As the world is going back and forth between lockdowns, as the crisis has been ongoing for months, and our lives stuck in the coldness of winter, finding an anchor seems difficult. How do we ground ourselves? How do we escape — even for a short while — the gloom? As the life keeps on going, one day after the other, how do we find relief and warmth? For many of us, music is that space. A home, for today, and tomorrow.
Music is not much when you think about it, a melody, a beat, lyrics. A composition full of harmony, made into a single, an album. When thought through, you can end up with a whole story. Sometimes a complex one, sometimes not. A sad one or not, a story which reminds you to keep going, which reminds you that time flows along the way, and carries us gently. An album can be like a book, a tale for the present moment, but also for the past and the future. It is kind of how it feels when we go through BE, the very last album released by BTS at the end of November. A book of the year 2020, a tale of an odd year squeezed into a very personal body of work, almost closer to a mixtape. As V sings slowly at the end of Blue and Grey, “Some far day in future, if I get to smile — I’ll tell you then, that it was like that”. When we will open the book again, and look back, we will remember. How everything was blue, grey, frozen.
It is kind of how it feels when we go through BE, the very last album released by BTS. A mixtape of the year 2020, a tale of an odd year. Back in April, as the whole world was under lockdown, the seven artists started working on that new album, and up until its release, we are included in the process, we saw bits here and there, we were given all the outlines of the plot, yet we didn’t know anything. However, it brought rhythm into our daily lives, each month, we got closer to the release of the tale of the year. And now that we can start our day with BE, it continues to make each day a little easier.
The story of BE, created with the pain, all the gloom of this year — yet infused with some bright spots too — does not fix anything. It does not sugar-coat us, it simply holds our hand, and carries us through the cold storm. Each song from the album carries us in that journey through the dark and will continue to do so until we see the light at the end of the tunnel. Life still goes on, even if it feels slow, painful, it moves on and the album is a proof of the time moving on. BE is existing now, it is collateral damage to the situation we are in. Each song is here to remind us that we have to keep walking. It is both a temporal and bright object, something we can lean on until better days come, BE is our very own Bibilly Hills.
As the new year is going to start, that precious mixtape, the tale of this painful reality will continue to hold our hand through the winter, until spring welcomes us into its arms.
Every morning, we will start the day with Life Goes On, fly into the room in spite of it being painted in blue and grey. It is comforting, it feels like being understood, a silent embrace but a warm one. And even if we are restless, sick and tired, far from being at ease in this new reality, actually dis-eased from it, BE will keep coming at us to ask: “Are you doing alright? You’re well, right? I’m, you know, these days, feeling like floating a bit lost”. It understands us, without being arrogant nor doing too much, after all we are sharing that reality through telepathy, from Seoul to wherever we are. We kind of connect through 7G, and we stay together. And one day again, we will be able to bring a friend, join a crowd, so we can set the night alight, and sigh in relief. But for now, we have to wait, and keep walking through this cold winter, together.
Finally, the more we listen to BE, the more it seems obvious, it feels like it came when we needed it the most — both for the creators and the listeners. As we go through it, the lyrics, the seven members of BTS infused it with their thoughts, and their souls, and kindly gifted to us, the listeners. The creative process was healing, hence why we can heal it from it too. “Music and artists for healing” has never been more accurate than now, it seems.
BE is like a home, a safe space which does not fix our situation and our world, but which allows us to breathe a little less painfully. It makes everything a little less dark, it allows us to be someone, to feel something, to cry silently, or to laugh and dance gleefully on our bed. Either way, it is there, and it will stay there, with us, it will carry us like the breeze carries the autumn leaves.
To BTS, who carried us through this odd year with the book they gently wrote and gifted us, thank you. We saw it being written under our eyes, and now that we have it, we can cherish it. To BTS who will continue to be there for us in the coming year, thank you as well. We will escape to the future together, and meet there, one day.