BTS’s Butter is 2021’s much needed Ode to Joy: Score Global Music

As their second fully English track, Butter had high standards to meet. Following the unbridled euphoria of Dynamite, the rainbow-tinted disco bop that took over the world, Butter points to the Korean superstar septet’s musical mission: to brighten every dreary day you have. 

Drowned in the warm, inviting beats of retro dance-pop with a generous lather of funk-speckled basslines and creamy synths, Butter is a steaming cup of early-morning optimism. Standing on a glittering earworm of a hook, the song’s groovy instrumentals, on-point vocal rhythm and effortless charisma make it a potent messenger for summer giggles.

Butter’s slick tunes are propped up with flirty, twinkle-in-your-eye kinda lyrics that each member plays to perfection. What stands out are lyrical references to musical icons: V’s “Don’t need no Usher / To remind me you got it bad” and Jungkook’s “Smooth like butter, like a criminal undercover.” (Hear that, MJ fans?)

In particular, Suga’s rap makes itself known with a sharper English pronunciation than ever before. In fact, all the members seem more at home with English, except RM who has always been fluent. 

Donning debonair suits to strut their quicksilver moves in heady technicolor frames, BTS showcases their quintessential self-assurance with Jin and Jimin’s satin-sounds of “Oh when I look in the mirror / I’ll melt your heart into two / I got that superstar glow” J-Hope matches their cool assurance with “Hot like (summer) / Ain’t no (bummer) / You be like, ‘Oh my god’”. Coming from the most successful boy group in the current world, the world couldn’t ring more true.

As always, BTS don’t miss out on a hat-tip to their ARMY, a direct one, this time – “Got ARMY right behind us when we say so”. The line, along with visuals of the boys spelling out ARMY in stylish stance, is a quick shot of glee to BTS-loving hearts.

Now, seasoned ARMY might be missing on the band’s more profound musical meditations – the kind that distinguished them as offering more than your regular K-pop fare. But as the boys made it clear in their press conference, “We prepared a song for easy listening rather than a heavy message. It’s cute and a little charismatic.”

They are looking to liven up a still-struggling world this summer, and Butter accomplishes that in spades. If lockdown prevents you from skipping outside to experience balmy, starry-skied summer nights, Butter makes that joy a little easier to experience. 

Listen to Butter here:

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