BTS' RM celebrates 1 year of Indigo: From Wild Flower to Lonely, a perfect album for adulting souls
December 2 marks a year since BTS' RM dropped his solo debut album, Indigo. What makes this album, referred to as RM's record of youth, hailed as the Best Album of 2022 by Billboard and TIMES? Read on!
It's been a year since BTS leader RM released his first solo album, Indigo, on December 2nd
What makes Indigo a standout collection of tracks by BTS' RM
BTS' leader, RM, after successful solo mixtapes, unveiled Indigo, his debut album, on December 2, 2022, showcasing depth, relatability, and extensive collaborations. RM, aka Kim Namjoon's mastery in writing, singing, rapping, and producing crafts, makes this album a narrative of his personal and artistic growth through his twenties.
Indigo: A reflection of RM's days of youth
On December 2, 2022, BTS' leader RM officially dropped his first solo album, Indigo, after his preceding mixtapes, RM and Mono. Dubbed by RM as "the last archive of my twenties," the collection of 10 tracks marked a defining moment in his musical journey, as this album emerged as a testament to RM's multifaceted artistry and growth as an artist.
Since its release in 2022, Indigo has garnered widespread acclaim and was recognized as the Best Album of the Year by both Billboard and TIME, underscoring its profound impact and musical brilliance. RM, also known as Kim Namjoon, continues to amaze audiences with his introspective and relatable compositions, offering a deeply personal narrative that resonates with listeners.
Watch RM perform his tracks from Indigo live here:
This anniversary marks a milestone not only for RM but also for BTS and their fandom, ARMY, celebrating the enduring influence of RM's solo endeavors. As fans reminisce about the record's lyrical depth, emotive resonance, and collaborative prowess, the anniversary serves as a moment to reflect on the profound cultural and musical impact of RM's Indigo one year into its journey.
From Yun to No. 2; Songs that make RM's Indigo the best album for those getting through adulthood
RM's Indigo boasts eight collaborative tracks out of its total ten, showcasing his profound appreciation for various musical genres and historical periods. These partnerships not only demonstrate RM's elevated artistic prowess but also highlight his adeptness in unifying diverse musical influences. The album notably features collaborations with acclaimed artists such as Erykah Badu, Anderson .Paak, and Mahalia representing RM's ability to transcend international boundaries in the realm of music.
Additionally, RM collaborated with several Korean artists, including Paul Blanco, Tablo, Kim Sawol, Colde, youjeen, and parkjiyoon, further emphasizing his commitment to inclusivity and cross-cultural connections within his music.
RM brought back Grammy winner neo-soul icon Erykah Badu after a hiatus of 2 years for the opening track of his album. With lyrics like, "I wanna be a human, fore I do some art, it's a cruel world, but there's gon' be my part, cause true beauty is a true sadness, now you could feel my madness," this jazz-infused R&B piece delves into RM's artistic journey, stressing authenticity before meaningful art. Inspired by painter Yun Hyongkeun, the song echoes RM's theme of self-reflection and authenticity while Badu's and Yun Hyongkeun's influences enrich RM's exploration of personal growth, amplifying his statement at the age of 28.
2. Still Life
RM reunited with Anderson Paak for the second track of Indigo, channeling their mutual admiration into a vibrant collaboration. Anderson Paak's signature funk-infused style elevates the song's uplifting message, urging listeners to persevere and progress regardless of challenges. The duo, far from static portraits, advocate for breaking free from limitations by reciting the lyrics, "I'm still life, but I'm movin', just live now, goin' forward, yuh, still life that doesn't stop, huh, bloom again, my flower."
3. All Day
Following years of mutual admiration between BTS and Epik Hig, a significant collaboration unfolded between RM and Tablo, culminating in an empowering anthem. This joint effort between the two group leaders is an energizing track with exceptional wordplay. Additionally, lyrics like, "We gotta fight when they say, behave! We got dynamite in our DNA, I'm a be okay, I'm a be that way," delighted fans with lively shoutouts, clever BTS references, and bold declarations against conforming to trends.
