The final member of BTS to release solo music since the group’s 2022 hiatus, V (aka Kim Tae-hyung), has arrived on the scene with his first EP, “Layover” (2023). Despite the release of a few solo songs like “Winter Bear” (2019) and “Scenery” (2019) on SoundCloud and a few solos while still in BTS like “Stigma” (2016) and “Intro: Singularity” (2017), this marks V’s debut solo album.
Only six tracks long, “Layover” is a smooth debut album in V’s solo career, which started with his first independent song in 2019. Each track showcases V’s low and sultry voice, with a clear jazz and blues influence. The whole album feels like an ode to lost and complicated relationships, as V goes from reminiscing on a relationship in “Rainy Days,” to wanting his lover back by his side in “For Us.”
“Layover” begins with “Rainy Days,” one of two pre-releases from the album. V speaks about missing his lover on a typical rainy day, reminiscing about how they once felt next to him. On this track, like many others, V seems to speak directly to his beloved, wanting them to know that it’s days like these when he wishes they were still by his side. The music video follows an isolated V, moving about a large but empty home as he croons about his lost love. The music video paired with the audio of sent text messages works to mimic the sentiments of lonely days that seem to follow lovers parting ways.
“Blue” continues to paint in the colors of V’s lost relationship. With lyrics like “What if I show you / And make it all new / Green, yellow, red, blue / Whatever seems good to you,” V still seems willing to give it all up for the one he loves. “The stars I borrowed / From the moon for a day / … / baby you’re still blue,” V gently sings. The more R&B, bedroom style of this song slows the album down for its transition into “Love Me Again.”
“Love Me Again” is inspired by neo-soul music, and will bring you right back to a bygone era. With a story centered around the past, V wonders aloud if his lover has regrets and feels the same sense of want as he does. In the music video, V speaks simply into his mic, “I wish you would love me again / No I don’t want nobody else.” The album itself fully comes to life with this track, as V’s voice feels like dancing in your head — which brings us to the next track.
In “Slow Dancing,” V smoothly connects with his lover, singing “Maybe we / Could be / Slow dancing.” With 1970s soul-inspired production, V beautifully incites his lover to spend these small moments with him. In the track’s music video, we follow V and his friends resting on a beach, taking Polaroid photos and simply enjoying the moment together.
“For Us” seems to be the only track on “Layover” that feels like a conversation between the two lovers. With two distinct voices singing “I’m still waiting for ya,” this song feels both longing and wistful. Both voices seem to agree to want one another and are willing to try again. In one of the more hopefully romantic songs, V and his love seem to be at a better place in their relationship once again. This track is in a league of its own. If there is any song on this album that must be listened to wrapped up in bed, it’s this one.
We round the album out with “Slow Dancing (Piano Ver.),” a slower and smoother version of the earlier track.
One of the most notable highlights from this entire album experience is the power of V’s vocals. Known for his deep baritone in many popular BTS songs, V uses his musical style in a way that perfectly captures the grounded nature of his tone. V’s voice is an important stroke in the masterpiece that is “Layover” and the feeling of nostalgia that permeates throughout the album.
Known for his love of older music and the past, V knows how to blend his interests and talents to create more than an album, but rather a full and nostalgic musical experience. V’s captivating nature, smooth vocals and ability to weave moments of the past with the future make “Layover” a listening experience you simply cannot miss.