ASTRO Dream Part .01 Mini Album Review

Hello! I have been meaning to start reviewing music on my blog so I decided to pick ASTRO’s latest mini album, Dream Part .01, as my first choice. I am part of their fandom, AROHA (AstRO Hearts All Fans), but my review is fair I promise 🙂 I selected it because it actually exceeded my expectations and I hope others give it a chance too.

Let’s begin with a brief introduction of ASTRO. It is 6-member South Korean boy group under Fantagio Entertainment. They debuted on 23 February, 2016 with their title song, Hide and Seek, from their first mini album, Spring Up.

They went on to release a mini album for every season and Dream Part .01 is the beginning of a new series.

20170517-000

Meet the Members

Jinjin

Leader, rapper and slowest member.

20170518-003

MJ

Main Vocal, Smile Engine and the most hyper member.

20170518-002

Eunwoo

Visual, vocalist and actor.

20170518-001

Moonbin

Vocalist, toughest member and actor. (My bias)

20170518-004

Rocky

Main Dancer and rapper. He also enjoys choreography. (My biaswrecker)

20170518-000

Sanha

Vocalist, cutest member and evil maknae.

20170518-005

Dream Part .01 Tracks

Only Baby has an official MV from this album so the others are fan-made lyric videos. I wish people would stop using Google Translate for them because obviously, the results are not that desirable. Let me give my personal thoughts on each song now.

Dreams Come True

The album opens with this fun upbeat song that describes the journey of these six talented boys from trainees to idols. They share their story hoping you’ll gain hope for your dreams as well. Extending a hand to AROHAs, they want them to walk towards their dreams together. It’s has a fresh clean sound that shows off the vocals and rap well. MJ, the main vocal, is lovely as always supported by Eunwoo, Moonbin and Sanha. Rocky’s rap stands out for me as he reflects on the hardships of training and how they led him to success. I’ve always been a fan of Jinjin’s rapping and he doesn’t disappoint here either describing how he’s now in control of the dreams he had as a child. The bridge builds up for the chorus nicely and the chorus leaves you with a sense of well being. A sweet message wrapped up nicely.

Baby

This is the title track for this comeback. The MV is refreshing and colorful. They went with pure primary and secondary shades rather than pastels, which is the current trend. Each member has a color that suits their personalities and AROHAs have their own color which is a mix of their official fandom colors Vivid Plum and Space Violet (Aaawwww!!). The idea of the Dream Store (D. STORE) is pretty neat. It’s a place where the boys serve you dreams in the form of drinks (the bottles have been around since forever in ASTRO’s MVs). Lyrically, it’s about falling in love, being thankful for the presence of your loved ones and just feeling on cloud nine. Jinjin’s rap is my favorite part. It just lifts the mood a level higher.

The choreography for Baby is signature ASTRO: powerful and witty. They make it look so easy! I didn’t know humans could jump that high seriously. I’m discovering all kinds of info about human limits while stanning ASTRO honestly. Moonbin was perfect as the center during his parts. As soon as the music begins, you can tell already that the dance is going to be top notch. Rocky’s B-boy tricks are enough to give anyone a heart attack!

You Smile

This is the mood maker of this album. You won’t be able to stop smiling until the song ends. It’s pretty fast paced in some parts while it has the lazy hip hop vibe in other parts. It’s an interesting blend of all things bright and swag-y. It’s a love song where a guy is a little insecure and concerned because he wants to make his girl happy. He wants to be the reason for her beautiful smile and laughter which mesmerizes him. I don’t really have a favorite part in this track because it has a lot of good parts that work wonderfully as a whole.

Because It’s You

Hands down, my favorite ASTRO song! Most people are deceived by ASTRO’s cute concepts in their title songs but they actually have plenty of mature songs as well. This song is about expressing gratitude to someone who’s been with you through thick and thin and acts like a balm to your wounds even when they’re not there. The producers didn’t make MJ shout as much in this song which I’, thankful for. He’s going to lose his voice if they don’t teach him proper technique.

Dream Night

I like that ASTRO added a mid temp song for those days when you don’t want to drown in sad songs or groove along to dance numbers. Dream Night is a pleasant song that you can listen to anytime and enjoy the vocals. It has a nice composition and I am a sucker for woah oh oh oh oh type stuff so yeah, I liked it 😀 Even though it is a sad song about missing a loved one it doesn’t give off teary vibes.

I’ll Be There

This a nostalgic track that has a bitter sweet feel to it. It’s about missing someone who’s not there anymore with you, going to the first place you met them hoping to see them again. It has a slower tempo than Dream Night and a soft beat. The electric guitar near the end was a nice touch. Jinjin and Rocky’s rap add to the storytelling and lift the mood.

