BTOB is back and bolder than ever with the release of their special album, 4U: OUTSIDE.
At a private press conference before the album’s release, Minhyuk shared that despite their nearly decade-long career in the industry, the members still were riddled with nerves when making a comeback. “Every one of us worked hard for this comeback in terms of practicing and producing an album with the best quality. I hope people listening to our album will be able to feel these things.” Led by the title track, “Outsider,” the special album highlights the versatility of BTOB’s musicality through six vastly different tracks, almost all of which were co-written by Peniel and Minhyuk (under the moniker HUTA). He summed up the album in three words “Dream, comfort, and empathy.”
“Outsider” is the group’s venture into uncharted waters in terms of genre and performance. Eunkwang commented, “We thought the song ‘Outsider’ itself would present BTOB’s attempt at new challenges and efforts.” Furthermore, Peniel and Minhyuk shared that the members and Cube Entertainment took a democratic approach when it came to finalizing the album’s title track. “Every staff member of our label casts their precious vote, and ‘Outsider’ was chosen through that fair system,” said Changsub.
The neo-funk/neo-soul track boasts lyrics such as “There’s no way I’m human (No Chance) / Maybe Robot (Could Be) or maybe I’m (what?)” and “Just feel the silence / Just let me be set me free / I just wanna be an Outsider” sings of the worry and desire to break free from our monotonous, daily lives that have become our “new normal” during the global pandemic.
Aside from “Outsider,” the album boasts five B-side tracks that each have their own unique color. “Dreamer” sets the tone for the album with its acoustic sound and upbeat tempo. The song carries words of encouragement for those who wish to chase after their own dreams and passions. With lyrics such as, “Do what you wanna do / It’s your life / Dreamers don’t die” and “Do what you have to do until you can do what you wanna do,” the song instills hope to do what your heart desires and not let anything or anyone else stop you.
“Can’t Breathe” is a minimal electro-pop song that expresses the pain and longing after a breakup. Despite singing of heartache with lines such as “Without you in my life it feels empty,” the song emits a bright, almost hopeful tone as it zig-zags between sentimental, airy vocals and rhythmic rap verses.
Adulthood comes with its own fair share of obstacles and responsibilities. In “Traveler,” the hybrid synth-pop track comforts listeners who struggle with feeling overwhelmed and lonely. “Just take your time / This is not a race / I have to go my own way,” the song wants listeners to erase their negative thoughts and worries, walk at their own pace, and accept that part of the fun is not knowing where your future will take you.
“Waiting 4 U” is a sweet R&B track from BTOB to their fan club called Melody. Co-produced and co-penned by BTOB’s Hyunsik (who is scheduled to be discharged from military service along with Sungjae later this year), the song sings of the group’s desire to patiently wait until the day they can be reunited with Melodys once again, “I’m waiting 4 U my darling / For you I’ll stay here.” Despite the distance, the song seeks to ease fans’ hearts until that day comes, “No matter how long that takes I know that when we meet again / It’ll all be worth it in the end.”
Wrapping up the album is “Finale (Show and Prove),” the grandiose track that left viewers of Mnet’s Kingdom Legendary War in awe by the group’s authentic, and honest vocals. Fusing rock elements with colorful orchestration, the song exhibits BTOB’s passion for music and pride in their group’s abilities.
“We want to be a group who feels like a friend living next door. We will always be by your side, so lean on us and we will cheer you up.”
4U: OUTSIDE is BTOB’s first comeback following their appearance on Kingdom. Changsub shared, “Through Kingdom, we were able to realize that BTOB’s spectrum was greater than we thought. People usually think that BTOB is a group that has strong vocals, but through this comeback, we want to show how professional we are when we perform on stage.” Minhyuk added that while it was the first time tackling this genre, it still embodied BTOB’s spark. “I think Kingdom gave us a spark to show a new side of BTOB.”
On the topic of Kingdom, Kpopconcerts.com had the opportunity to ask BTOB what they would like newfound fans to know about BTOB. Eunkwang started, “We want to be a group who feels like a friend living next door. We will always be by your side, so lean on us and we will cheer you up.” With regard to their music, Minhyuk highlighted the group’s tenacity to adapt to various musical styles. “As a team, we have released songs of many different genres since our debut, but regardless, BTOB’s music always embraces all of our members’ sincerity, love, and ambition for music.”
10-Year Anniversary Plans
With the BTOB’s 10-year anniversary coming up next year, Kpopconcerts inquired on the group’s upcoming plans (if any at all) that they could share with their fans. Without missing a beat, Changsub answered, “10th-anniversary concert! We sincerely hope for a day when we can meet face to face and sing along together.” Eunkwang followed suit and dropped hints of an anniversary album, “BTOB and MELODY are hoping for the same thing. We want to meet MELODY all around the world. We hope to have a good time with all our members for our 10th-anniversary album.” Whether the anniversary concert is an in-person event or an online show will be dependent on the pandemic. But one thing’s for certain – fans will be able to eagerly anticipate new music to commemorate the group’s 10 years of achievements.
Until then, stream BTOB’s 4U: OUTSIDE on Spotify and check out the “Outsider” music video, below!