Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve with Intro: 화양연화 (The Most Beautiful Moment in Life)

Lyric Translation: 
The rim looks farther away today; sighs are building on top of the court
The boy is afraid of reality, but his heart is at peace only when he throws the ball
Throwing the ball by himself; what I’m shooting at the rim are my countless thoughts and worries
I pretend to know the world but my body is still not ready
Shoot, the court is my playground
With my movements, a small ball bounces next to my feet
The results are as low as the floor, 
but I just shout out loud to the world that everything’s gonna be alright
But the world gives me fear, then just stop
Thoughts fill my head and instead of the ball,I throw my future
Because of the other’s standard of success
my worries spread like cancer again, goddamn it

Along with the thrown ball, laughter starts to spread
My breath rises to my chin, my dreams squirm about
The dribbles get faster, my heart gets happier
This moment feels like it’ll last forever but the sun is setting
When the night comes again, reality gets destroyed
When I snap out of it, I’m just a scared idiot again
I keep getting scared at the looming sense of reality
Others are running ahead but why am I still here?

Breathe or dream
Row the oars along with your heartbeat
If you are trapped in the other’s thin judgments
then the sun will set on your life like (how it does on) a court

What am I doin’ with my life?
This moment won’t ever come again
I’m asking myself again, am I happy right now?
The answer is already there - I’m happy

Lyrics adapted from Color Coded Lyrics

Suga (or Min Yoongi) has the incredible ability of shaping an entire message behind a singular thematic colour/sound/term-that-i'm-too-amateur-to-know. I think that's the draw for me, as someone who studied English Literature and is musically inclined. If you take a close listen, you can hear the sound of shoes squeaking as they would if a player is on the court, the bounce of a ball, the sound it makes when it clangs against the rim of the net. Suga used to play basketball in school; this is his tribute to his pastime - using it as a metaphor of his hopes and dreams. I wouldn't be surprised if he recorded the authentic sounds and added them as samples into this track.

(I could and would talk more about this but I think other blogs have already; also I'm on a tight schedule TT)

I think I am deeply drawn to the songs of BTS' rapline/hyung (older members) line, namely because they deeply resonate the feelings a twentysomething would have (or twentysomething me has anyway). There a sense of bravado - we've worked hard to get here, we're achieving some of our dreams, but also worry, fear, and despair - why does it seem like our actual dreams aren't complete yet, why am I still unsure about life, when will I actually get my sh*t together. And generally, they end their songs on a positive note. Probably why I blast them in my car, much to my family's chagrin (the language barrier is challenging). What can I say, I'm a sucker for relatable songs (note: not songs shoving positive messages down my throat). My fondness for spoken word also makes me very, very intrigued by rap music - because literary-wise, we can define rhyme and meter and other literary elements in them.

Jamie Cullum's album Twentysomething has that feel as well. I remember listening to the full album in my late teens and only understanding some of his thoughts. Perhaps I should revisit it.

Anyway. New Year's Eve - I just feel Suga's song.