[Review] RM’s “Come Back To Me” return comes with a music video that provides food for thought

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Despite being in the military, RM of BTS has his Right Place, Wrong Person solo album coming out soon, and recently the “Come Back To Me” single has been dropped. It features HYUKOH‘s Oh Hyuk in the credits, and musically it’s a slow burn with an intentionally laid-back delivery. It does perk up a bit with the drums and crooning during the chorus, but never too much and remains deliberate throughout. Really, it feels more like a soundtrack for the music video than anything, and that ends up more than fine.

Why? Because the music video is the star here anyway, as one probably doesn’t hire Lee Sung Jin (Beef) to direct if there aren’t gonna be more themes at play than meet the eye. Indeed, “Come Back To Me” ends up exploring the concept of multiple paths RM (or anyone) could take in life, and the roles he could take within those lives.

Initially he doesn’t look happy with any of them, not at the party with friends, he shows apprehension with marriage, has fear of a stormy relationship, and hides from being the son of expectant parents. In the midst of all the chaos, he eventually finds a woman played by Kim Minha (Pachinko), who seems to be on her own journey. They end up finding a connection, and perhaps with the help of their conversation, he’s finally able to warm up to the respective paths/roles in all their well-worn and predictable glory.

Snapping back to reality, despite being content, he chooses to follow the woman he met, and they embark on a journey together through a previously-locked door* that reveals the place’s maze-like quality.

*Somebody smarter than me can figure out the significance of the three circle design.

The most obvious reference to cite given its popularity and utilization of multiverses is Everything Everywhere All At Once, but while it’s a relevant example of living different lives, thematically it’s not necessarily a match. Rather this seems more influenced by something like The Midnight Library with him serving as his own librarian.

Throughout his journey, RM appears to be weighed down by the pressure to choose which path is best (or right), and his uncertainty and/or lack of direction seemingly causes his unhappiness. While all of them end up satisfactory in some way, that only occurs after meeting Kim Minha, who seems to represent the allure of the unknown and/or his own personal desire. Rather than opt-in to the pre-determined journeys that life has already shown him (presumably an analogy for societal expectations), he ends up embarking on a new journey with the person who makes everything fall into place and is the cause of his happiness, deciding carving their own unknown path is worth the risk.

Of course, they are still very much within the confines of the maze at the end. Thus, thematically it seems it’s less about escaping the world and more about finding your own path within it that’s self-satisfying even if it isn’t “the right one” according to the expectations of others, as the central question of right or wrong is attacked as a false binary.

Really, there could be any number of interpretations for this, but as usual when it comes to these types of artistic works, I just appreciate anything that motivates me enough to actually want to write about it.