BTOB  – “It’s Okay” Review

BTOB
– It’s Okay (Music Video Dance Version)

BTOB – It’s Okay

Reviewed
on May 8, 2016

Personal Message:
Owning a dog is far from an easy
task, though indeed it very much is rewarding. It has been eight days
since adopting my girl as of this sentence (I plan to write a “post-adoption”
blog post that shares my experiences and even my initial regrets), and we are
adjusting to each other very well. Her terrier and Dachshund breed
characteristics are also slowly showing: activeness, playfulness, and
lovingness. She is also responding very well to obedience training; our first
day consisted of waiting five minutes per “sit,” but that time is now an average
of four seconds. And of course, she now knows other commands: “come,” “stay,” and “leave  it”–or at least is working on the latter two. Small dog update aside (no pun intended), it is now time for
me to also adjust back to my own schedule. I hope to finish May with six
reviews, and likewise with June and even August. Given that I am able to spread
out my reviews and am on summer break (though I have one summer class), these
goals appear very plausible. All that said, rather than focusing on a recent
comeback right now, to return to a writing mindset and for some practice (and
unfortunately that does mean social digressions will not occur in this review),
I have instead decided to review a song I have absolutely adore these past
days: BTOB’s “It’s Okay.

Admittedly it was not until I heard MAMAMOO’s
cover of “It’s Okay”

that I began to truly learn more of BTOB. Even if I heard “Remember That,”
BTOB’s latest song, before MAMAMOO’s cover, it was the ladies’ cover that
disclosed how vocally skilled the men were. After all, the singing MAMAMOO
conducted in their cover was purely a cover; there were no added improvising,
ad-libs, or any modifications for that matter. All of the belting, note holds,
power, rapping intensity, and so forth are in the original song—this being a
clear showcase of how vocally skilled BTOB is (and vice-versa with MAMAMOO
being able to handle BTOB’s song). Overall, I am indeed now a fan of BTOB’s
music and look forward to becoming a fan of the men themselves through watching
their videos.

Hastily focusing on the review
itself (as I am yearning to simply get back into routine), I confess: “It’s
Okay” is one the better songs I have ever heard and is also now a favorite. As
such, I will do my best to remain neutral. Besides that, however, the song
title can be quite misleading: this song is not just “okay.” It is, I biasedly
predict, fantastic. The vocals are to a high tier, the sections are cohesive,
the instrumental is solid—everything, from the surface, seems to align up to a
solid score. Let us see if that is the case.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 8/10
(7.6/10 raw score) – “Good; excellent”


Vocals: 8/10


Sections: 8/10
(7.57/10 raw score)

Introduction, Verse,
Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Rap, Chorus, Rap, Bridge, Chorus, Conclusion

1.     Introduction:
7/10

2.     Verse: 7/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 7/10

4.     Chorus: 7/10

5.     Rap: 8/10

6.     Bridge: 9/10

7.     Conclusion: 8/10


Instrumental: 7/10


Section Distribution: 6/10

Eunkwang:
Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus (Total: 5)

Minhyuk:
Rap (Total: 1*)

Changsub:
Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Chorus, Rap, Bridge (Total: 5)

Hyunsik:
Verse, Pre-Chorus, Bridge, Chorus (Total: 4)

Peniel:
Rap (Total: 1)

Ilhoon:
Rap (Total: 1*)

Sungjae:
Introduction, Verse, Chorus, Chorus, Chorus (Total: 5)

Equal Value: 3.14 sections per member.

*Special
exemption granted due to duration. These quantities will be ignored.


Lyrics: 9/10

Yeah, yeah
Oh

Are your shoulders heavy?
It’s not easy to put down heavy baggage
Someone said that when feel your dreams are
getting far away, “you should take a break”

Are you struggling because of the same things
every day?
Who is that for?
In the end, you’ll fall down anyway
When you’re struggling and feel alone
Listen to this song

Look forward to this melody you liked
The voice that will flow out of the radio
The only thing I can do, is to sing the lyrics of this song
Even if things are hard, it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay
Everything will be okay
I believe in you

It’s been three years
No one wants me
I wonder if I should go to the army
I told my parents and they said one thing, they sighed
So I couldn’t tell them
that I got fired from my one part-time job
Well, yesterday my friend who’s about to get discharged
came out for vacation
He said that it’s scary
That he forgot everything he learned in college
There are a million unemployed people
I don’t really know much about that
But I just wish that number was in my bank account
The loud alarm keeps rushing me
Starting from dawn I go out my house like I’m being chased
It’s like standing at the edge of a cliff
What am I doing? No, what should I be doing?
It’s an answerless echo
Why do I get kicked around outside
and vent my anger at harsh places?
I’m a small paper boat; lost during voyage without coordinates
I force down my tears
Sighing becomes a habit
I know that I’m being a fool
But I pretend I’m okay in front of others
Where did the bright past go?

