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The Pearl Post

The student news site of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa, CA

The student news site of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa, CA

The Pearl Post

V’s solo journey takes flight with “Layover”

V+is+the+last+of+the+BTS+members+to+deliver+his+solo+album.+Released+on+Sept.+8%2C+%E2%80%9CLayover%E2%80%9D+is+a+modern+jazz+and+R%26B+EP+consisting+of+six+total+tracks%2C+with+one+being+a+piano+version+of+the+title+track.
Big Hit Music
V is the last of the BTS members to deliver his solo album. Released on Sept. 8, “Layover” is a modern jazz and R&B EP consisting of six total tracks, with one being a piano version of the title track.

Most commonly known as a member of the worldwide hit K-pop group BTS, V made his official solo debut earlier this month with his first album “Layover.” 

Following the announcement of BTS’ hiatus due to mandatory military service, each of the members started pursuing and releasing their own solo projects. V, also known by his real name Kim Taehyung, is the last of the BTS members to deliver his solo album. Released on Sept. 8, “Layover” is a modern jazz and R&B EP consisting of six total tracks, with one being a piano version of the title track.

The album captures recurring themes of nostalgia, longing and love. It opens with “Rainy Days,” a lo-fi style track combined with light rain ambience and reminiscent lyrics about a lover post-breakup. The next song is “Blue,” an R&B track with a simple yet calming chorus. “Love Me Again” was the first pre-released single of the album, a jazz-R&B song about being unable to let someone go after they’ve left. It’s in this song that I think V’s vocal duality shows best, most especially his iconic baritone. “For Us” is another R&B track and the only one with full English lyrics. The angelic back vocals and cassette tape sound effects deliver a subtle old-school R&B feeling, making it a great epilogue to an album inspired by that era of music.

While I love all of the songs, my personal favorite is the title track, “Slow Dancing.” In this 70s-style ballad, V sings about the possibilities of an uncertain romance. It’s the type of song you can envision yourself dancing to forever until you get old. What really drew me to it was the instrumental outro that lasts more than a minute, when I heard one of the most enchanting flute solos that I’ve ever heard in my life. While there is a flute and piano version of “Slow Dancing,” the two create very different atmospheres. The former has more of a jazz vibe while the latter sounds more classical, both being genres suited to V’s music taste.

While listening to the album, the transitions from each song to the next are so flawlessly executed that one could say they’re smooth like butter. For this reason, it’s recommended to listen to the album in sequence to experience it to the fullest. It’s perfect to listen to on a rainy day, while studying, when you’re trying to fall asleep or if you just want to disconnect from the world for a bit.

In a talk show hosted by his bandmate Suga, V said he spent three years creating and finalizing his album. He wanted to fully express all of the colors in his palette so that fans can discover something new about him. To bring his visions to life, he collaborated with producer Min Hee-jin, who is known for her work with the K-pop group NewJeans. As a result, the album that represents the complete epitome of V debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 on Sept. 17, tying with his own bandmates Jimin and Suga for the highest-ranking Korean solo album.

I think this album is a perfect expression of V. It highlights his love for old jazz while also spotlighting his diverse vocals, unique perspectives and even his dog Yeontan. Through “Layover,” fans get to see a new side of V that we wouldn’t have seen while with BTS. 

A layover is defined as “a period of rest or waiting before a further stage in a journey.” Staying true to its name, “Layover” is V’s chance to take a short detour in his career and explore what his life has to offer before moving onto the next chapter with BTS.

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About the Contributor
Rikka Dimalanta
Rikka Dimalanta, Online Editor-in-Chief
Rikka Dimalanta is in her third and final year on staff, this time as the Online Editor-in-Chief. In addition to working for The Pearl Post, she is a performer and director for the school band. She hopes to build a future in music, which is one of the things she is most passionate about. She is also looking forward to having an unforgettable senior year with her friends.
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    Maya SmithSep 22, 2023 at 8:38 am

    We never got to hear him utilize his vocals that much. In Layover you can really feel the raw emotion in every song he sings, he’s so amazing.

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