One of the coolest things about RM’s Indigo album is that it’s essentially a collaboration project. All but two tracks prominently feature guest artists, and these guests have been plucked from many eras, cultures and countries. None feel extraneous or tacked on for purely commercial reasons. Unlike BTS’s recent slate of English-language department store bops, this project feels personal and focused.
Casual fans (or those who only listen to K-pop) might be most familiar with rapper/singer Anderson .Paak via the recent Silk Sonic project that teamed him with Bruno Mars and resulted in the mega-hit Leave The Door Open. Still Life pulls him into the BTS fold, and it’s a match that works well. In contrast to last week’s cathartic Wild Flower, this song is all about groove. It’s loose and funky and has a throwback appeal similar to some of the tracks on that Silk Sonic album.
I like the song’s expressive, spontaneous energy. It’s not reinventing the wheel, but the performers are clearly having a good time and it feels like they’re actually interacting with each other (despite this likely being recorded in two different places). RM thrives on this faster-paced sound and Paak injects an extra dose of texture that gives the song some grit – especially during the bombastic breakdowns. There are a couple of stronger tracks on the album (the Tablo-featuring All Day is a lot of fun), but it was smart to give the public a taste of Indigo’s more upbeat energy.