2020/12/7 Consequence of Sound 文章：年度樂團 BTS 以 2020 Dynamite 改寫紀錄
Band of the Year BTS Rewrite the Record Books with Dynamite 2020
年度樂團 BTS 以 2020 Dynamite 改寫紀錄
The K-pop superstars brought joy and a message of hope to a year rife with loss and uncertainty
Every so often, there comes a moment in art that feels like a paradigm shift — a moment that will forever act as a dividing line between what came before and what is to follow. (Pre-James Brown. Post-Hamilton. The Black Panther effect.) Just as rare is an act that takes off like a bullet train, blazing forward with uncontrollable momentum, leaving behind the stragglers who were too stuck in their ways to join for the ecstatic ride. Somehow, BTS is both.
每隔一段時間，藝術界就會出現時代變遷，將前後明確劃分開來，例如前 James Brown 時代、後 Hamilton 時代、Black Panther 現象等。很少有人能像子彈列車那般啟航，以無法控制的速度向前急駛，拋下許多跟不上這個盛事的人，但不知為何，BTS 兩者皆是。
To list out the accomplishments, broken records, and firsts the pop septet have achieved would take up page after page, so consider this year’s accolades alone: first Korean act to land at №1 on the Billboard charts (with “Dynamite”). Then, just a few weeks later, the first act in history to debut a non-English language song at the №1 spot (with “Life Goes On”). First Korean group to ever receive a Grammy nomination. First band in history to debut a song and album at №1 in the same week. Dizzyingly, these events are all from the last few months, but the Bangtan Boys released two full albums this year, Map of the Soul: 7 and BE, both of which went №1. To have achieved any of these accolades over the span of a career would be remarkable; to have achieved them all in 2020 is almost miraculous.
要列出這七人團體的成就、紀錄跟眾多的第一次，可能要花上好幾頁的篇幅，所以只看今年事蹟的話，有第一個登上告示牌榜首的韓國團體（以 Dynamite），接著在幾週後成為史上第一個一入榜就獲得冠軍的非英文歌曲（以 Life Goes On），第一個入圍葛萊美獎的韓團，以及史上第一個同週獲得單曲跟專輯榜第一名的團體。最驚人的是，這些都是在最近幾個月發生的事，不過防彈少年團今年就推出了兩張完整專輯，《Map of the Soul: 7》跟《BE》，兩張都拿到了第一名。能在整個音樂生涯獲得這些榮譽就已經很了不起了，他們在 2020 年內達成這些幾乎就跟奇蹟一樣。
Thankfully, those who haven’t yet jumped on board with the speeding train that is BTS seem to finally be moving past the phase of head-scratching and bewilderment at how they “happened” in the first place. While all seven members (RM, Jin, SUGA, J-Hope, V, Jimin, and Jungkook) are great dancers, they didn’t win the world over through their choreography alone. Yes, they’re also endearing and polite and charismatic, and they produce hours upon hours of intimate, docu-style content to enjoy, but these factors aren’t enough to capture global attention in the oversaturated modern media landscape.
還好，還沒跳上 BTS 這輛急駛列車的人至少不再想破頭，不懂這一切是怎麼發生的。雖然 RM、Jin、SUGA、J-Hope、V、智旻和柾國這七個成員舞都跳得很好，但他們不是靠舞蹈征服世界的，是的，他們既討人喜歡又有禮貌充滿魅力，他們製作了一個小時接著一個小時的貼身紀錄片內容供觀賞，但這些都不足以在過度飽和的現代媒體環境中吸引全球的目光。
Instead, it is their passion for their craft that seems to transcend any of the barriers or preconceived notions that stand in their way. BTS is unique, not just in the scope of boy groups but even within the Korean pop world, in that the majority of the group’s catalogue features lyrics by the members themselves. “It’s an organic process as we work … and we do have a desire to expand our boundaries,” J-Hope explained to Consequence of Sound. “[Our fans’] reactions motivate me to dive deeper into my research and make better music.” The band are dedicated and curious writers and producers who, by sharing their honest stories, have amassed seven years of genre-eclipsing music chronicling their transformation from hungry, audacious young men into thoughtful, confident adults.
