SEOUL, Aug. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — The K-pop boy band BTS’ new album, “Love Yourself: Answer,” is poised to hit the world music scene Friday with its main track that blends South African dance music with traditional Korean beats and the sounds of a folk music instrument.
The final, fourth part of the septet’s “Love Yourself” album series was released at major online music stores at 6 p.m. Friday, wrapping up the series that took 2 1/2 years to play out, according to Big Hit Entertainment.
The series features an epic search into one’s true self, and the final album answers a question: The key to the search lies inside oneself, the management agency noted.
“IDOL,” the main track, sets the tone for the 25-song album divided into the A and B tracks.
The main song is electronic dance music in the style of South African dance music. The African beats are layered with traditional Korean rhythms, as well as the pounding of a Korean folk percussion instrument used in the performance of traditional Korean farmers’ ensemble.
A teaser video for “IDOL,” released a day earlier, featured the profile of a running tiger followed by the images of the BTS members clad in jackets inspired by “hanbok, “the Korean traditional dress.
Including “IDOL,” the album contains seven new songs: “Epiphany,” “Trivia: Just Dance,” “Trivia: Love,” “Trivia: Seesaw,” “I’m Fine” and “Answer: Love Myself.”
“I’m Fine,” in the drum and bass genre, is a rearrangement of the lyrics of the former BTS song “Save ME,” released in the “Epilogue: Young Forever” album.
The three “Trivia” numbers are solo songs each by one member: J-Hope, RM and Suga. “Epiphany” is a solo act by member Jin, which was released in advance.
BTS will also separately release a digital version of “IDOL” featuring Nicki Minaj, the Trinidadian-American rapper, singer and songwriter, Big Hit Entertainment said.
“After completion of the album, BTS suggested the addition of Nicki Minaj’s rap, and she willingly accepted it, making their collaboration possible,” the agency said.
BTS is scheduled to premier the new record in local concerts in southern Seoul on Saturday and Sunday.
Then the group will go on a world tour to the United States, Canada, Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Japan.
Preorders for the latest album surpassed 1.5 million copies, following two former “Love Yourself” LPs that each sold more than 1 million copies.
With the final “Love Yourself” edition, BTS will once again face the challenge of selling 2 million physical copies, an ambitious feat at the time most music is distributed online.
The septet will also attempt to take the top posts on two key Billboard charts — the Hot 100 and the Billboard 200.
“Love Yourself: Tear,” released on May 18, landed atop the Billboard 200 album chart within the two weeks of its release and charted for the 13th week in a row this week.
The album’s main track, “Fake Love,” rose as high as the 10th spot on the Hot 100 song chart.
Also Friday, the American Internet search engine operator Google said BTS’ YouTube channel, BANGTANGTV, has garnered more than 2.5 billion views so far this year.
The feat put BTS as one of the 20 most popular global artists of 2018 in terms of YouTube viewership, according to Google.
The biggest share of 283 million views out of the total was in the United States, followed by Vietnam with 204 million, Mexico with 161 million and South Korea with 153 million, Google said.