K-pop has been initially popularized internationally by songs with colorful, upbeat and danceable music paired with slick choreography. This is why when I first heard of the ballad song “It’s Okay” by a K-pop group, BTOB, I was very surprised and because of my irredeemable preference for ballad music, I immediately got hooked.
Born To Beat, or better known as BTOB, is a 7-member K-Pop male group who debuted under CUBE Entertainment in 2012. With 4 vocals Seo Eun Kwang, Lee Chang Sub, Lim Hyung Sik and Yook Sung Jae, and 3 rappers Lee Min Hyuk, Peniel Shin and Jung Il Hoon, I think they are a very well-balanced group. They might not have that super massive fanbase globally but they are actually considered to be certified veterans in the industry.
They are often credited to be one of the best vocal male groups of K-pop (2016 Golden Disc Best Vocal Group) as aside from their excellent vocals in their live performances, they are also top-notch soloists. “Melody”, as the fandom of this group is called, often comments that BTOB’s music is like a calm escape from the overwhelming glam of K-pop. That is also how I felt when I decided to discover more of their music. Being a ballad group, they have quite a long list of songs that offer healing, comfort and warmth – to this day, their self-composed song “It’s Okay” is still my number one favorite of that category. And I really wonder who keeps breaking the hearts of these lovable boys as they always have songs about separation and longingness in every comeback – “Missing You”, also a self-composed song, is the most famous one.
In this playlist article, instead of going for their songs that won them awards, I listed down the songs that won my heart 🤭 and I personally binge-listen to as well as the most notable parts of the lyrics. Feel free to check out and enjoy this Spotify playlist.
Is your daily life exhausting?
Just for who are you living it?
You’ll end up collapsing again.
When times are hard and you feel alone
Listen to this song.
Fun fact: This is their first lead ballad single in their first full album released in 2015.
While I’ve been missing you, a whole day has passed.
While I’ve been missing you, a whole year has gone by.
I just live like that. I miss you, miss you.
Personal note: I love how they incorporated sign language in the chorus’ choreography. Watch a live performance here:
Your beaten hands, your wrinkled eyes
Your lonely back – I’m not used to any of those
Maybe that’s why I was like that, that’s why I hurt you.
Even your turned back seems like baggage I left behind.
I haven’t done anything for you, I haven’t given anything to you but
These are the words I wanted to say so much, I love you forever.
We’re not blood related but it doesn’t matter
Got each other’s backs no matter what happens
When I’m down when I’m up no matter what
One thing I’m sure, I can always count on ya…
Only One for Me
I can’t live without you, It has to be you for me.
No matter how hard I think, it’s you in the end.
Personal note: Below is one of their most fun live performances, I think. If these vocals don’t make you fall, I don’t know what will 🤨
No matter who, we will all become fools
Even though we are exhausted, there will be a moment as if we’ve waited for it
Where we will be stained by a painful love.
Fun fact: This song was released in 2018 when their main vocalist Seo Eun Kwang is in the military.
I will wait for us, let’s be a little happier, let’s be a little calmer
Underneath the sunlight that makes my heart beat.
All those times when we loved each other
Those dream-like times, I can’t forget any of those times.
I’ll Be Here (Will be Here)
When you’re tired, when the tears fall, just remember this one
You are more precious than me.
I’ll hold your two hands. I’ll be here.
Way Back Home
Is it too hard and painful, right?
It’s like every day you’re alone.
But don’t give up on me now.
Now walk that difficult road together with me.
Color Your Days (The Picture I Drew / Drawing)
It’s okay even in you fall.
It’s okay even if you make mistakes.
There are times like that, too.
Brand New Days
I know you’re gonna have some very hard days
but you know that’s life’s way of telling you that you should never give up
‘cause working is always better than staying still.
I saw you just a moment ago
But I think of you again
We’re gonna see each other again later but I miss you again
The repetition of seasons, I don’t know if this is reminiscing
Give me back my time.
I’ve returned to that time again just like a well-timed journey.
When it Rains
When the rain stopped, when the tears dried,
I thought I wouldn’t remember anymore but still.
Running Into Break Up (I’m Sorry)
Because I still lack a lot, because I’m a weak man
I still miss you, the memories hurt so much.
It’s more natural to crumble in the wind
This once splendid place is now a forgotten kingdom.
The Winter’s Tale
Always smile just like the white snow.
Cover the world with your bright smile, that’s all I need.
Be happy so I can be at peace.
Like a flower twisted by the early morning dew
Like a sand castle crumbled by the waves
What to do with you, who is leaving?
You are disappearing so easily
I don’t mind having nightmares if I could see you just a few more times
Like I’m running on a treadmill my life is at a standstill.
Note: While the maknae line enlisting in the military just this year, their hyung line recently came back as a sub-unit called BTOB 4U with their album INSIDE. “Alone” happens to be my favorite from the album. Here’s a live performance.
***BONUS: Personal favorites from their Solo Albums
Come With the Wind (Yook Sung Jae)
Along with the wind I meet you beyond those memories,
I walk on the past towards everything that time with you has carved…
Dear Love (Lim Hyung Sik)
Far across the vast universe
No matter where we are in this world
I can see and feel our love faster than light, my love
No One Knows (Seo Eun Kwang)
No one knows what’s on my mind, no one knows
I just put on my best and biggest smile
Then I lean against the wall in my dark room, I just let my tears drop
Personal note: Forewarning – this is so heartbreaking.
Dear, My Dear (Seo Eun Kwang)
The moment I’ve been waiting for
That I had to look and dream from the distance
Hope it reaches you across the time
Personal note: Its melody can definitely pass as a Disney song.
Gone (Lee Chang Sub)
So, there is no more loneliness
I walk along this rough road with you
In this painful world, if you hold me
We are gone.
Personal note: The bridge part is just so drowning with emotions, I feel so much “love” and “gratitude” .