[Review] MORE – j-hope (BTS)

Entertaiment, News

Following BTS’s long-awaited Korean comeback with Yet To Come (The Most Beautiful Moment) and the announcement that the group will be focusing more on their solo careers than group activities moving forward (though HYBE was quick to clarify that promotions as a group will continue), j-hope was the first member to start working on his solo career with the release of the studio album, Jack In The Box, featuring the pre-release track MORE and title track Arson (a review for Arson will be published tomorrow, as this review is for MORE). This follows the 2018 j-hope Hope World mixtape and the 2019 Chicken Noodle Soup.

Frankly I had to review MORE when it was first released two weeks ago. MORE displays a dark atmosphere that really catches your eye. This is thanks to the grunge direction in which the song goes, which is unheard of in KPOP. But it’s fair to say that it’s a rare sight. I really like the instrumental escalation – boldness, energy, and all – during the chorus. The filtered and screaming vowels from j-hope match. However, I wish there were more parts to the MORE chorus, just so there’s a substantial melody and hook to the song, which I think is lacking. As for the lines, I love the smoldering j-hope rap and some of its protracted delivery. However, it feels limited and limited. But it’s clear after the fact that the verses are designed to set the chorus I’ve already alluded to. I like how the second verse is a bit more amplified and not a repetition of the first verse. This adds a bit more variety to the MORE and doesn’t make it too consistent (which would otherwise make the MORE a little dry). In keeping with the choice of styles that MORE followed, the track was strong which caught my eye. It just needs a little more meat for the song, in my opinion.

Just like the teaser image for this release, I couldn’t recognize j-hope. I personally attribute this to makeup, which gives it a different character to the j-hope I know from BTS promotions. My comments may be taken as negative, but I enjoy it when artists show a different side of themselves, and j-hope definitely achieves that. His appearance also matches the grunge style of MORE. However, the video starts with a package being delivered (which is eventually shown as a package from all the rooms we see the j-hope feature in this video). j-hope clarified that each room has a concept and meaning, but he didn’t go into detail about what it was. Based on the lyrics, it seems that these rooms are somehow related to him and his journey as an artist so far – with the lyrics depicting his ambitions from when he started until now as a member of BTS. I’m curious what each room represents, just to give the video more meaning. He did talk about the hallway, which he thought showed there was more room, perfect for a song called MORE.