Monday, June 12, 2023

Amygdala by Agust D: A Song Review

With Agust D’s latest album D-Day releasing a single before the album release and another during the release day of the album itself, it felt like such a gift to a fan like me that he released yet another single with a music video after the album was out. After People Pt. 2 and Haegum, the next single that came out was this very personal and moving song called Amygdala. 

The song talks about things that happened in Agust D/Min Yoongi’s life that affected him and caused pain in his life. His mother’s heart surgery when he was born, news of his father’s liver cancer, and the accident that damaged his shoulder when he was still a trainee.

When he says “I don’t know your name…” and how he is sharing memories of things that he wants to forget, I assume he is talking about his amygdala. The amygdala is the part of our brain that controls that helps a person process trauma, fear and other threatening stimuli. I immediately thought of the book Almond, which Yoongi read when they were doing the first season of In the Soop.  This was a book about a boy who had a damaged amygdala and could not feel anything. In this song, it is like Yoongi is asking his amygdala for help to process the painful things that happened in his life, unpacking these memories for them to erase, so that he can be free from the pain that these events have given him.  

While the song is very personal, I think that anyone who has gone through painful things in life can relate to the story that this song is sharing. When he says that what happened were things he never asked for and were out of his control, I could relate to that. Sometimes we have no control over the things that happen to us and like everyone else, we do not ask for negative things to happen in our lives. But, as the song also says, we can only hope that we make the best choices or decisions on how to deal with these things as they happen to us.

As painful as the song is, I liked that he concluded the song by saying that he knows that the pain he felt is all in the past and that he hoped that he made the best decisions about them. He adds that the countless suffering only made him stronger and that he blooms like a lotus flower once again. Why a lotus flower? It is a flower that can bloom even in muddy waters, a great metaphor for how he has survived despite the circumstances in life that hurt him. 

Yoongi is someone that has always been open about his struggles with mental health, and this song is another example of that. This is such an honest and personal story that he chose to share with the public. I really felt his pain when he was singing the lines where he asks his amygdala for help throughout his struggles. I think that anyone who has been through similar struggles (me included) would be able to relate to how he feels in this song. 

On a personal note, I must share that the part that got to me the most in this song is the line that talks about the sound of his mother’s heart ticking away. I could sense both the love he has for his mother and the fear he has that she might be taken away from him in that one line. It also moved me because it reminded me of that moment in my childhood when I found out that I had a heart disease myself and how just five years ago, a doctor had told me that I was at risk of having a heart attack at any time. Reading what that line meant to hit home for me. 

The music video that came with this single was also about the struggle that Yoongi has with the pain that he feels and that he wants to break free from, showing how he has even resorted to hurting himself in the process. It is a video that you can’t view unless you agree to view it because of the sensitive topic. It can’t be viewed outside of YouTube so I’ll just share the link to it here

Amygdala is a very heavy song, but it also must feel very cathartic for Yoongi to be able to say how he feels about this out loud. One of the most painful things that I have gone through in my own struggles with my mental health is not being able to share what I feel with anyone. It’s a mixture of being unsure of how I feel and being afraid of what people would say if I open myself up in that way. It’s a hard thing to do, but when it does happen, it can also feel good to let it all go. I hope that the catharsis that I feel as a listener is something that he has felt from making this song as well. 



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