This album review has been in the works for a couple of weeks and I’ve struggled with getting it out. I think it is because there is so much to work with for this album and so many feelings that I have, that makes it hard to get this down in a way I am happy with. With that being said, we’re going to get deep into Love Yourself: Tear by BTS starting right now!
Like I mentioned in the red carpet article, there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding this album and what the concepts, styles, and sounds would be like. Would it be similar to or different from what we’ve received in the past? How is it going to mesh with the first Love Yourself album?
First, I have to say that this album is probably the opposite of Love Yourself: Her in every way. The album cover is all black, the concept and styles are dark, as well as the lyrics. Love Yourself: Her brought feelings of elation, warm feelings of love (be it platonic, romantic, between family) and had a bright concept/vibe. Love Yourself: Tear, on the other hand, brings concepts of heartbrokenness and despair, with dark vibes, lyrics, and pictures to match.
We already discussed ‘Singularity’, the intro to the album, in the opening article. Just to mention it again briefly, it talks about being torn between feeling as though you have gained a love or lost yourself because of it. It is a neo-soul track with heavy jazz influence that has a sensual and heavily emotional vibe to it. It was the perfect prelude to ‘Fake Love‘, the title track of the album that is sweeping everyone off their feet.
In a contrast to ‘Singularity’, ‘Fake Love‘ has a sound that is upbeat yet desperate. Thinking back to the title track of Love Yourself: Her ‘DNA‘, the script has been completely flipped in ‘Fake Love‘. The boys were once singing about how the love between themselves and their other was in their DNA. It was a love and meeting that was destined, and while not perfect, was right. In ‘Fake Love‘, the boys are saying that it was all an illusion. “For you, I could pretend like I was happy when I was sad/ For you, I could pretend like I was strong when I was hurt/ I wish love was perfect as love itself/ I wish all my weaknesses could be hidden/ I grew a flower that can’t be bloomed in a dream that can’t come true”.
We also can’t talk about this song without talking about the vocals that the seven-member band laid down. The dangerously high falsetto notes of the chorus, ringing out “I’m so sick of this fake love” express a breaking point. Save for these falsetto notes, the tones from all members tend to be in the lower register; with a heavier and darker tone than ever heard from them before. The hip-hop based track with a stunning guitar was a great move on their behalf; it really encompasses the vibe they were going for with this album.