While Korean boy band BTS has collectively taken the world by storm with their charming personalities and creative music, sometimes the individual members like to branch out on their own. Typically, the group’s three rappers, RM, Suga and Jhope, are the ones taking up side gigs, each having produced their own mixtapes as well as having collaborataed with other artists. Now, members Jimin, Jin and Jungkook have teamed up with British singer Charli XCX to create the song “Dream Glow.”
Not only is this a beautiful song that shows off the singers’ natural talents, but it is also an expression of their success as a band and the leadoff for a new, original soundtrack. The music itself is gorgeous, with the whole track taking on a particularly lush vibe. Like most other BTS songs, the music is very layered and complex, but at the same time, the cut itself remains very laidback.
The production is clean and crisp, lending to a certain lightness on the track, with a nice, slow beat that allows the focus to land solely on the vocals. The angelic quality of the harmony, coupled with the slow-moving, flowy beat makes the song feel very dreamlike, connecting the music to the surreal, lyrical themes.
The vocals themselves are also excellent, with Jin and Jimin singing most of the verses while Jungkook and Charli XCX sing the chorus. The higher vocal register of the men adds to the ethereal feel of the song. However, Charli XCX’s deeper voice blends in beautifully and balances the other vocal performances, with the harmony between her and Jungkook in the chorus being a perfect example of the natural beauty that results from the offsetting of the two singers.
Charli XCX herself brings a lot to this track. I’ve always felt that her voice was unlike anything I had heard before and was disappointed that she never fully crossed over into popularity here in the U.S.
Here in the States, she is relatively unknown, outside of her verse in Iggy Azalea’s hit, “Fancy,” as well as her own track, “Boom Clap,” beyond which she has not found a ton of success on American charts. Her presence on “Dream Glow” is a welcome one, to say the least, and her vocal performance brings out some of the best parts of the track.
However, the best part of “Dream Glow” is not the music or vocals but the lyrics themselves. The chorus is in English while most of the verses are in Korean. The whole song is a love letter to chasing dreams and, for a band like BTS, almost nothing could be more personal or relevant.
They went from being an underdog group from a small company to one of the biggest K-pop groups of all time. The group has already received many awards and accolades, along with breaking many records. They’ve become international superstars after pursuing their dreams in the face of doubt and difficulty.
Now, with fans all over the world, a long way from their humble beginnings, they have released “Dream Glow” to inspire their fans to follow their dreams, no matter how difficult success might seem.
Lyrics like “My dream is to stay / I won’t give up” and “What used to be a blinding future / Pausing it for a while” convey how it feels for them to see their dreams coming true in front of their very eyes. The world around them is filled with the glow of their dreams, and it doesn’t seem like the sun will be setting anytime soon.
I think the fact that they are collaborating with another international artist shows how far their reach has extended. Just in their last album, they collaborated with one of the U.S.’s hottest female artists, Halsey, for the song “Boy With Luv.”
The launch of the song might seem usual — the band just released an album in 2018 — but it’s actually the first of a special soundtrack for their upcoming video game, “BTS World.”
The app-based game will allow the player to act as BTS’s manager, helping them achieve international fame. It will have thousands of new photos along with hundreds of video clips of the band.
“Dream Glow” works well as a song on its own but works even better within the context of the game. Their fans will get to help them alongside their journey to achieve their dreams in the game just as they did in real life. It highlights the journey BTS has taken to arrive where they are now and gives fans the experience of taking the wild ride with them.
The song won’t be the only one made for the game, but it is the first single from the original soundtrack. In fact, two other BTS members, V and Jhope, just released another song for the album, titled “A Brand New Day.”
This song is another collaboration, this time with artist Zara Larsson, a Swedish pop star. There will also be a third song dropping soon, and it is suspected to have BTS members RM and Suga collaborating with another artist.
Overall, “Dream Glow” is a great showcase of the talents of these artists. It is beautiful in all aspects: musically, vocally and lyrically. It plays as a seamless listening experience that conveys something meaningful to both BTS and their fans. I’m excited to continue to watch this group push forward and achieve great things.