Gear up, K-pop fans: Comeback season for reigning kings BTS has officially begun with the release of comeback trailer “Epiphany,” which contains the intro track for the group’s upcoming album, “Love Yourself: Answer.” Performed solely by vocalist Jin and affectionately referred to by fans as “Jintro,” “Epiphany” is tailored to Jin’s voice as you don’t often hear from BTS songs. It’s a gratifying break from form, one that allows Jin’s style to flourish and also gives a clue as to what we may hear on the album.
BTS has dipped their toes into the rock genre many times in the past, but usually to achieve a more aggressive or angsty effect. “Epiphany” takes the gentler route, softening the sounds of guitars and percussion to construct an atmospheric, almost pensive space of melody and harmony. In fact, it’s perhaps a little too softened—the textures of the instruments begin to melt together, resulting in an instrumental that’s heavy and viscous. The effect, though, is one of wistful dreaminess that lends itself well both to the song’s message and to the support of the vocal melody. It’s a poignant one, laden with emotion, especially in the transitions between chord progressions such as in the final note of the first verse. Despite the attention given to the composition, Jin’s voice is the focus of the song, and even among layers of thick instrumentation, it’s the obvious highlight.
The last comeback trailer that BTS released was member V’s “Singularity,” which experimented with jazzy alt-R&B that was wholly new for BTS. The album that followed experimented with genres as well, more than BTS ever had in the past. If we think back to Jimin’s “Serendipity,” a dreamy electronic track that preceded an album full of electronic pop, and to previous album trailers, it’s clear that the trailers always give a sneak peek of what’s to come. I’m excited to find out whether Jintro means more rock or Britpop influences. Will we hear tracks like melancholy fan favorites such as “Sea” and “The Truth Untold”? What about an homage to the queen, “Spring Day,” or even an appearance of the previously released rock version of “Fake Love”? The one thing we know about BTS at this point is that they’re never predictable, and perhaps the release of this rock intro signals more genre experimentation like what we heard from the last album. Still, if “Epiphany” is an indication of what’s coming, then this may be one of BTS’s most powerful albums yet.
EPIPHANY: KAYBOP OR KAYFLOP? Bop.
Take a look at Jin’s “Epiphany” MV below: