5 Takeaways From BTS' New Album 'Proof'
After a few years of smash hits, BTS have cemented their relevance in music. With old and new tracks, 'Proof' puts the focus back on what truly matters: their love for their fans.
BTS have catapulted to unprecedented levels of stardom in the two years since their last Korean release, BE. They became the first K-pop act to be nominated for a GRAMMY, broke countless chart and streaming records, and sold out stadiums across the globe. BTS has already proven there's nothing they can't do — hence, their anthology album, Proof, feels perfectly timed. It reintroduces BTS to the world by solidifying them as who they are: musicians who inspire.
Just in time for the group's 9th anniversary, Proof features classic songs, unreleased gems, and three new songs for fans to enjoy. Though BTS has spent the last year or so releasing infectious English tracks, this three-disc album showcases their depth and lyrical ability in addition to their knack for producing catchy pop hits. A return to their primarily Korean music, it feels like BTS is home once again.
With 48 tracks in total, there's something to discover for fans both new and old. Ultimately, everyone who listens to Proof will understand the musical journey BTS has experienced since their debut.
Here are 5 takeaways from BTS' new album Proof.
It's A Love Letter Between ARMY And BTS
From the rough demos, to the care taken in ordering the tracks, to special songs like "Born Singer" from 2013, Proof is an album only true fans will be able to fully understand and appreciate. And that's exactly the point.
After a couple years of issuing radio-friendly hits, BTS chose to release a project that would mean something to the fans that have rooted for them over the years. Ahead of the release, the group's RM commented, "As the focus of the album is our message for our fans who have been together with us for the past nine years, we paid the most attention to our lyrics."
"Yet to Come" Has A Message Of Hope
Like the title suggests, "Yet to Come (The Most Beautiful Moment in Life)" initially feels like a lost track from BTS' 2015 EP The Most Beautiful Moment in Life. Listen again, and you can pinpoint different lyrics that chronicle the group's journey from humble hip-hop group to your friendly neighborhood superstars: "That uncomfortable title we were given one day/We are still abashed by being called the best," the Korean lyrics translate. "You know, I just love music/ Nothing much has changed from back then."
The story isn't stuck in the past, though. There's a clear message of hope, that something better is coming for whoever listens.
"Run BTS" Is Just As Fun As The Show
Most ARMYs know about the variety show BTS have been doing since 2015, "Run BTS, " in which they play games and do various activities as a group. Just like the fan-favorite show — which has allowed fans to watch the group bond with each over the years — the new track of the same name is flavorful and uptempo with the perfect dash of hip-hop.
With RM, Suga, j-hope, and Jungkook working on the song, it's definitely a team effort. Although emotional ballads make up a good deal of the album, "Run BTS" captures the high-energy antics for which the group is known and loved.
"For Youth" Is About Gratitude
Much of Proof is fan-centric, but "For Youth" definitely takes the cake. Youth is not about age, but the feeling of being with someone that makes life feel worth living. For BTS, that's ARMY, and vice versa.
At the beginning of the song, a packed stadium sings "Epilogue: Young Forever" to the boys. The track highlights that special moment, providing an opportunity for BTS to respond in a poignant way. Lyrics like, "I open my eyes and it's 10 years ago/ Hanging around Nonhyeon-dong" and "That flower cared for, thanks to you I could be me" paint a perfect picture of the memories shared.
It's Hard Not To Cry
BTS have always been in touch with their emotional side, and they've never shied away from vulnerability in their music. But it's arguably more apparent than ever on Proof. Throughout all 48 tracks (especially the disc of exclusive demos), there's a certain rawness that further humanizes the group.
With Proof, BTS managed to capture some of the most special moments of their career while adding new ones. Whether they're highlighting well-appreciated tracks like "Spring Day," adding fan-loved unofficial favorites like "Born Singer," or summing up their journey with new tracks that focus on reflection and storytelling, the album serves as an exquisite recollection of BTS' history and hope for the future.
The record is timely, as it comes at a time where the group seems larger than life, but clearly aims to remind the world that anything is possible with passion and hard work. Thinking back on how long the journey to recognition has been for the septet warrants a tear or two, and sharing the moment with fans makes it even more special.
While happy songs like "Dynamite" have helped them dominate the mainstream, Proof is a reminder that BTS' ability to touch their audience is not limited to one emotion, one genre or one moment — and the proof is in the music.
GRAMMY SoundChecks With Gavin DeGraw
On Aug. 28 Nashville Chapter GRAMMY U members took part in GRAMMY SoundChecks with Gavin DeGraw. Approximately 30 students gathered at music venue City Hall and watched DeGraw play through some of the singles from earlier in his career along with "Cheated On Me" from his latest self-titled album.
In between songs, DeGraw conducted a question-and-answer session and inquired about the talents and goals of the students in attendance. He gave inside tips to the musicians present on how to make it in the industry and made sure that every question was answered before moving onto the next song.
Juan Gabriel named 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person Of The Year
Annual star-studded gala slated for Nov. 4 in Las Vegas during 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Week celebration
Internationally renowned singer/songwriter/performer Juan Gabriel will be celebrated as the 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year, it was announced today by The Latin Recording Academy. Juan Gabriel, chosen for his professional accomplishments as well as his commitment to philanthropic efforts, will be recognized at a star-studded concert and black tie dinner on Nov. 4 at the
The "Celebration with Juan Gabriel" gala will be one of the most prestigious events held during Latin GRAMMY week, a celebration that culminates with the 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards ceremony. The milestone telecast will be held at
"As we celebrate this momentous decade of the Latin GRAMMYs, The Latin Recording Academy and its Board of Trustees take great pride in recognizing Juan Gabriel as an extraordinary entertainer who never has forgotten his roots, while at the same time having a global impact," said Latin Recording Academy President Gabriel Abaroa. "His influence on the music and culture of our era has been tremendous, and we welcome this opportunity to pay a fitting tribute to a voice that strongly resonates within our community."
Over the course of his 30-year career, Juan Gabriel has sold more than 100 million albums and has performed to sold-out audiences throughout the world. He has produced more than 100 albums for more than 50 artists including Paul Anka, Lola Beltran, Rocío Dúrcal, and Lucha Villa among many others. Additionally, Juan Gabriel has written more than 1,500 songs, which have been covered by such artists as Marc Anthony, Raúl Di Blasio, Ana Gabriel, Angelica María, Lucia Mendez, Estela Nuñez, and Son Del Son. In 1986, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley declared Oct. 5 "The Day of Juan Gabriel." The '90s saw his induction into Billboard's Latin Music Hall of Fame and he joined La Opinion's Tributo Nacional Lifetime Achievement Award recipients list.
At the age of 13, Juan Gabriel was already writing his own songs and in 1971 recorded his first hit, "No Tengo Dinero," which landed him a recording contract with RCA. Over the next 14 years, he established himself as Mexico's leading singer/songwriter, composing in diverse styles such as rancheras, ballads, pop, disco, and mariachi, which resulted in an incredible list of hits ("Hasta Que Te Conocí," "Siempre En Mi Mente," "Querida," "Inocente Pobre Amigo," "Abrázame Muy Fuerte," "Amor Eterno," "El Noa Noa," and "Insensible") not only for himself but for many leading Latin artists. In 1990, Juan Gabriel became the only non-classical singer/songwriter to perform at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in
After a hiatus from recording, Juan Gabriel released such albums as Gracias Por Esperar, Juntos Otra Vez, Abrázame Muy Fuerte, Los Gabriel…Para Ti, Juan Gabriel Con La Banda…El Recodo, and El Mexico Que Se Nos Fue, which were all certified gold and/or platinum by the RIAA. In 1996, to commemorate his 25th anniversary in the music industry, BMG released a retrospective set of CDs entitled 25 Aniversario, Solos, Duetos, y Versiones Especiales, comprised appropriately of 25 discs.
In addition to his numerous accolades and career successes, Juan Gabriel has been a compassionate and generous philanthropist. He has donated all proceeds from approximately 10 performances a year to his favorite children's foster homes, and proceeds from fan photo-ops go to support Mexican orphans. In 1987, he founded Semjase, an orphanage for approximately 120 children, which also serves as a music school with music, recreation and video game rooms. Today, he continues to personally fund the school he opened more than 22 years ago.
Juan Gabriel will have the distinction of becoming the 10th Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year honoree, and joins a list of artists such as Gloria Estefan, Gilberto Gil, Juan Luis Guerra, Julio Iglesias, Ricky Martin, and Carlos Santana among others who have been recognized.
For information on purchasing tickets or tables to The Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year tribute to Juan Gabriel, please contact The Latin Recording Academy ticketing office at 310.314.8281 or email@example.com.
