Song Review: BTS – Stay Gold

Surprising no one, BTS have conquered Japan alongside every other global music market. This has been achieved through a combination of Japanese re-recordings and original material. Oddly, their trio of original J-pop songs (For You, Lights and now Stay Gold) share a sound that’s downright toothless compared to their Korean work. Much of their global appeal has hinged on how “authentic” they’re viewed, and generic material like this directly contrasts that image.

Like most Big Hit singles of the past two years, Stay Gold was partially composed by producers Melanie Fontana and Michel “Lindgren” Schulz. Last year, I included them in my top ten producers of 2019, and I’m beginning to regret that decision. I was blinded by the perfect trifecta of Crown, Boy With Luv and Run Away. Something must have been in the water back then, because their 2020 work has been a complete and utter downgrade. I mean… On? Can’t You See Me? Puma?!?

In the context of these ambitious but disappointing releases, Stay Gold feels like a shoulder shrug. The song hinges on a repetitive chorus that becomes mind-numbingly plodding the longer it’s repeated. BTS’s performance lacks the rhythmic heft to make a track of this genre work, rendering Gold’s attempts at emotion lifeless and insincere. There’s a sappiness laced throughout the entire thing, and that sentiment — coupled with generic production and inert melody — makes Stay Gold a real chore to get through. It’s miles away from the daring, rambunctious BTS I came to love during their debut era. Everything about this feels rubber-stamped by a committee of people who have more interest in their bottom line than actual music.

 Hooks 6
 Production 7
 Longevity 7
 Bias 6

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!


36 thoughts on “Song Review: BTS – Stay Gold

  1. Yeah this track is really generic, but I enjoy it. The intro stinks but everything else is pleasant to listen to. I’ve been repeating this song for a while now and I’ll give it an 8 for my amount of listens. Though if I was looking at it critically then my opinion would be much, much worse. I don’t know, I guess I just needed something uplifting right now.


  2. At some in every big groups career they release something that can be called mid-tempo fan service inspirational EMO shit. Fans waving arms back and forth in the stadium from their $400 rafter seats wearing $100 hoodies and $50 light stick after $50 parking, to get the warm and feelies from songs like this. Hey, who am I to judge.

    I am not going to comment on the live vocal version. I will just leave now.


      • Hey, if Nick ever reviews One Direction or the New Kids on the Block, or the Spice Girls for that matter, I ain’t going to spare them either.

        I am actually quite serious that at some point every group has a designated fan service concert song.

        I was hunting around for a good cover of Park Hyo Shin “Home” the other day, and discovered to my chagrin that PHS himself uses the song for his feel good fan service concert moments. I thought nooooooooh, PHS, this song is so inspirational why don’t you use … well, well, well gosh darn there really is no other upbeat uptempo PHS song now is there? Right, “Home” it is.

        SuJu has been using “Miracle” as the happy clappy fan service song since before Kyuhyun was a member, and that is a loooong time ago. Then SM socked NCT Dream with a cover of Miracle for their concert, and it just isn’t the same. For one, NCT Dream actually do the dance. For two, its SuJu’s designated fan service song.


        • Wel,l I actually got the point of the greater part of your comment, it was just the jab of the last sentence and the overall nature of your comments on other reviews that caught my attention.
          I aint gat an issue with you not fancying them though, was just pointing it out.


    • Oh my, the Army has descended. And they wonder why this fandom has a bad rap?

      Readers, I’m torn…. should I delete this kind of harassing comment, or leave it up for all to see the ridiculousness? I don’t want to encourage mean-spiritedness, but I also think it’s valuable to see what we’re dealing with, here.

      Also, the comment was so nice, they had to post it twice!

      As for “ARMY4LYF,” please get the hell out if you’re going to attack people like that. It makes you look small and ignorant and desperate. If you think your words were going to hurt somebody, you’re wrong. We’re all just laughing at your foolishness.

      Liked by 3 people

      • In my opinion, just delete it.
        Not because its making armys look bad, but because I don’t want mymagoogle to see this type of comment. Its disgusting.

        And to the person who commented this, I don’t think any group will appreciate a toxic person like you(and yes I’m using toxic person not toxic army, because a person who comments these type of things to a person they don’t even know.. I don’t think you’re a nice person in reality too.


