. With every listen, “Dynamite” just becomes more uplifting and cheerful. The boys effortlessly trade off verses, but the best parts are the swanky spoken parts like RM’s lines on the second verse. In classic pop music fashion, there are at least three hooks working at the same time in “Dynamite,” but none of them feel forced — they all do their part to drive home the sheer glee of the song. “Dynamite” will likely be BTS’ biggest Stateside hit, but never forget that they were also making excellent pop music when they were not singing in English.