Lie

This is another slower, more mature and dramatic song that would have been perfect as an OST for a Kdrama. I really love the composition. It takes your emotions higher and lower with the notes and the vocals are on point! The lyrics are about being separated from a loved one, pretending that you’re okay with them leaving and suffering alone in their absence and at the same time, begging them to say that their them leaving is a lie. Everyone did very well on this track and the rap reflects the emotion of this song beautifully.

Every Minute

The first song of this mini album, Dreams Come True, was about ASTRO’s hard journey to success so this was the perfect way to wrap up this mini album. Every Minute is about helping someone you love achieve their dreams, protecting them, cheering them on and being there for them “every minute”. Moonbin and MJ shine in this song. Moonbin’s “every minute” is cute and funny while MJ’s “good night, sweet dreams” is something I want to hear every night before falling asleep. Their harmony is very sweet.

So, that’s all for my review. Do check out ASTRO’s Dream Part .01 🙂 ASTRO fighting! AROHAs fighting ❤

 

Disclaimer: Concept photo credits to Fantagio Ent.

BTS Blood, Sweat & Tears MV Japanese Version Review & Fan Theories

Hi guys! Bangtan Sonyeondan’s Blood, Sweat & Tears MV Japanese version was officially released today and predictably, it’s awesome.

As expected, fan theories started pouring in within minutes of its release. I’m going to tell you what I think and the theories I have come up with. These are just my thoughts but I have heard some things from others which I will mention.

Let me start off with the obvious: Blood, Sweat & Tears Korean version is the first part and the Japanese version is the second part. This is not exactly a story but it does have a timeline. Both MVs have the timeline in common: we see the beginning in the last few scenes. There are many Biblical references in both MVs but sadly, I haven’t read the Bible so I was unable to grasp them all.

Namjoon has often said that they try to show the lives of the youth and BST does exactly that. BST is basically a depiction of the reality we face every day: the battle between good vs. evil. Namjoon explained that BST is about the temptations the youth face in the form of their own desires.

Here’s what happened

In the Korean version, we see Taehyung jump from the balcony and when the shroud lifts from him there is an injury on his back where his wings were ripped out. Taehyung is a fallen angel possibly, Lucifer. The statue of the fallen angel with the black feathered wings represents Taehyung. He acts like he’s one of boys so they never suspect him of being evil.

bst k 6

The boys are all sitting at the table with apples on their plates but they haven’t touched them yet. The apple is the forbidden fruit which Adam and Eve ate after being enticed by Lucifer resulting in them being cast out of Heaven. The apples represent the temptation that is often invitingly laid before us like a feast.

bst k 4

Jin stands up and the screen goes red as he lets go of the balloon but still reaches out for it. The balloon represents childish innocence which has now left him. Jin is alone when he kisses the statue and we see Taehyung covering Jin’s eyes. Jin has now succumbed to temptation and is blinded by evil.

Jin meets Namjoon and hands him a vial of Absinthe. Absinthe is also like apples here. The both represent the same thing: evil. So, Namjoon becomes corrupted and sets his eyes on Jungkook, who is his partner for the BST MVs. He forces Jungkook to drink the Absinthe. Jungkook is the youngest and I think he represents innocence almost angelic. The goodness in him repels the Absinthe as we see him vomit and the chaos spreading is shown as the swirling colors. Yoongi comes to check on him but Jungkook rejects his help. Remember the roles were reversed in the Run MV. When Jungkook wakes up in the Japanese MV, we can see a stain on his mattress similar to Taehyung’s wing injury. It’s like Jungkook was an angel but after being forced to take Absinthe he has fallen from grace. This probably shows how corruption spreads from one person to another and the role of peer pressure in it.

bst4

I assume the others become similarly corrupted in various ways but they all react differently to it. Jimin bites into the apple. It obviously represents Jimin being corrupted maybe at the same time as Jungkook. This is further stressed on as the apple is blended into a liquid and the liquid turns green just like Absinthe. The scene from BST Korean version where Jungkook licks his finger tasting the green substance is repeated. This confirms that’s where Jungkook was corrupted. Jimin’s sin appears to be hypocrisy. He feels like he is living a lie and we see two parts of him in this MV: the Jimin who is aware that he has become corrupt and the Jimin who is confused and either unaware or in denial. In the blue room, Unaware Jimin looks at the apple in his hand in confusion. Yoongi keeps covering Jimin’s eyes with either his hands or a blindfold in both BST MVs.

bst k1

I don’t know if Yoongi was the one who led Jimin astray but he keeps trying to stop Jimin from learning the truth about the corruption within them both. They are partners in the BST MVs. Suddenly we start watching things from Jimin’s perspective as Yoongi’s fingers block the screen in the Japanese MV. As Jimin moved Yoongi’s hands away from his eyes he starts seeing reality. Aware Jimin walks and then literally runs away from Yoongi. He walks around realizing that his soul was tainted by the apple and feels ashamed of it trying to wipe the taste of the apple from his mouth.