Photo: The Recording Academy
Set List Bonus: Bumbershoot 2013
Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.
By Alexa Zaske
This past Labor Day weekend meant one thing for many folks in Seattle: Bumbershoot, a three-decade-old music and arts event that consumed the area surrounding the Space Needle from Aug. 31–Sept. 2. Amid attendees wandering around dressed as zombies and participating in festival-planned flash mobs to Michael Jackson's "Thriller," this year the focus was on music from the Pacific Northwest region — from the soulful sounds of Allen Stone and legendary female rockers Heart, to the highly-awaited return of Death Cab For Cutie performing their 2003 hit album Transatlanticism in its entirety.
The festival started off on day one with performances by synth-pop group the Flavr Blue, hip-hop artist Grynch, rapper Nacho Picasso, psychedelic pop group Beat Connection, lively rapper/writer George Watsky, hip-hop group the Physics, and (my personal favorite), punk/dance band !!! (Chk Chk Chk). Also performing on day one was Seattle folk singer/songwriter Kris Orlowski, who was accompanied by the Passenger String Quartet. As always, Orlowski's songs were catchy and endearing yet brilliant and honest.
Day one came to a scorching finale with a full set from GRAMMY-nominated rock group Heart. Kicking off with their Top 20 hit "Barracuda," the set spanned three decades of songs, including "Heartless," "Magic Man" and "What About Love?" It became a gathering of Seattle rock greats when, during Heart's final song, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready joined for 1976's "Crazy On You."
Day two got off to an early start with performances from eccentric Seattle group Kithkin and Seattle ladies Mary Lambert and Shelby Earl, who were accompanied by the band Le Wrens. My highlight of the day was the Grizzled Mighty — a duo with a bigger sound than most family sized bands. Drummer Whitney Petty, whose stage presence and skills make for an exciting performance, was balanced out by the easy listening of guitarist and lead singer Ryan Granger.
Then the long-awaited moment finally fell upon Seattle when, after wrapping a long-awaited tour with the Postal Service, singer/songwriter Ben Gibbard returned to Seattle to represent another great success of the Pacific Northwest — Death Cab For Cutie. The band celebrated the 10-year anniversary of their album Transatlanticism by performing it from front to back. While a majority of attendees opted to watch the set from an air-conditioned arena, some of us recognized the uniqueness of this experience and enjoyed the entire set lying in the grass where the entire performance was streamed.
Monday was the day for soul and folk. Local blues/R&B group Hot Bodies In Motion have been making their way through the Seattle scene with songs such as "Old Habits," "That Darkness" and "The Pulse." Their set was lively and enticing to people who have seen them multiple times or never at all.
My other highlights of the festival included the Maldives, who delivered a fun performance with the perfect amount of satirical humor and folk. They represent the increasing number of Pacific Northwest bands who consist of many members playing different sounds while still managing to stay cohesive and simple. I embraced the return of folk/pop duo Ivan & Alyosha with open arms and later closed my festival experience with local favorite Stone.
For music fans in Seattle and beyond, the annual Bumbershoot festival is a must-attend.
(Alexa Zaske is the Chapter Assistant for The Recording Academy Pacific Northwest Chapter. She's a music enthusiast and obsessed with the local Seattle scene.)
Neil Portnow and Jimmy Jam
Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images
Neil Portnow Addresses Diversity & Inclusion, Looks Ahead During Speech At 2019 GRAMMYs
Jimmy Jam helps celebrate the outgoing President/CEO of the Recording Academy on the 61st GRAMMY Awards
As Neil Portnow's tenure as Recording Academy President/CEO draws to its end, five-time GRAMMY winner Jimmy Jam paid tribute to his friend and walked us through a brief overview of some of the Academy's major recent achievements, including the invaluable work of MusiCares, the GRAMMY Museum, Advocacy and more.
Portnow delivered a brief speech, acknowledging the need to continue to focus on issues of diversity and inclusion in the music industry. He also seized the golden opportunity to say the words he's always wanted to say on the GRAMMY stage, saying, "I'd like to thank the Academy," showing his gratitude and respect for the staff, elected leaders and music community he's worked with during his career at the Recording Academy. "We can be so proud of what we’ve all accomplished together," Portnow added.
"As I finish out my term leading this great organization, my heart and soul are filled with gratitude, pride, for the opportunity and unequal experience," he continued. "Please know that my commitment to all the good that we do will carry on as we turn the page on the next chapter of the storied history of this phenomenal institution."