Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Agust D's D-Day: An Album Review

The album D-Day by Agust D (aka Min Yoongi, aka BTS’ SUGA) was released last April, in time for the start of his tour of the US and parts of Asia. Made up of 10 tracks, the album marks the end of the Agust D trilogy that started with the album Agust D and D-2.

A single titled People Pt. 2 with IU was launched before the album release, with the single Haegum released on the day the album came out two weeks after. This was followed by another single, Amygdala, which was released just days later. 

The album starts with the track of the same name, D-Day, which talks about Agust D looking forward to the future and reassuring himself that everything will be OK. If you are familiar with Agust D’s personal journey, you would know that he had several personal struggles, and this song is about moving forward from that past and into a new chapter in his life. I love the beat of this song and it’s one of those types that you’d love to blast out in the car while going for a drive or something you’d use to hype yourself up for the day, something I’ve done a couple of times already. It just gets your blood pumping in a way that you feel like you can do anything. 

The next track after D-Day is Haegum, followed by a track that he worked on with fellow BTS member J-Hope called Huh?!. Again, it’s another track that has a beat that makes you want to move. I’ve been working out and playing this song along with other D-Day tracks in the background. It’s a track that reminds me of the Cypher tracks that BTS has that were messages to their haters, with this song asking, “What the shit do you know about me…” and pointing out that they are doing their thing and doing it well despite the hate. 

The fourth track in the album is Amygdala, which is followed by a song called SDL which, if you listen to the song, means “Somebody does Love.” At first, I thought the song was a love song, a song about being in love. But when I read the English translation of the lyrics, I realized that he was also questioning if what was felt was love or just the idea of it. The song goes on to talk about a relationship that isn’t there anymore and wondering if what he is missing is the love or the relationship itself or the feelings that he associates with it. I then realized that it was a song about a love gone wrong and thinking about that person that he loved in the past. I feel that it goes well with the song that followed, People Pt. 2, because it seems to talk about that lost love as well. I feel that this also fits the storyline of his other song, Seesaw.

Polar Night is the seventh track in the album. The song is about wondering what truth is and what is a lie in this world we live in today. It's about how hard it is to live in this world where everything has to be defined and lines have to be drawn even if life and living are not that simple or easy. He goes on to wonder if not speaking up is a good or bad thing because it can cause more trouble than it is worth, but silence also means that we are encouraging the wrong things that are happening in the process. When it asks if we are also clean, it is because silence doesn’t always mean we are blameless in this world where we must speak up and fight for things we believe in. It’s a deep track, and I must admit that the idea that this song speaks of is something to think about.

I must be honest; I love all the songs on this album but the one that I have played and replayed several times is Interlude: Dawn. It’s a purely instrumental track but I find it so moving and inspiring. I have been writing a lot with that song in the background and I have been having a lot of creative ideas just by listening to it. I would be very happy to listen to more instrumental tracks from him like this in the future. If he released an album that was purely instrumental like this, I would buy it!

The song Snooze is a good follow-up track to Interlude: Dawn. The two songs just go well together in that order. This is a collaboration between Agust D, singer Woosung from the band The Rose, and Ryuichi Sakamoto. The song has a similar feel to Interlude: Dawn so I think it’s no surprise that this is my second most-played track in the album. I’ve read that this is a song written as a show of support and reassurance for his juniors who feel the pressures of being an artist in the music industry. I think that while this is a message for them, it is also a reassuring track for anyone else who feels stressed, tired, and pressured about life in general. I love Woosung’s part in this song, the contrast between his vocals and Agust D’s rapping is a perfect match for the song along with the piano in the background (which is probably Ryuichi Sakamoto). I also loved that he added lines from his song So Far Away at the end of this one. It fits perfectly with the theme of this one. 

The final track in the album is Life Goes On. Yes, it is the same title as the song from BTS because it is the version that Yoongi had written and proposed for their album. It was not chosen as the BTS version, but I remember he once said that he loved his version and would like to release it one day and so here it is. Life Goes On was written as a song for the fans during the pandemic, but I also feel like it is a song that talks about what he felt if things change because of it. I think it also in a way fits like a message for the fans who are affected by the members of BTS going into military service as well. Some of the lines that I loved (as translated) seems to be about that:

As time goes by

Someone will be forgotten

Just do what you want

Time is like a wave

It will be washed away like the ebb

But don't forget to find me

To sum up, D-Day is a track that takes you on a musical journey with different musical styles that are grounded in the rapping and songwriting skills of Agust D. It doesn’t only entertain but also provokes emotions and asks questions about life and at the same time gives comfort to those who need it. 



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