BTS releases MAP OF THE SOUL:7

BTS in a recent LG ad campaign
K-pop boy band BTS. From LG Electronics, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

On February 21, the famous Korean boy band BTS released their 11th album titled MAP OF THE SOUL: 7. This album adds 14 songs to complete the mini-album MAP OF THE SOUL: PERSONA, released in April 2019. MAP OF THE SOUL: 7 further expands on the multi-genre style of music that BTS has been known for. From beautiful vocals to rap, this is a great celebration of the group’s family-like bond over the past seven years.

For those who don’t know, BTS is a Korean-pop boy group that has exploded with popularity all over the world. In 2010, BTS formed in Seoul, South Korea. They debuted their single “We Are Bulletproof Pt.2” in 2013. Continuing to increase in global fame every year, BTS is now a well-known name whenever K-pop music is mentioned. Due to the group’s diverse fans all over the world, BTS has been touring America, performing on major stages and appearing on award shows like the Billboard Music Awards and the AMAs in 2019. They also were featured in Lil Nas X’s Grammys performance.  In 2019, BTS sold-out Wembley Stadium for two nights in a row; the stadium has a capacity of 90,000 people! Under Korean music company Big Hit Entertainment, BTS’s members are Kim Namjoon (RM), Kim Seokjin (Jin), Min Yoongi (Suga), Jung Hoseok (J-Hope), Park Jimin (Jimin), Kim Taehyung (V), and Jung Jungkook (Jungkook).

The first new addition titled “Interlude: Shadow” by Suga is about the artist’s fears over his rise to fame. Beginning the song, Suga says, “I wanna be a rap star, I wanna be the top, I wanna be a rockstar, I want it all mine, I wanna be rich, I wanna be king, I wanna go win.” Suga is referencing his past hopes and dreams before taking the spotlight. “No one told me how lonely it is up here,” Suga raps regarding his growing fame. The emotion-heavy and personal lyrics accompanied by the mellow beat will make your head bop. Nearing the last minutes of the song, the beat then switches to a hard-bass and dark theme, leading Suga to rap from the perspective of the shadow or fears following him. “Interlude: Shadow” is a great track to start off the album.

After the sound of a gunshot to start the song, “UGH!” is a fast-paced track featuring the main rappers of the group, Suga, RM, and J-Hope. Each of the artists rap about their take on anger and how others are affected by it: “I get angry at the anger that should’ve gotten lost/turned off,” J-Hope says. Another shining lyric from J-Hope, “Anger rules this world. Seems like if there’s no anger, then no one can live.” “UGH!” is an explosive jam with trap elements that many fans of their previous rap-style songs will appreciate.

The track “My Time” by Jungkook is about him feeling lost in time. Joining the group at 15-years-old, Jungkook did not have an ordinary childhood, therefore, the theme of growing up too fast is the focal point of the song. “Feels like I became a grown-up faster than anybody else. My life has been a movie all the time,” he sings. Most notable in the song, the artist’s English has immensely improved as he switches back and forth from Korean to English. The R&B vibes of the song and Jungkook’s amazing vocals are music to the ears. This is a new side of Jungkook that fans haven’t experienced before. Out of all the songs on the album, “My Time” may have the most impressive vocals.

Including all members of BTS, the title track “ON” captures the motivation to keep persevering through obstacles in life. The song’s beat evokes a picture of a proud group of people marching forward, strong and unafraid. In the chorus, the group sings, “(Eh-Oh) Bring it, bring the pain oh yeah.” Midway through the track, fans are hit with Jungkook’s astounding vocals: “My everythin’, my blood and tears, got no fears.” Along with the prideful choreography in the music video, each member shines vividly in “ON.” Fans will have the track on replay for hours on end.

Bigger than ever, BTS is back with their 11th album MAP OF THE SOUL: 7. After the album’s release, over 17 million tweets circulated Twitter. The group has also announced a MAP OF THE SOUL TOUR in which they will be performing around the world, starting with Seoul, South Korea on April 11. MAP OF THE SOUL: 7 is yet another phenomenal comeback that is bound to cause waves for all fans alike.