Song Review: RM (BTS) – Still Life (ft. Anderson .Paak)

RM - Still LifeOne of the coolest things about RM’s Indigo album is that it’s essentially a collaboration project. All but two tracks prominently feature guest artists, and these guests have been plucked from many eras, cultures and countries. None feel extraneous or tacked on for purely commercial reasons. Unlike BTS’s recent slate of English-language department store bops, this project feels personal and focused.

Casual fans (or those who only listen to K-pop) might be most familiar with rapper/singer Anderson .Paak via the recent Silk Sonic project that teamed him with Bruno Mars and resulted in the mega-hit Leave The Door Open. Still Life pulls him into the BTS fold, and it’s a match that works well. In contrast to last week’s cathartic Wild Flower, this song is all about groove. It’s loose and funky and has a throwback appeal similar to some of the tracks on that Silk Sonic album.

I like the song’s expressive, spontaneous energy. It’s not reinventing the wheel, but the performers are clearly having a good time and it feels like they’re actually interacting with each other (despite this likely being recorded in two different places). RM thrives on this faster-paced sound and Paak injects an extra dose of texture that gives the song some grit – especially during the bombastic breakdowns. There are a couple of stronger tracks on the album (the Tablo-featuring All Day is a lot of fun), but it was smart to give the public a taste of Indigo’s more upbeat energy.

Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8

Grade: B-

11 thoughts on “Song Review: RM (BTS) – Still Life (ft. Anderson .Paak)

  1. This album is a delight from start to finish. I think Change PT 2 is my favourite track, it just sounds interesting, but the while thing is amazing.
    Still Life is fun, Anderson Paak always brings the groove to a sing nicely.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a blast! Among the more upbeat songs on the album I prefer All Day with Tablo and Hectic with Colde, but this is a good move for an MV (wish Anderson was in it!) and will appeal to a wider audience than Wild Flower, which feels like it’s more for fans. Also the lyrics are more hopeful.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. This is one of my most favorite tracks of the album and I’m glad it got a music video!

    Can we expect a Buried Treasure for “All Day” very soon? 👀

    Liked by 4 people

  4. This sounds like a classic happy clappy kpop duet – to my ears like a Zico song with a Crush-type, as if “Any Song” was a duet, or like his two more recent actual duets “Freak” with Jeon Somi and whatever was last month’s.

    My humble opinion – It teases the line between charismatic performance and vanity project.That placement of the line depends a lot on how much of a fan of the performers. For me, this (and recent Zico) are vanity projects which I will skip, as I hear songs made for the ego of the performer who thinks they are crushing it, think they are being clever, but really just playing to the existing fans.

    Others, this is right up their groove, which is why these are so successful on the charts. Fine either way. If this is your thing, scratches the fun itch, who am I to judge.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think you are right to be honest, I just don’t see it as a negative myself. This is very in line with Namjoon’s previous mixtapes. He has always written about basically the same things (fame vs authenticity, is commercial opposite of art, is a public persona a lie or just a side if a person and how disconnected from yourself can you become due to it, art as immortality, loneliness). So I think it is, partially, a pat in the back album on those same topics written from a point in which he feels he has made it. I feel like it is kinda earned to be honest. Whatever one thinks about the group as a whole, they did definitely make it.
      J-Hope’s album definitely had that vibe to it. A “I have made it, so what now?” vibe.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yeah, not a negative, just being a pragmatist, perhaps a practical realist.

        To take it out of Kpop world, think of all the Cardi B duets. Some are great! Well, ok, I really don’t know what to call “WAP” but lets call it exceptionally noteable. And then there are the ones where we have to wonder why the duet exists, what is the purpose, did it work out or not, maybe probably yeah nah.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I love this song so much. Its so good. Anderson Paak is the best and one of my favorite artists. Put him with RM and I’m just very happy. This whole album is great. RM did so well with it.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Initially this was my least favorite song on the album but it’s growing on me. It seemed out of place from the other songs and while I like .Paak it just didn’t hit as hard as the other songs…until I had the opportunity to read the lyrics. It’s still my least favorite but can’t deny it’s currently the one stuck in my head!

    Liked by 2 people

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