Teaming up with Korean folk singer Kim Sawol, RM presented Forg_tful, an aptly titled acoustic piece offering a glimpse into vulnerability. The track, adorned with minimalistic production and vocals from both artists, delves into life's chaos, where small moments often escape notice. Despite its simplicity, Forg_tful with lyrics like, "Sorry, I have a lot on my mind. I'm running out of memory, with countless thorns, the morning that comes and goes in their own ways," incorporates a delightful folky whistle, adding an enjoyable touch to the song. This track, despite touching on melancholic themes, stands out as one of the album's most engaging listens.
In Closer, RM collaborated with Korean R&B-pop artist Paul Blanco and British-Jamaican singer-songwriter Mahalia. This union of global talents resonates seamlessly across various music genres. Together, they skillfully navigated the intricate layers of doomed intimacy, each section elevating the track to new heights.
Starting the song with "Me never on your timeline, yeah, see you always in the limelight, keep me rollin' in the deep, yeah," RM's narrative prowess shines on Closer, offering a glimpse into the inner conflict of a superstar who grapples with desires amidst abundant opportunities. Mahalia's composed delivery and Blanco's dynamic vocal transitions enhance the storyline, contributing to the track's compelling evolution.
6. Change Pt.2
Indigo's shortest track continued from RM's earlier English solo Change alongside Wale in 2017, which is known to dedicated BTS ARMY members. While the original track addressed societal divides in America and South Korea, tackling topics like racism, education, and mental health, in this sequel, RM took a more personal approach, exploring the concept of change on an individual level, including his own evolution.
Set against an innovative, electronic backdrop crafted by his longtime collaborator eAeon, RM introspectively reflected on his public journey, reciting, "Things change, people change, everything changes"
In the unexpectedly pop-driven track Lonely, RM takes center stage on one of two solo tracks in Indigo. While BTS's main vocalists typically handle soaring notes, Lonely spotlights RM's often-underestimated vocal prowess, delivering an explicit yet catchy and relatable tune. RM paints a picture of feeling ensnared by life choices, seeking solace through a simple phone call or returning home. Frustration seeps through as he describes being fed up, indulging in alcohol, and wasting time on YouTube and Netflix. Emotions crescendo in the passionate pre-chorus, leading into a straightforward chorus where RM confesses: "I'm feeling lonely."
Indigo not only featured collaborations with music icons but also highlighted emerging talents like Korean rapper-singer Colde on the track Hectic. Against a dynamic city-pop beat crafted by BTS collaborator Pdogg, RM and Colde showcased their versatility, blending vocals and rap seamlessly. Much like BTS's genre-blurring style guided by RM, Hectic defies categorization into a single genre like hip-hop, R&B, or pop. The synergy between RM and Colde shines through as they narrate, "Yesterday was a hectic. There was nothin' romantic, if I can just find a reason, to keep this endless chasin," an emotionally taxing night out, capturing the complexities and nuances within their music.
9. Wild Flower
RM placed Wild Flower, a Korean-focused track featuring 90s rock icon Youjeen, as the main track of Indigo as it encapsulates the album's essence, using the metaphor of "like a flowerwork" to inspire self-empowerment. Youjeen's impactful delivery in the explosive chorus captures the mix of emotions that come with the spotlight—hope, pain, and confusion. Wild Flower is deeply personal, exposing RM's concern about losing his passion for music in an industry focused on streaming. Despite not aligning with current trends, RM stayed true to his artistic vision, choosing to share this message with the world.
10. No. 2
Closing the album with K-pop legend Parkjiyoon, No.2 offers a comforting conclusion, emphasizing on forward-looking perspectives and acknowledging one's efforts. As RM envisioned Indigo as a diary of his twenties, concluding with the reassuring No.2 signifies a sense of peace and readiness for the next chapter in his journey as he sings, "Don't look back my love."