Coming after weeks of promotional material and and their dedicated fan ARMY trending a countdown daily globally on Twitter, BTS‘ Love Yourself: Her is easily one of the most anticipated K-pop albums of the year. The boy band’s fifth EP, it’s their first new release since winning an award at the Billboard Music Awards last May.
Even if you’re unfamiliar with K-pop, it’s hard to miss the phenomena that is BTS’ growing presence in the States, and the new album is the perfect opportunity to get more familiar with them. Here’s what you should know ahead of its release Monday (Sept. 18):
It’s the First New Album Since BTS’ Wings Became the Highest-Ranked K-Pop Album on the Billboard 200
Though they released a reissue version of Wings earlier this year — the You Never Walk Alone album — Love Yourself: Her is the first brand new album from BTS since last year’s Wings hit no. 26 on the Billboard 200.
Love Yourself: Her Features Nine, Possibly 11, Tracks
Last week, BTS shared the tracklist for Her, showing that there were nine tracks on the album, including the single “DNA.” According to Amazon, however, it appears that there may be two bonus tracks on the physical version.
Over two weeks before its release, BigHit Entertainment, BTS’ label, revealed that Love Yourself: Her had been pre-ordered over 1.05 million times. Last week, the agency updated fans, revealing that the album was in such high demand that it has resulted in shipping delays.
BTS’ Future In the U.S. Rests on Her
BTS’s new album is undeniably a success among their loyal fandom, but also will serve as the barometer for their continued presence in the American music market. At a time with few other boy bands making waves, Her may be the thing that propels the act into becoming a mainstream fixture.
One Song is Co-Written by The Chainsmokers’ Andrew Taggart
After meeting at the BBMAs, BTS’ Rap Monster, Suga, and J-Hope collaborated with Taggart on “Best of Me,” which a press release from the K-pop act’s reps described as a “high energy EDM track.”
And One is a Nod to the Group’s BBMAs Win
The album’s sixth track, a skit titled “Billboard Music Awards Speech” refers to Rap Monster’s bilingual speech following the act receiving the Top Social Artist award on May 21.
“Serendipity” Has Already Been Revealed
A soft ballad, “Serendipity,” was released through the album’s comeback trailer video on Sept. 4 featuring member Jimin. It has over 23 million views as of publication.
The Physical Album Includes a Lot of Goodies
Album sales are still high throughout many Asian music markets, and K-pop albums are often focused less on the music held within the physical CD and more on the collectible packaging and bonus items. According to Amazon, Love Yourself: Her features a photobook, a note that references The Most Beautiful Moment In Life, a random photocard and stickers.
Her will be released in four versions, “L,” “O,” “V,” and “E.”
It’s the Start of a New Era
The album’s full title, Love Yourself: Her, refers to the fourth overarching theme of BTS’ career, Love Yourself. It comes after the group’s School, The Most Beautiful Moment in Life and Wings eras, each of which carried certain concepts through multiple releases.
They’ll Promote the Album Through a Television Special
On Thursday (Sept. 21), BTS will be featured in a special comeback show on the Korean television station Mnet, and be available for streaming online. The live special will have the band performing songs from their new album for the first time, and reveal some behind-the-scenes stories about the group and Her’s production.
BTS has Shared Some Snippets of the Lead Single, “DNA”
Last week, the boy band shared two teaser videos on YouTube and revealed the whistle-driven electropop melody of “DNA.” Watch the most recent one here: