BTS’ Save Me has been around for two weeks now as part of their Young Forever repackage, so it has the benefit of time behind it. But, I wanted to wait until its music video had been released to review it. Before getting into the song, it’s worth noting just what a transformative and fully realized project the group’s The Most Beautiful Moment In Life trilogy has been. Without a single misstep, they have both reinvented themselves and kpop as a whole, gaining massive popularity as a result. This is no small feat within a genre that has already grown so much in the past few years.
Save Me is another outstanding example of their inventive, emotional sound. While Fire was the track to hype you up, Save Me hearkens back to the melodic heft of I Need U, the song that kicked off this impressive six-single run. Its melody takes a similarly cathartic approach, balancing pop hooks with a darker undertone. Fire gave the rap line a spotlight (and remains the more fun of the two), but Save Me is indebted to the understated, rich vocal performances from Jungkook, Jimin, V and Jin. It’s amazing to think that BTS debuted as a hip-hop group with minimal focus on melody. Who knew what potential was hidden within songs like No More Dream or We Are Bulletproof?
Beyond the vocals, the piercing electronic whistle that becomes Save Me‘s biggest instrumental hook is a revelation, mirroring the ever-morphing tempo of the track’s mercurial beat. The entire song is an exercise in fits and starts, pulling back and pushing forward in an off-kilter structure that deftly walks the line between cerebral and mainstream. Yet, as easy as Save Me is to appreciate, it never feels too pleased with itself to function as a catchy, fun piece of pop music. BTS have set an insanely high bar for themselves. Where they go from here is anyone’s guess, though it feels as if they could tackle just about anything.