Why BTS ‘Permission To Dance’ Is More Than Just A Chart-Topping Song But A Message of The Pandemic

If you haven’t heard BTS’ “Permission to Dance” yet (which, at this point you must be an alien, right?) you are truly missing out on a wonderful experience. The song isn’t just another over-glorified chart-topping bop that is completely addictive with an ear-worm of a chorus – no, no. “Permission To Dance” is truly a masterpiece and a gift the world needed. Find out why below! 

After the success of their new hit album and promotional track of the same name “Butter,” (which you can watch again if you feel like jumping down the BTS rabbit hole!) BTS continued to ride their wave of achievements and drown us in a purple tsunami of love, happiness and good vibes. “Permission To Dance,” a B-side on their album, is another full-English bop that simply sparks joy with its infectious melody, energetic fusion of instrumentals, and excellently crafted composition and lyrics. I definitely recommend clicking the video below and watching for the 1,357th time! 

Now, for the review! What exactly makes this song so darn catchy and special. Well not only are the lyrics powerfully uplifting but the video’s overall message is what is so striking! “Permission To Dance” invites us in with the key instrument that is responisble for getting us addicted to this song, a simple piano melody that follows a traditional pattern of repeating the same keys in just higher notes across the board. Alongside this wonderfully orchestrated instrumental are the key ingredients for enhancing this already fixacious beat, the violins! In the backgoround a more synthetic sound follows through, as if a surge that carries us back and forth with a “whoosing” sound as it ebs and flows with the increasing pace of this track. It follows up with light clapping and smaller additions such as an unexpected electric guitar rift that mimics the melody of the piano effortlessly. Combined with smaller beats that rhythimically imitate a heartbeat and small base bumps that may go unnoticed, this blend of sounds tie in the instrumental quite nicely and creates an inescapable ear-worm melody.

If merging a plethora of wonderful instrumentals isn’t enough, the familiar vocals and heart-warming lyrics will send your heart soaring.

“It’s the thought of being young
When your heart’s just like a drum
Beating louder with no way to guard it
When it all seems like it’s wrong
Just sing along to Elton John
And to that feeling, we’re just getting started
When the nights get colder
And the rhythms got you falling behind
Just dream about that moment
When you look yourself right in the eye, eye, eye
Then you say
I wanna dance, the music’s got me going
Ain’t nothing that can stop how we move, yeah
Let’s break our plans and live just like we’re golden
And roll in like we’re dancing fools
We don’t need to worry
‘Cause when we fall, we know how to land
Don’t need to talk the talk, just walk the walk tonight
‘Cause we don’t need permission to dance”

I mean, how can you not feel lifted and elated upon first listen? The lyrics hit deep and are invasive as it conveys the members are giving words to all of our thoughts during the pandemic – making us feel both vulnerable yet magical at the same time. These lyrics are not just simple feel-good words, they absolutely paint a solid picture of our current state as well as how people may be feeling conflicted by themselves even before this worldwide problem. We feel locked in at times and stuck in place with the rules, regulations and restrictions created by the virus.
Yet, BTS’ song helps us to embrace that genuine idea of being ourselves – being silly – and breaking free is as simple as dancing happily! After all, dancing is something we truly do not need premission for. This is such a powerful reminder that we still have our freedom and can find escape in the music and joys of the little things. Shedding our masks may still be a year or two away, but “We can keep the fire alive” and “nothing can stop how we move.” So, do you feel like you can “just walk the walk” and begin to dance to the beat in your own way? 
Fans and critics alike already know the boys of BTS are capable of singing a variety of songs. While maintaing a retro-synth funk-pop vibe for the time being, BTS dominate the music scene as they offer up an array of genres explored with each new release. As growing boys, their voices continue to develop and mature over time, yet, their singing skills continue to progress and become even more phenomenal in the process. However, “Permission to Dance” has followed the auto-tune route but not to our dissapointment. In the past, BTS have already proven they can just about masterfully hit any sort of note with the power of their real vocals alone- just check our their recent performance of “Dynamite” on BBC Radio’s ‘The Lounge’ below!

