BTS have returned with their second full English-language single “Butter”. After 2020 marked another record-filled year for the group — they released two incredibly successful albums and topped charts around the globe, including the coveted Billboard Hot 100 with “Dynamite” — fans were greatly anticipating what the group has next in store. In addition to their huge international following, all-kills and Daesang sweep solidified the popularity and support that the group enjoys in their home country as well. For a group that has already accomplished so much, it seems there is no going higher. BTS, however, always manage to surpass themselves and their previous success.
After an extensive marketing campaign, the group now unveiled their second English-language song with “Butter”. Created by a writing and production team which has previously worked with A-list musicians, “Butter” is the type of release one expected after “Dynamite”: an upbeat, joyous, flirtatious track that might become this summer’s anthem. This translates into the music video showing the members having fun and enjoying themselves while moving from one colorful set to another.
The music video opens with monochromatic close-up shots of the members singing their respective parts. As we approach the bridge, they are now lined up holding mugshot placards. With the first chorus, the dance sequences alongside the colorful sets finally come in full force and are here to stay. The violet-orange background during the chorus adds a nice contrast to the member’s black and white outfits. Elsewhere, V can be seen singing in an elevator wearing an orange suit while Jimin stands in front of a table with microphones.
The second chorus is another dance sequence, but this time around the members swap the suits for sporty outfits in a gym. Everything works perfectly with the song’s summery and infectious vibe. The fun, however, really starts once the post-chorus dance break section kicks in. Here, the members are featured in individual shots, dancing in an elevator. The lighting is dim with only the elevator being illuminated in retro colors, putting the entire focus on the members. Meanwhile, the choreography relies on lots of effortless footwork and is carried by the members’ individual charisma leaving a vivid impression.
One thing that renders “Butter” unique is the placement of the rap sections. Suga and RM’s raps kick in only after the dance break, while J-hope has a brief part that brings the song to a close. Suga’s “Ice on my wrist” part references Master P; elsewhere V’s “don’t need no Usher to remind me you got it bad” alludes to the R&B singer’s 2001 hit. RM’s part especially contains a shoutout to the group’s fans, Armys as the members form the four letters. Additionally, during the chorus part, the choreography sees the members kissing their hands; fans believe this was inspired by the Army tattoo Jungkook has on his right hand.
With the last chorus, the group now performs while being surrounded by yellow, bright lights. Wide shots convey a vibrant and energetic feeling as the song concludes on Jungkook’s “Get it, let it roll”. The dance sequences are intertwined with either group or individual shots of the members dancing and enjoying themselves. Here, we also see the shots that previously served as teaser pictures. The monochromatic close-up shots also have a comeback, but this time around in color.
Similarly, the song builds around a bassline, smooth synths, and EDM elements. The vocals are once again sky-high, but this time suit the members’ voices better without anyone notably straining. In particular, they don’t sound as processed as on “Dynamite”. Lyrically, the song retains the MV’s quirky vibe and finds the equilibrium between self-confident and flirtatious with the members singing:
Side step, right, left to my beat
High like the moon, rock with me, baby
Know that I got that heat
Let me show you ’cause talk is cheap
Before or during the release of “Butter”, the members highlighted that the song contains no deep message but is easy and charismatic listening. And this is exactly what both the song and the video are. Neither the song nor the MV requires reading between the lines as the message is clear; BTS being flirty, self-confident and enjoying life while asking their fans and listeners to do the same. The many odes to the fans render this song and video also personal.
Marketing-wise, “Butter” is a clever choice; it will help to solidify the group’s international reach permanently. The MV has already broken a number of records including a new Youtube record and the song has been topping charts around the globe while earning acclaim from fans and critics. However, in the past, BTS have illustrated their talent in delivering symbolic and meaningful music videos endless times. Here’s to hoping that for their next comeback, the group will release a music video that will leave everyone analyzing and interpreting the symbolism and message.
(Images via HYBE LABELS, Rolling Stone, YouTube)