Look forward to this melody you liked
The voice that will flow out of the radio
The only thing I can do, is to sing the lyrics of this song
Even if things are hard, it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay
Everything will be okay
I believe in you

My loving family, my friends who are my family
It’s been so long since I’ve seen them
(I believe in you)
We always say, “let’s grab a bite to eat”
It wouldn’t be bad if I got some free time for once
Then I wouldn’t be so lonely right now

This song is almost over,
but there’s still a lot I haven’t said
Everyone probably feels the same

Look forward to this melody you liked
(melody, melody)
The voice that will flow out of the radio
The only thing I can do, is to sing the lyrics of this song
Even if things are hard, it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay
Everything will be okay
I believe in you

Choreography Score: 6/10 (6.0/10 raw score)

– Syncing: 6/10

– Key Points: 6/10

Overall Score: 7/10
(7.0/10 raw score)

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: After
the review on SPICA’s
“Ghost,”
I highly doubted I would ever see a Song Score of
eight again. Clearly, however, that is not the case: “It’s Okay” manages to
indeed snatch a very prestigious rating. Generally peering at the categories,
all are at a higher rating: the vocals are an eight; the sections are an eight;
the lyrics hit a surprising high of nine; and so forth. Only the section
distribution is slightly lacking—and this will be our first look at “It’s
Okay.”

With
the section distribution, something appears rather peculiar: the score is a six
when, quite blatantly, the numbers does not match up; the rating should be
seemingly lower considering three members have one section while the rest have
significantly more. True that I do base on quantity over duration as,
generally, quantity can be more indicative than time. For example, in Fiestar’s
“You’re Pitiful,” Cao Lu’s single “I don’t know” line, while minimal in duration,
is very substantial and important in what it provides the song. In that context,
it was the quantity that mattered; the
duration of her line had not as much
as relevance as did the amount of times Cao Lu’s line appeared. Furthermore, if
the mentioned example is going to be refuted, then the following would be much
harder to disagree with: accounting for raps. Some parts or sections, such as
raps, are simply going to be shorter in virtue of their style. It would not be
fair for a song to have a reduced Section Distribution score because, based on
duration, a member’s rap—though appearing numerously—added up to minimal time.
Again, quantity is inspected over duration of lines to help account for differences
in styles, be it raps, note holds, beltings, and so forth. With that in mind,
it does seem very absurd that “It’s Okay” is exempted; if quantity is to be
praised over duration as I explained, why would “It’s Okay” not be punished for
its distribution if we are to look at quantity?

Context
is the reason—and context is not a random point I suddenly made. The purpose of
looking at quantity over duration is it tends to reflect context moreover than
duration as explained earlier, but in “It’s Okay,” duration plays a very
significant role—a role that is undeniable and thus, has to be analyzed. With
the initial rap section from Ilhoon and Minhyuk, both men rap for an
exceptionally long time, and factoring in that their raps occur right after the
other, it leads to a section that is more than just “one section.” Therefore,
in calculating the score, I will not be holding the two men’s parts as lacking
and will consider them as having the “equal value” necessary for a fair
distribution. Nonetheless, as noted, a six is still in place due to Peniel
having one section. Certainly his part is a rap, but unlike Ilhoon and Minhyuk,
the duration is by far minimal and thus, while everyone else has an even
distribution (again, once accounting for the exemptions), Peniel lacks a
significant amount of sections. This brings the score down from a potential
nine to now a six.

To
preserve the sonic aspect to “It’s Okay” for later, we will now proceed with
the lyrics. Although my April
Fool’s review
gave a score of a nine for the “song” ‘s lyrics, if ignoring
that it is a prank, then indeed “It’s Okay” currently carries the highest score
for its lyrics out of all songs reviewed. In fact, it is a score I doubt would
ever be beat, let alone even tied. Explaining the outstanding score, without
even focusing on the meaning of the lyrics, the amount of detail is admirable. For
example, the sole repeated lines are the choruses, and even then, the details
provided there are decent. For what truly elicits the lyrics’ strengths, the
main rapping section carries an extreme degree of thoroughness, and
additionally, of uniqueness. As noticed from the multiple reviews conducted,
there is a common theme of lyrics—specifically that of love, relationships, or
just having fun. However, “It’s Okay” is not along those lines; this song is
focusing on hardship, of finding one’s desires, goals, and career. Clarifying a
point, however, I am not praising the lyrics’ meaning; doing so causes the issue
of praising interpretations—of which are unstable. Rather, that the lyrics differ from a vast majority of other
(Korean) pop songs is what grants it its praise in this aspect. After all, it becomes
dull to hear of a song that is, once again, about love, heartbreak, and so on.

