B2ST is definitely back on the kpop scene and ready to show fans what they've been up to. The group returns to reclaim their position among the top boy bands in Korea with the release of their first full length album “Fiction and Fact”. The record is well packaged with impressive harmonies and slow tempo r&b tracks, with a few pop numbers here and there. B2ST is well known for their hard-hitting dance choreography, passionate and untouchable vocals, and not to mention good looks, so I got interested when the internet started buzzing about their comeback. I just had to listen to the new album and to be honest, it was well worth it.
“The Fact” is an urban mid-tempo pop track about a man coming to the realizing that the love of his life is gone. The truth is staring him in the face but he’s still stuck in denial that the love has ended and there’s nothing else he can do or say to change it. I like how they start out the album on such an emotional tone; it’s the beginning of a story depicting the journey of the relationship, and at this very moment the relationship is fading. The disbelief that his love no longer exists is carried through in “Fiction”. The song starts out with the man writing or more like pouring his heart out to his lost love in a letter. He re-writes their relationship having no ending but instead filled with eternal happiness. I love the melody throughout the song and the pop beat is just hypnotic. The track has painful lyrics but the music is entertaining for their pop/dance fans. The music video is just as dramatic. See for yourselves:
As we get pulled deeper, the story unravels the fact that man has had enough of the heartache he’s feeling. In “Back to You”, he is going crazy with all the memories haunting him. It becomes clear that she’s the one that left and he wants to know why. He wants to know if they can maybe try again to rekindle the love they had. The song starts out slow but picks up by the time it gets to the chorus. It’s an r&b track incorporating pop elements, which is also well pleasing for fans but still it focuses on getting the message of longing across.
We get a definite understanding of what happened in the relationship in “You”. It turns out that the girl didn’t love him as much as he perceived. He had given her his heart and soul only to receive pain in return. “You” continues the concept of misery from the previous tracks, but you’ll see that the man has found some form of relief in “Freeze”. In this track, he’s with the girl. I’m unsure as to whether this taking place within his dreams or in reality, but either for just a while he’s no longer in pain and hopes this moment would last forever. This is a happier track on the album and even the music sounds bubbly and cheerful.
“Virus” clarifies that he’s not dreaming but in fact she’s actually there with him. He’s willing to wait and do whatever it takes for her to remain by his side. However, she’s like a virus because no matter how she hurts him he still loves her. No matter if she keeps pushing him away he’ll still cling to her. This song sounds like one of those love making r&b tracks from the 90’s. The beat gives you a heat rush. B2ST is evidently heavily influenced by r&b music and it’s very refreshing to hear something different from the usual kpop style.
The album re-enters it’s dull and depressive lyrics in “(불러보지만) Calling You”. The song reiterates the undeniable fact that the guy really does love the girl, but now he’s retracting his previous statement in “You” about her not truly loving him and he starts to wonder if maybe she does despite her stubbornness. I like the flow of B2ST’s vocals in this song. It’s like milk: smooth and silky. Strangely, the track almost gave the impression that they would get back together, but sadly “비가 오는 날엔 (On Rainy Days)” plunges back into the sad vibe and you realize that his heartache still exists. Unfortunately, he was unable to reach her heart and the pain has left him empty of life but filled with darkness. He releases his sorrow on rainy days because only then does his tears flow and can remain concealed from the world outside, hidden by the rain drops. It’s a very miserable song and by the looks of it, there is no happy ending to this sad love story.
“Lightless” would have to be my favorite track on the entire album because of the acoustic vibe and the strong emotions resounding from their vocals. The song was also included on their previous mini album “Lights Go on Again”, but it is evident why they’ve revived it for this album. It continues the terrifying tale of a man losing hope and life within his heart. The track is somewhat of a continuation and a more gratifying reason for “On Rainy Days”. It’s describing the loneliness he feels from losing love and he’ll continue to live like this until love rescues him. In conclusion, he’s living in despair, and the orchestral and very emotional version of “Fiction” tells us that he’s unable to move on because he keeps reliving and re-creating a fictional reality of his life with a woman who is no longer with him. It’s a painful ending to what used to be a beautiful love.
“Fiction and Fact” has depth and substance. The moment the first track started playing, I fell into the story to view first hand of what’s truly happening. I felt like I was taking the journey along with them and these are the kind of albums that I like. Their lyrics are like poetry, their voices are like rain; B2ST is definitely worth my time and ears. Its artists like these that will have their music being played for decades. EY gives “Fiction and Fact“ a rating of 5/5. Be sure to support the group and purchase their album here
Track listing:01. The Fact 02. Fiction 03. Back to You 04. You 05. Freeze 06. Virus 07. Calling You 08. On Rainy Days 09. Lightless (Unplugged Ver.) 10. Fiction (Orchestra Ver.)