Song Review: Agust D (BTS Suga) – Amygdala

Agust D - AmygdalaI already wrote about Agust D’s Haegeum in detail, so this review for follow-up Amygdala will be brief. It’s an interesting choice for promotion via music video, delving the depths of his past traumas to create a kind of tone poem.

Someone in the sociology/psychology field needs to do a study on vocal effects/vocal processing in pop music. There’s more to this than aesthetic. Technology gives artists the chance to obscure or transform their voices in so many different ways, and these stylistic choices reflect compelling ideas of what it means to be a pop star in the modern age.

In the case of Amygdala, the effects give the song a cavernous feel. It’s unsettling and dark, reflecting the lyrical content and overall sense of desperation. Like Haegeum, I can appreciate the artistic merit in these choices. But, I can’t say I enjoy listening to this song or want to go back for a replay. It’s tricky, because that’s sort of the point here. My ratings scale doesn’t do a great job reflecting “admirable art I don’t personally want to experience,” so take my opinion with a huge grain of salt (as you always should!).

Hooks 7
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 6

Grade: C


15 thoughts on “Song Review: Agust D (BTS Suga) – Amygdala

  1. This song is very interesting. I didn’t even know what an amygdala was and til I saw a youtube comment. Amygdala is a part of the brain. It associates with fear and stress responses. This song is the only song I know called Amygdala. It’s that unique.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Isn’t it an awesome title? As a recent neuroscience grad it really got me excited. Yes, the amygdala is especially known for its role in fear responses and fear-related learning (from basic fear-related reflexes to trauma responses). I think it is very clever and fitting as this songs title.

      (That aside, the amygdala is not just the evil fear area- it’s important for emotion-related processes in general. It plays a role in memory too, which makes sense if you think about it – we remember things associated with strong emotions better. The amygdala is also an important part of the limbic system – a collection of brain areas that regulate reward-learning and motivation. It’s a really neat brain structure!)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think these songs and art like this are cathartic to create, perhaps to experience as a consumer once or twice, but more than is just depressing and not in a good way.

    On a similar note, the Pet Shop Boys have a new song out this week “The Lost Room”, and it is quite good, and punches real hard, but I don’t know I want to listen to it much more again. Brutal, honest, and tough. The theme is about school hazing.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “Someone in the sociology/psychology field needs to do a study on vocal effects/vocal processing in pop music. There’s more to this than aesthetic. Technology gives artists the chance to obscure or transform their voices in so many different ways.”

    I’m sure there’s loads of stuff on this, at least in terms of popular culture theories. The earliest technology to forge synthetic voices is probably the vocoder, used by everyone from Kraftwerk (see “The Man Machine”), Pink Floyd and other 70s prog artists, to Daft Punk (Around the World) and Radiohead (see Kid A). Newer technology like sampling allowed vocals to be processed and manipulated, chopped up and put back together in new configurations. (My favorite artist of the 2010s, Burial, did this expertly on work like Untrue.) I remember Pitchfork had an article on this, let me find it… Here it is: It is a fascinating subject, I wouldn’t mind the kind of journal articles you suggested.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I don’t think this song is a good single choice. Its a wonderful album track and I’m very happy he shared it with us. Its going to be a very important song to a lot of people and for that I don’t wanna say anything that bad. I don’t truthfully like this song though. It sounds like generic trap rap to me but a song this personal is kind of either you feel it or you don’t. There are some very good songs on this album though and I always love Suga’s lyrics. This one is great lyrically and but just not what I would listen to musically.


  5. Like RM’s Wild Flower this song is too painful and intensely personal for me to listen to or watch more than once. But I’m glad that he’s able to process these experiences through his art.

    It seems like with these solo albums the members are releasing one song that is more gp-friendly and the other is more for the fandom (not a fan service song but one that gives fans a more personal view). I think it’s an interesting strategy to maintain the fandom while building upon it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sound wise, it kinda reminds me of NF (not necessarily a good thing) because of how dramatic it is. I do appreciate how vulnerable and authentic the lyrics and the music video are, it’s good to see that he still has something compelling to say in his music. But his production has failed to impress me at all over the past few years. This song just doesn’t translate the emotions from the lyrics into the sound itself very well in my opinion, it’s a bit too cheesy for me to take it as seriously as it obviously wants to be taken.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I like the lyrics on this track more than Haegeum and the matter of fact personal and vulnerable side Suga wants to share. Here I kind of get the feel he wishes to get from processed audio but Ive never been a fan. The rap part with the least audio processing is my favorite part. I wished we would have gotten an MV for Snooze instead. That was a winner track for me.


  8. I prefer this song way more than Haegum. At the same time though I have to be in a specific mood to listen to it because it’s so painful and makes me cry. I like Haegum for the MV, but that song doesn’t draw me in like this one does.


  9. I’ve read alot of this person’s reviews on all BTS related music and it has never been positive on the other hand on another group its always how great there music is. He’s clearly another groups stan. So I never take what this writer says as a non bias writer because he’s clearly not. 🙄


  10. Amygdala is a beautiful masterpiece to play on repeat and that your entire review is limited to “ew vocal processing” shows your ignorance and lack of empathy. Sad


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