Finally
discussing the sonic side to “It’s Okay,” the vocals are phenomenal. That is
probably an understatement. Every vocal aspect to “It’s Okay” is simply
fantastic. From the subtle, echoing background singing and humming to the
powerful high note holds and belts that occur at notably at the choruses and
bridge—though every section’s vocals
are worthy of praise—the song contains seducing vocals. The only section that
comes short is the conclusion: there are no vocals there. Jokes aside, there is
truly not much to discuss with BTOB’s vocals. They are amazing singers and
rappers. Bearing this in mind, it would appear expected for the sections to
also follow with a high rating.

For
one, given that the vocals are superb, the sections already have their sonic
component covered. Even then, for how the sections themselves are structured,
much praise likewise exists. A key point to highlight with the sections is how
cohesive they are. From transitioning to the next section or, in an overarching
view, to building up the song towards the climactic bridge, all of the sections
link to one another in a way that allows “It’s Okay” to seamlessly flow from
start to end. This, besides providing a smooth flow, allows the vocals to
remain at their highest charms as all of the vocals—singing and rapping—build
upon the prior section’s vocals. Focusing moreover on an individual scope, each
section brings its specialty to “It’s Okay.” The verses, pre-choruses, and
choruses are all solid in regards to delivered singing and format. For a
section that deserves high praise, the bridge—of which reaps a very high rating
of a nine—is absolutely stellar with being able to bring the song together for
one final, peak moment of pure vocal prowess. Other sections, such as the raps,
are also excellent. In this song particularly, the lengthier raps not only
expose more moments of delightful rapping, but doing so also provides an
intriguing, fitting break to the song’s usual flow of just singing. And to
conclude it all, the instrumental binds all it all together: vocals and
sections. With providing transitions to accommodating BTOB’s singing and
rapping, the instrumental serves well.  

At
most for what can be critiqued in “It’s Okay,” the visual component—the
choreography—may be the weakest piece. Although creating a dance around a
ballad is a difficult feat and that has to be acknowledged, the dance is in no
way as captivating as the audio. Key points and even syncing are plain, but
given the focus should be on BTOB’s vocal performance, the choreography’s
partial lacking is excusable.

In
the end, “It’s Okay” still scores exceptionally well with its Song Score: an
eight. While the Choreography Score is not as impressive, if we are to focus on
the song itself, BTOB’s “It’s Okay” can be considered one of the top songs the
blog has yet to review. Only SPICA’s “Ghost” competes equally in score. And numbers
aside, “It’s Okay” is, biasedly speaking, one of the best ballads I have heard.
The song is one of the few where every aspect is definitely solid, and on top
of it all, the lyrics can be very empowering and reassuring for those who may
and will relate to the song at one point or another. All in all, I personally
rank “It’s Okay” as one of the better songs I have heard, and I optimistically
look forward to BTOB releasing another song that is—if not better—at least
equal in quality. Perhaps a future review will be on “Remember That,” BTOB’s
latest comeback, and comparisons to this song could be made.

_______________________________________________________

Although
I feel as if the writing and analysis in this review is somewhat weaker than
usual, I will work from here to bring more insightful, engaging reviews.
Especially with finally feeling settled down with my girl (and of whom will be
having her first frozen peanut butter-banana-dog food Kong treat along with her
first time being alone at home), I know I can get back on track with reviews. I
have much to catch up in terms of reviews. For what I have planned, I do want
to focus on reviewing artists who I have never reviewed at all before. Unless
if there is a pressing comeback that occurs, I wish to bring in more diversity
on the blog—both with artists but also with gender (specifically with having
more male artists).

As
always, thank you so much for reading this review. Whether briefly skimmed or
read to each periods, I appreciate it all. Look forward to many reviews (and
subtitle videos of Fiestar—for those interested) to come. After all, “Everything
will be okay, I believe in you”—I believe in readers continually coming back,
and for those current in harder times, that everything will be okay—as BTOB
says. Look forward to most likely Hong Jinyoung’s “Thumb Up,” a trot song, as
the next review.