是他們對作品的熱情跨越了任何形式的障礙或者是先入為主的成見。不若一般的男團，甚至在韓國流行界，BTS 是獨一無二的，他們大部分歌詞都是成員自己寫的，「這是我們工作很自然的一個過程……我們確實有想要拓寬界線的慾望。」J-Hope 對 Consequence of Sound 如此解釋，「（粉絲們的）反應會激勵我進行更深入的研究，做更好的音樂。」這個團體充滿勤勞且富有好奇心的詞曲創作者跟製作人，他們分享自己真實的故事，累積了七年流派的音樂，順序紀錄了他們從飢渴、魯莽的年輕人到深思熟慮的自信成年人的過程。
BTS landed five №1 albums in the United States faster than any band since another beloved international pop group: The Beatles. The comparisons are tempting, and many are valid. The Beatles were also initially written off as the result of a passionate, female-dominant fanbase, but they grew to be regarded as venerated songwriters and artists ahead of their time. The difference lies primarily in the fact that The Beatles didn’t have to also overcome a language barrier, working overtime to sway awards circuits or a radio industry that seemed indifferent to their songs every time the lyrics weren’t easy or accessible. Maybe they aren’t the next Beatles; maybe they are simply the first BTS.
自另一個在全球備受歡迎的流行團體披頭四 (The Beatles) 以降，BTS 用最快的速度在美國取得了五張冠軍專輯。披頭四一開始也是因為以女性為主的熱情粉絲發跡，但最後被視為受人尊敬的詞曲創作者和引領當代的藝人，主要的差異是披頭四不用克服語言障礙，用力工作才能囊括獎盃，或是面對因為歌詞不是那麼容易懂而漠視他們音樂的廣播產業。或許他們根本不是下一個披頭四，或許他們就僅僅只是第一個 BTS。
In the past, our Band of the Year award has gone to groups like Pearl Jam, Arcade Fire, The Roots, and Tool. While BTS marks something of a departure from this collection, the common threads running through our past selections are authenticity, reach, perseverance, genuine voice, and commitment to music. When consulted through this lens, the BTS boys float to the top with ease. Remember, too, that “Dynamite” was released with the explicitly stated goal of simply bringing a bit of joy to fans in a profoundly difficult time. (Broken records and a Grammy nomination were just a happy accident.) I’ve written in the past that I think often of a text from a friend asserting that BTS should stand for Boys To Stan. I also think, in 2020, it could accurately mean Bring The Serotonin.
過去我們的年度樂團獎都頒給了珍珠果醬樂團 (Pearl Jam)、拱廊之火樂團 (Arcade Fire)、紮根合唱團 (The Roots) 和工具樂隊 (Tool) 這類團體，雖然 BTS 看起來跟這些得獎團體格格不入，但我們過去以來遴選的共同點是真實性、影響力、毅力、真誠的聲音以及對音樂的認同，根據這些要素，BTS 孩子們輕易爬上了頂端。要記得，發行 Dynamite 的明確目標僅僅是在極度艱難的時節帶來一絲歡愉，所以破紀錄和入圍葛萊美都只是美好的意外。我過去曾經寫過，我經常想起朋友的一段文字，他宣稱 BTS 應該是 Boys To Stan（該獲得支持的男孩們），我也認為，在 2020 年，這可以準確表示 Bring The Serotonin（帶來血清素）的意思。
It’s been something of a banner year for Korean art, and it feels like a lifetime ago that Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite swept the Oscars. BTS’ first appearance on an American awards show was at the AMAs in 2017. To look back at the performance now is illuminating, and not just because it’s hard to remember the feeling of being in a packed arena. The audience reactions to the performance of “DNA” are as divided as they come: some people, presumably members of the BTS ARMY, are in tears. Ansel Elgort is recording the performance on his phone. Many audience members seem to have no idea what’s going on whatsoever. The BTS impact since that first performance is undeniable — should the boys have the chance to perform at the Grammys this year (which should be a no-brainer for the Recording Academy), they will no longer be regarded as something of a novelty or a fad.
這是韓國藝術標誌性的一年，奉俊昊憑藉《寄生上流》橫掃奧斯卡獎彷彿已經是上輩子的事。BTS 首次出現在美國頒獎典禮是 2017 年的 AMA，即使現在回頭看當時的表演，還是會覺得令人讚嘆，不只是因為要記得身處人潮擁擠的會場的感覺不容易，觀眾對 DNA 表演的反應也很兩極：BTS ARMY 為首的這群人都哭了，Ansel Elgort 還用他的手機錄影，另一群人則完全摸不著頭緒。初次登台後的 BTS 效應無可否認，不管明年這些人是否有機會在葛萊美上表演（對國家錄音藝術科學學院來說應該是不需要考慮的事），他們不會再被視為一種創新或稍縱即逝。
In their refusal to be sidelined, BTS have opened the door for other international artists in the United States, particularly those from Asia, ensuring that they aren’t seen as an oddity but are instead allowed on the same playing field as everyone else. I’m reminded again of what Bong Joon-Ho said at the Oscars: “Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.” In a time when Genius translations and lyric interpretations are sometimes built directly into our favorite music apps, it’s a disservice to ourselves to ignore the world waiting just beyond our native languages.