J-Hope’s temptation is drugs I guess. We see him struggle with pills in many MVs. Yoongi’s might be lust/love like we saw him become destructive in First Love. J-Hope and Jimin’s solo dances are the same as that in their solo songs. I believe they reveal their inner turmoil as they battle the evil inside their souls. The ceiling of the dance studio is a scene from Heaven so J-Hope reaches out his hand in a plea for help. J-Hope alone seems keenly aware of his corruption and even manages to defeat it as he throws away his pills. J-Hope is repeatedly shown sitting in front a statue of the Virgin Mary I believe. I think it’s meant to show that the good in him is stronger than the evil and he ultimately overcomes it. Now, all six of the boys have been corrupted and we see Taehyung, the evil fallen angel, move away from Jimin and Jungkook.

bst 3

Maybe he corrupted them in order of age. It could be that kids learn from their elders and when the elders deviate from the right path, the younger ones follow. He seems to be stumbling around but I don’t know why. I can’t tell what’s written on his shirt but I think it’s significant. The lower part maybe “98six” but I can’t be sure. If so, it could be a Biblical reference I didn’t understand.

Several things happen around the same time now. Both Jimins face each other. Yoongi is again there to shield Unaware Jimin’s eyes from reality. Unaware Jimin drops the cause of the evil, the apple, in shock finally detaching himself from evil. Jimin is thrust into the chaos evil created, Jungkook tries to walk away from the cracks in the floor (the damage evil did in his life) and Namjoon breaks all the mirrors around himself probably because he was unable to face the reality of what he did and what he has become.

namjoon broken mirros

Jimin and Jungkook hold Taehyung in place as he struggles to escape. Meanwhile, J-Hope skims his hand along a weapon and someone holds a dart read to throw it at Taehyung. I think it maybe Jin. The scene where J-Hope fires an arrow in BST Korean version is repeated but this time, the arrow flies through time and space and Taehyung flinches as if he sees it coming and not a tiny dart. J-Hope wins against Taehyung but not the others.

bst k2

Jin beats up Taehyung like he blames him for his corruption and has finally come to his senses. Taehyung seems happy that his mission to corrupt them all was successful. He pushes Jin down then appears to stab him in the heart. I think it means that Jin tried to fight his corruption too late and he couldn’t stop the corruption from killing him in the end. I think the shattered mirrors and swirls Jungkook and Namjoon see are the effects of Jin’s death on them showing how one person’s death affects those around him. Taehyung directly corrupted Jin. Jin corrupted Namjoon who in turn corrupted Jungkook. Taehyung gleefully moves on to kill the others. Taehyung’s jacket reads “Lone Wolf” and “Confuse” while having cards on it too. I think it shows that Lucifer is not one of the boys and that he plays games confusing them leading them to evil. Taehyung is moving through sheets and curtains which probably meant that he hides behind screens and it’s hard to see his true face. Namjoon also mentioned this in an interview that evil comes to us in the shape of our desires. So, that’s how Taehyung manages to lead them all astray. He sneaks around and crawls through a small opening into the outdoors where his jacket sleeve reads “DISAPPEAR”. I think it means that Lucifer sneakily corrupts and leaves once he’s done. If you are religious, you could interpret Taehyung’s character to be Lucifer or a fallen angel. If not, you could simply interpret it as supreme evil or the source of evil. It could also be understood as the selfish human part we all have inside of us.

bst5

You might be wondering why I didn’t talk about Jin and the painting. Jin stares at a painting which depicts a battle being Heaven and Hell in both BST MVs. I believe it is figurative and not literal. Jin is gazing upon the real world and the never ending battle between good and evil. In the Japanese MV, Jin is shown first but what we don’t realize is that Jin is dead and in the place between worlds. We are later shown the hole in his heart where Taehyung stabbed him. Looking at the painting, I think his life flashes before his eyes. The scene is abruptly filled with red smoke like it’s something hazy in the past. Once, he sees his death in the painting, a void opens up in the floor. I think Jin corrupted his loved ones so now he’s going to hell for it. Suddenly, we see one of the boys (maybe J-Hope) look up to the sky and see a pair of wings.

jhope angel

Jin shatters and disappears but the falling shards of glass turn into white feathers. So, I believe that Jin did do to Heaven in the end because he repented for his sins and died trying to defeat evil.

Blood, Sweat and Tears is meant to show us the ugly reality I believe. It shows the youth how evil can sneak into their hearts, cause chaos in their lives, spread to others and even kill them. through the stories of these characters, it tells us how different people react to it and how we should deal with it. I think J-Hope would be the most inspiring in this case. We should be aware of it and fight it with all we have got if we don’t want it to consume us entirely.

Let me know what you guys thought and what your own fan theories are J Don’t forget to keep voting for the BBMAs and stream the new MV. BTS fighting! ARMY fighting! ❤