Hey, everyone! I’ve got a fun post today—well, it was fun for me to write, anyway. Hopefully it’ll be fun for y’all to read, too! XD
I’m still fairly new to the BTS fanbase: I’ve known about the group for a few years, of course (it’s a bit hard to not be aware of them, honestly), but I didn’t become an ARMY until about a month and a half ago, when I heard and fell in love with their 2020 single “Life Goes On.” So “Butter” is the first BTS release I’ve had the chance to actually keep up with and celebrate. “Butter,” BTS’ second English language single after “Dynamite,” debuted on May 21, and per usual for the seven-man group, it’s rocking charts all around the world. And I thought I’d join in the fun with a short(ish) review of the Bangtan Boys’ latest hit.
Let it roll!
“Butter” is a warm, summery song with elements of lighthearted romance. With a funky beat reminiscent of Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust,” the song pulls you in with its smooth vocals and joyful, bouncy lyrics that are easy to sing along to. Jungkook and V kick off the song right away with a catchy first verse, but it’s the pre-chorus and chorus that really persuade you to stay in this slick 90’s-retro world BTS has created. Jungkook, V, and Jin add a second verse, followed by another pre-chorus from Jimin. Suga and RM throw some addictive rap into the mix for the bridge, then, led by J-Hope, the group rounds it off with a flashy, jacked-up repeat of the chorus. Without a doubt, “Butter” was created with the intent to stick in the head of anyone who hears it, and with just one listen, you’ll find that they’ve met that goal.
However, “Butter” also has an egotistical side. Although it’s sometimes hard to tell when a lyric is supposed to be about the member who’s singing it, the group as a whole, or a listener in first-person, it quickly becomes clear throughout that BTS knows how great they are—and that they aren’t afraid to say it. “Hot like summer,” Jungkook sings, “Yeah, I’m making you sweat like that.” Jin joins in, crooning, “Oh, when I look in the mirror / I’ll melt your heart into two,” with a slight smirk at the camera. And RM boldly asserts, “Got ARMY right behind us when we say so” as he struts across the stage. Of course, we’re all used to celebrities proclaiming their own majesty and entitlement, but this last line struck me as a bit unusual nonetheless.
ARMY, used in both the singular and plural, is the name for BTS’ fans—of which the group has an overwhelming number; and most of them are incredibly loyal to the group. So taken at face value, the lyric seems to claim that BTS knows and appreciates the intense allegiance of their followers; this is strengthened by multiple shots of Jungkook kissing the “A R M Y” tattoo on his knuckles. But to me, the lyric also speaks of great conceit. It appears to assert that the group believes their fans will stand to attention, so to speak, at the snap of a finger—that they’ll back them up no matter what they say or do. To me, this raises something of a red flag. I like BTS, but they aren’t my whole world like they are to some people—not even close. And if they were to engage in an immoral act, I wouldn’t—I hope, anyway—simply turn a blind eye to the wrongness of what they were doing and continue to praise them. Or, to paraphrase the popular question, “If BTS jumped off a cliff, would you jump, too?”
Mate, I certainly hope not.
Other than that, though, there’s not much else to dislike about “Butter.” There is one lyric that contains an “Oh my G*d,” but that’s the worst of it as far as profanity goes. For sexual/suggestive content, there’s not much to complain about either: the lyrics that contain elements of romance—which is most of them—are lightly flirtatious at worst. As mentioned earlier, the song as a whole has a playful and sunny romantic vibe to it.
After the massive success of “Dynamite” in 2020, it makes sense why BTS would want to release another English language single. Largely thanks to the United States, the song market for English speakers is more far-reaching than that of Korean (or any other language) speakers—even if ARMY will find a lyric translation no matter which language BTS sings in. And looking at the release timing of “Butter,” coupled with its all-English lyrics, it’s pretty obvious that BTS was hoping to dominate the summer charts yet again. But you know what? I can admire that kind of strategic thinking—even if I’m technically one of the people being strategized against. So, good for them, I say. XD
So, my final assessment? “Butter” is a fun, fluid, impromptu-dance-session worthy track perfect for some cool poolside fun. Its lyrics are slick, simple, and easy, if a bit airheaded and arrogant at times. The song isn’t perfect, but it’s so insanely catchy that its flaws are easy to overlook—which, most likely, is exactly where BTS wants you. Overall, it’s clear that BTS has once more succeeded in creating a song that will have you punching that replay button again and again.
Have you listened to “Butter” yet? It’s worth a go, even if pop isn’t typically your thing. In my opinion, it’s a song that’s capable of sticking in your head and making you smile no matter what genre of music you’re into. 😉
Thanks for reading! What did you think of “Butter”? Do you think my assessment of it is fair? What songs are on your summer playlist this year? 🙂