  3. I mean I liked it better than On so I would give it a score of 7.75.

    I have listened to it a few times and its a song that I don’t have the urge to skip..but also wouldn’t seek specifically to listen… although I may forward it to the last half part as I liked it better.

    I watched the live performance and honestly I enjoyed it. Seeing some other performances this year, I think they have improved in the vocal area, so it makes me that much frustrated given the use of autotune in MOTS7.

    I think in their Japanese venture I love the songs Crystal snow and Don’t leave me and only those two are added to my playlist.

    I didn’t even remember for you and haven’t listened to lights since its release.


  4. This is okay, I guess, a 7/10 from me, but maybe will change later because I listened to this right after How You Like That which it kinda makes this song sound a little better….

    But still as of now I feel like Lights is miles ahead of this song.


  5. off topic but can you do a review on april’s new OST “crazy” ? it’s definitely a song that could’ve been a single/title for them and i think it’s a work suited in your taste


  6. I like it quite enough. The real problem to me is that they won’t EVER be able to reach those high notes live. But maybe they won’t ever need to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This was a pleasant, inoffensive song. It has a little more replay value for me though since the autotune is less in-your-face than in MOTS7, so I’ll probably play it when I’m in a certain mood. I agree with Kpop Lover’s comment above, in that their Face Yourself album was their best Japanese release so far.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Idk why but I actually rlly like this song? It’s generic but it’s very replayable imo. The high notes are quite grating but overall I love the presence of a real chorus and an actual melody

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I really think you should change your taste in music because the type of rating uou have given some of BTS’S billboard top 10 songs is ridiculous. You should raise your standards of music and then listen to BTS because imbsciles like you will never understand their music.


  10. I really think you should change your taste in music because the type of rating uou have given some of BTS’S billboard top 10 songs is ridiculous. You should raise your standards of music and then listen to BTS because imbsciles like you will never understand their music.


    • So you’re saying that Idol and Stay Gold are better tracks than Save Me and BST because they did better on the charts? If the charts measured quality then this conversation would be a lot different. Also this is coming from a BTS fan so relax.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I really think you should change your attitude because the type of image you’re portraying through your comment is ridiculous. You should raise yourself to become a respectful person and then listen to Nick’s opinions because “imbsciles” like you will never understand how to not attack other people and their opinions.

      Now that’s not what BTS have taught you have they? Talking about self-love, loving others, and yet here you are adding a layer of dust on an already grimy reputation that is of the ARMY fandom. DON’T ruin the image of BTS and the ARMY fandom. It’s people like you that has made me take a huge HUGE step back from being a part of it’s fandom. No way hosay do I want to be a part of that.


  11. I feel that your view of looking at music is wrong. Bts songs known for their energetic fell but it doesn’t mean they have keep doing it. And the high notes are very beautifully done by the vocals. The Song lyrics are meaningful and music is peaceful without losing the vibe of energy.


    • …and oranges are cats that like to climb chocolate trees in which bears the fruit of ravaging piranhas that are actually hardcore vegans and so they protest in front of the government to destroy all cats so that they aren’t constantly tempted to eat cats but big mama bear is gonna come out of the hobbit hole and tell everyone to shut up.


  12. What do you gain from this?? This isn’t stan twt where typical haters are bashing your favs for having a bad song. Sure you can disagree with op but in the end he’s expressing his own opinions and preferences on music via this site without being offensive at all. Some ppl like you need a reality check, so that you’ll realize not everyone like bts’s music and it’s fine.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. It’s a pretty song but I agree, it’s by far not comparable to their best and somewhat lacking in personality I feel and one thing that unites all my favourite bts songs is their spirit and personality


    • Absolutely correct, it’s a bit cheesy too, though I would like to take the stay gold phrase in the deeper context of staying innocent and keeping your mind pure inspite of all the problems of the world rather than literally staying gold i.e shining like gold.


  14. In my opinion, a pretty generic song with a beautiful chorus that works well for Jungkook and Jimin’s voices. In tune with their image in Japan and that works well for idols in Japan.


  15. I’m honestly hoping big-hit will move on from collaborating with Melanie and her husband, especially considering how disrespectful they’ve been in regards to crediting the artists.


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