在他們拒絕被排擠的效應下，BTS 為其他在美國的國際藝人，特別是亞洲藝人，打開了一扇大門，別人不再覺得他們奇怪，開始願意讓他們跟其他人一起上場競爭。這再次提醒了我奉俊昊在奧斯卡上說的，「一旦克服了那一吋高的字幕障礙，你就能看到更寬廣的電影世界。」當 Genius 這首歌的歌詞翻譯和解釋有時都直接內建在常用的音樂應用程式中，忽略自己母語以外的世界對我們百害而無一利。
If you haven’t already, spend a moment with BTS’ recent NPR Tiny Desk performance, a three-song run that packs an undeniable punch. It kicks off with an ecstatic rendition of “Dynamite” but switches gears in the second song with “Save Me”, an electric pop track released nearly five years ago. The boys wrap the set with “Spring Day”, a lyrical hip-hop track that holds special meaning for both the band and fans. The song has a reputation for being a bit unshakable, making appearances on the charts and stubbornly showing up after every new BTS release as the ARMY returns to the now-nostalgic track time and time again. The song choices are intentional: the set is a perfect encapsulation of the breadth of the band’s discography, simultaneously showing off the fact that gems tucked away as B-sides shine ridiculously bright. No skips here.
如果你還沒有看過 BTS 最近在 NPR Tiny Desk 的表演，我建議你去看一下。他們用三首歌的表演擊出一擊，從歡欣的 Dynamite 開場，跳到下一首將近五年前發行的電子流行樂 Save Me，最後孩子們以 Spring Day 作結，一首對他們跟粉絲都具有特別意義的嘻哈抒情曲，這首歌有不可撼動的地位，長期盤據在排行榜上，甚至每次 BTS 發行新歌的時候就會再次上榜，ARMY 時不時就會回味一下這首歌。表演的選歌考慮到全球觀眾：完美展現了他們的音樂廣度，同時告訴我們被隱藏的寶石 B 面更閃耀過人這個事實，就說到這了。
The week that BTS landed their long overdue Grammy nomination, six of the seven members sat down to answer some of our questions. While SUGA was unable to join, as he is in the process of recovering from shoulder surgery, his presence is impossible to miss in light of the historic nomination. Over years of interviews, SUGA became the group’s go-to spokesperson when asked about the elusive Recording Academy — in the past, when such an acknowledgement felt so far out of reach, the boys would often joke that they were dreaming too big, after which SUGA would reinforce, “The bigger the dream, the better.” Members of the BTS ARMY now understand SUGA’s stated goals to be a bit prophetic: Grammy nomination? Check. BTS song with Korean lyrics at №1 on the charts? Check. Now, all we can do is wait to hear the group’s next, wildest dream. And then watch them achieve it.
BTS 終於迎來他們早該有的葛萊美提名那週，其中的六位成員接受了我們的採訪，雖然 SUGA 因為肩膀手術尚在復原中無法出席，但這歷史性的入圍是無法忘卻他的存在的。這幾年每當問到捉摸不定的國家錄音藝術科學學院 (Recording Academy) 時， SUGA 幾乎成為了團體的代言人，以前看來那麼遙不可及的認可，連孩子們都會笑自己癡人說夢，然後 SUGA 總是會強調「夢越大越好。」BTS ARMY 現在則是認為 SUGA 是目標預言家，入圍葛萊美？辦到了。現在我們就等著看他們實現下一個更狂野的夢想。
“It’s a great feeling,” J-Hope told us. “Having people who listen to your music, that’s a joyful thing.”
There is a certain, specific kind of joy that comes with watching people do what it seems they were put on this earth to, and that magic shimmers around the members of BTS when they are performing seated on stools with a small backup band just as brightly as it does when they are executing a dance break in an Olympic-sized stadium. There’s another kind of joy that comes with watching people who have worked tremendously hard to become masters of their craft achieve groundbreaking success, who then receive every victory with boundless ecstasy. It’s good to have something to root for these days.
有件事是確定的，看人實踐生來被賦予的使命有一種特別的喜悅，而當 BTS 坐在高腳椅上跟小型樂隊進行表演時，就能看到成員們周圍閃耀著那個光環，完全不輸他們在奧林匹克大小的體育場跳 dance break 時的光芒。還有一種喜悅是看人嘔心瀝血成為專家獲得突破性的成功，然後看著他們在獲得每個成就時欣喜不已的樣子。在這樣的日子裡能有這種盼望是件好事。
In an overwhelmingly unpredictable time, one thing seems to be clear: the bullet train that is BTS is going to continue its forward trajectory, whether naysayers like it or not. The question is — if you haven’t hopped aboard already — will you be coming along for the ride?
附註：Consequence of Sound 是連結主流音樂與地下音樂的橋樑。