Although mainly Jimin’s auto-toned vocals feel the most synthetically edited to the point of no return, the usage seems to glide alongside the other members’ voices and sound more enchanting (Sorry, Oli London! Haha~). When done right, auto-tune can really change a song entirely but it was strategically used to mainly enhance the bridges that transition to more climatic notes and the killer chorus. Normally, I wouldn’t applaud veteran artists using too much auto-tune in their projects (think Mariah Carey and “Obsessed,” which was still a hit!) because I worry about the live performance outcome, but this time it was done quite right. It not only created an original sound but made for a spectacular live performance. 

As for the MV aesthetics and overall style, I can easily say that I was entirely impressed by the quality, playful dynamics of the members, and the charming storyline in general. I value the idea that it shows a variety of people going about their everyday lives through the pandemic and ripping off thier masks in the end with power and zeal – the utter symbol of freedom in this day and age. From Korea to the States, it shows that we are all connected in overcoming the issues the pandemic provided.
The symbolic purple balloons completely resognate the slogan of “I Purple You (Borahae)” and I adore how the balloons, just like BTS’ love and music, floats tenderly and travels all around the globe to send support, care, and a peaceful message. It seems that age, gender, race, and location have no limits when it comes to who can be an ARMY. This is both beautifully rewarding and scary! 
As for the fashion and setting choices, who could complain? Anyone can enjoy the variety of hairstyle changes because, personally, I am genuinely astonished by how infactuated I am with RM’s highlighter yellow hair on his tan skin! The old town American feel paired with that rich 90’s denim wardrobe is familiar and lovable in many ways. As BTS continue to break way into the American music scene, I feel this image is representative of their intergration. BTS fit in like a glove but stand out with their distinctiveness. I feel J-Hope had the most noteworthy fashion due to his tattered-shorts and knee-high cowboy boots combo! Something about J-Hope’s outfit offers more shock value. While the other designs are absolutely well-executed, the other member’s outfits are a more decorated version of a quality style to begin with. The minimal accessories and highlighted key pieces such as tattoos, piercings and necklaces make for a clean but rugged look. 
The choreography is no joke, too! The boys cheerfully sway to the rhythm and perform their spot on choreography that is a brilliant blend of K-Pop styles and regional line and two-step dancing. With so much attention to detail, “Permission To Dance” isn’t just another unforgettable side-track with a favorable sound. “Permission To Dance” is a message to fans, the media, and all who are watching that BTS are here to stay and change the world in many ways.
After breaking-down the MV and song, it is hard to find anything that is necessarily off-putting. Perhaps in the casting their could have been LGBTQIA+ couples, considering the group is known for being supportive and sharing the message of love. Perhaps the song could have spared on the auto-tune editing and focused a little bit more on the English pronunciation of the lyrics (Admittedly, some parts are a bit hard to understand…V) or even repeated the main chorus once more in the ending for an upscale finish. Heck, they could have even included me in the background with those amazing dancers! In the end, it is still a production that offers one unforgettable experience and anyone can enjoy it from start to finish. 
How did you feel about another one of BTS’ exceptonal releases? For me, it has to score high. I have plenty of songs I am not the biggest fan of by BTS, but this song is on a playing field of its own and I can see myself enjoying next year’s summer freely with this song blaring in the background as I clank my soju glass with friends! I hope you enjoyed BTS’s new slew of songs from their album ‘Butter’ as much as I did!^^ Share your thoughts and comments down below and don’t forget to share this review with your friends! 


2 thoughts on “Why BTS ‘Permission To Dance’ Is More Than Just A Chart-Topping Song But A Message of The Pandemic

  1. To be honest I put off listening to “Permission to Dance” & their more recent songs because I felt sad and scared to continue to listen to how their music has shifted, in a way it’s stayed the same in how they keep to their retro-synth funk-pop vibe. Normally I’m one for change as it’s exciting and adventurous but after being impacted by these men so much, a rare moment of fear to change gripped me.

    Getting to read this article and actually listen to their song cheered me up and is slowly easing me into a more positive perspective. While I am still sad to hear/watch their music shifting with each song, I can still say I’m proud of their continuous dive into unchartered territory in their career while watching their loving hearts stay the same.

    This song and article reminds me that while they are changing, it’s for the best, it’s to reach others they couldn’t before, to push boundaries, and to sing faith into us that we “don’t need permission” to change, be different, to just live life in a joyful manner.

    It took a lot of courage to listen to this song and read this article but I don’t regret it and look forward to BTS unraveling the hearts of nations.

    The purple balloon that signifies “I purple you”, has reached my heart.


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