Thanks to Charlie Puth’s tasteful series of hints via TikTok and Instagram videos, the past week has been all about the American singer-songwriter’s collaboration with BTS ‘vocalist Jung Kook. At midnight EST (9:30 AM IST), the duo released their highly anticipated collaborative single “Left and Right.” The single will likely be part of Puth’s forthcoming studio album Charlie, scheduled to release later this year. Though the BTS member has featured on tracks by American popstars such as Lauv, “Left and Right,” marks Jung Kook’s first official solo music video project.
Written and produced by Puth, “Left and Right’s” minimalistic pop production accentuates the singers’ mellow, dulcet vocalizations. The single meshes fresh percussion-guitar sounds, weaving a bright, rhythmic melody, instantly making it a notable contender for a Summer 2022 hit. Both Puth and Jung Kook employ their celebrated breathy vocal prowess, as they sing about the sweet reminisces of a romance that’s managed to occupy their senses; “Memories follow me left and right / I can feel you over here / I can feel you over here / You take up every corner of my mind.” Similar to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Left and Right’s” chorus undergoes an expressive creative change through the inclusion of panning; an audio technique in which sound / music moves from one side to another, making this a track that is best experienced through your headphones. Staying true to the title, the hook “I can feel you over here” also moves from left to right.
In an Instagram livestream held hours before the official release, Puth shared his experience working with the BTS superstar; “I don’t speak Korean and he [Jung Kook] knows a few English words. But we literally communicated in music, ”the American singer-songwriter revealed. Puth also spoke about how the collaboration came about, “I wanted to see what he [Jung Kook] would sound like on a record that I would do. He completely made it his own of him. ” He continued, “He sent me a perfect vocal back to me and made it very easy for me. I think he added a ton of musical value. ” “Left and Right,” however, is not the duo’s first project together. The duo previously collaborated during the 2018 MBC Plus X Genie Music Awards for a special performance that saw Puth and Jung Kook perform “See You Again,” “We Don’t Talk Anymore,” (originally recorded by Puth) and BTS ‘smash hit “Fake Love.”
The music video follows the story of Puth narrating his feelings to a love doctor with Jung Kook making an appearance occasionally. From lounging in the love doctor’s clinic to driving in a tunnel with Jung Kook playfully seated on the hood of the car, “Left and Right’s music video captures the duo’s mischievous, playful aura vividly.
“Left and Right” is Jung Kook’s first step towards exploring his artistry outside BTS ‘sonic identity as the group takes a step back from producing music as a group for a while. Solo activities, however, does not translate to disbandment. BTS have plans to reunite and release music as a group in the near future and continue their hit variety series, RUN! BTS. “We’re each going to take some time to have fun and experience lots of things,” stated Jung Kook during the livestream about the hiatus. “We promise we will return someday, even more mature than we are now. So I just hope that you can give us your blessing. ” The 25-year-old vocalist is also set to release his first official solo album di lei. According to the group, rapper J-Hope will be the first member to release an official solo album, followed by rapper Suga, and then vocalist Jung Kook.