Sunday, January 22, 2023

Album Review: Indigo

After J-Hope’s solo album release, RM was the second among the members of BTS to release an album. As someone from the rap line of BTS, I knew that he was going to rap, but after seeing the promotional material from the album before its release I knew that it was going to be different from his previous mix tapes. I had a hunch it was going go in a more R&B direction and I was right.

Like Jack in the Box, RM’s Indigo is a very personal and introspective album that shares his feelings about his life and career. The only difference is that RM has packed his album with an arsenal of collaborations to go with it. 

The first single from the album is Wild Flower, which has a beautiful music video. Despite having this song as a first single, according to RM he would like for people to listen to the album in the order of the tracks as he had arranged it. This has been the way that I have been listening to it since then and I must agree that the music flows well from one song to another in that way. I also noticed that with each song there are elements of the musical style of each other the artists he collaborated with. It is a good mix of his music and that of his collaborator.

I was extremely excited to learn that Erykah Badu was in the first track of the album called Yun. The title is the name of South Korean artist Yun Hyongkeun, whose voice starts the track. The song talks about RM’s thoughts on his journey as an artist. The next track, Still Life, is a song with Anderson Paak that is about moving forward, about living life nonstop no matter what. It is a fun track that I found myself bobbing my head to immediately. The next track, All Day, which is a collaboration with Tablo of Epik High, seems to have a similar theme to Still Life. Both seem to have a more funk feel, but the latter track feels a bit more hip-hop to me. 

Forg_tful, a song that with Kim Sawol, is the next track on the album. They said this is the song that started all these songs for Indigo and is about that state of forgetfulness. I know it is possible that there is a different meaning for RM when he wrote this, but for me, my interpretation of this is that it is about how forgetting can be both a good thing and a sad thing at the same time. It is sad to forget good memories but forgetting the bad is a way of numbing ourselves from the pain of the same thing. I liked this track, especially his choice of using a more acoustic sound to match the message of the song.

Another song that I liked was Closer with Paul Blanco and Mahalia. This sounds more like R&B and is one of the songs (along with Change pt. 2) that is mostly in English, so it was easier for me to understand. I have to say though, the songs are all so good that language is not a barrier to feeling the emotions that each song wants to convey. The next track, Change pt. 2, was interesting because this sounds like a breakup song, both with the lyrics and the sound of it. I do not think I have ever heard any of the guys from BTS do a song like this before. It just feels so personal. It makes me want to ask RM who broke up his heart to make him write this. 

I thought the song Lonely felt like a very vulnerable song, talking about how even with his life he still feels lonely. This is another one of my favorites in the album. I enjoyed the beat of the song and the overall sound of the track. The next song, Hectic (with Colde), seems to be a continuation of the theme of Lonely, as he sings about how his busy life, and he wants to stop because he is longing for something else. The first single from the album, Wild Flower (with youjeen), also seems connected to this. In this track, he talks about his struggle with his fame and successful life. I loved this song from the moment I heard it. It was so good that it was playing in my head over and over for days when I first heard it. 

RM closed out the album with the song No. 2 (with parkjiyoon), which has a more hopeful message of moving forward and having no regrets in life. I felt that after all the songs that contemplated the state of his life, it was great to end it on a good note with a light song like this. 

I read somewhere that RM is already working on a follow-up to this album and that it would be a different sound from this one. Considering that Indigo is a different sound from his previous mix tapes, I am curious about what he will produce next. I am looking forward to it!


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