I started listening to BTS albums from the beginning of their musical journey and this series will feature my thoughts on each of those albums. There are a lot of albums but there are also a lot of solo work that I’m interested in covering here on the blog so I decided to just name this feature, The BTS Listen because I’m an organization nerd and things need to be well organized for me or I get itchy.
This week, I’ll be featuring the following albums: Map of the Soul Persona & Map of the Soul 7.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Map of the Soul: Persona
Release Date: April 12, 2019
Track List: Intro: Persona, Boy with Luv (Feat. Halsey), Mikrokosmos, Make it Right, Home, Jamais Vu, Dionysis
Favorite Song: Dionysis
Favorite Line: 니가 있는 곳, The place where you are, 아마 그곳이 Mi Casa, Perhaps that place is my home, With you I’mma feel rich
GLOBAL ICON BTS POURS OUT THEIR HEARTS TO FANS
FINDING JOY IN LOVE AND REACHING OUT TO THE WORLD THROUGH THE LEAD SINGLE ‘Boy With Luv (Feat. Halsey)’
BTS signals the beginning of a brand new story with the release of their newest EP MAP OF THE SOUL: PERSONA on April 12.
As global superstars who play stadiums and are loved by countless fans across the world, BTS now looks to shape the future reflecting on and using the power they have gained while embracing all its shadows.
Opening the MAP OF THE SOUL series with PERSONA, BTS talks about the joy in finding love and reaches out to the world with the messages they want to share with their fans. The band is especially curious about the stories of each and everyone who have helped them become who they are today.
There are a total of seven tracks in this album, through which BTS weaves together what they genuinely felt both within themselves and the ever-widening world around them. Through RM’s solo piece ‘Intro: Persona’, BTS asks the fundamental question: ‘Who am I?’. World-leading singer Halsey takes part as a featured artist in the lead single ‘Boy With Luv (Feat. Halsey)’ where BTS talks about how true strength and love come from finding joy in the little things in life and reaching out to the world.
The album includes ‘Mikrokosmos’ which paints the world around oneself through human interest and the collaboration with world-famous singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, ‘Make It Right’. In ‘HOME’, BTS finds refuge from their hardships and loneliness where their fans are. ‘Jamais Vu’ is a unit song by j-hope, Jin, Jung Kook and ‘Dionysus’ is a signature BTS hip hop track blasting ad-libs and powerful beats from start to finish.
There are only 7 songs on this album so it’s a short listen, 26 minutes to listen to it from beginning to end (according to Spotify). There’s still a great bunch of songs released with this album and again, there is something for everyone on this one.
Intro: Persona is a short rap song that RM heads up on his own. The beat is funky and the song itself is pretty fun, highlighting RM’s rapping skills. I like it a lot. Boy with Luv (featuring Halsey) is a pretty popular song as this is probably the first song that I heard from BTS, only I didn’t know that BTS sang it. This is another upbeat fun song that is a bop and the choreography to this one is fun too. Mikrokosmos is another feel-good song that speaks of 7 billion lights that I think represent everyone in the world and how different each light is. This one feels like it’s a song about the celebration of humanity and I am here for more goodness out in the world. Make it Right is a song that was composed by Lauv, Ed Sheeran, the boys, and some other folks and it’s another fantastic addition to this album. Make it Right is followed by Home, which is another excellent song. They performed this song on Jimmy Fallon’s BTS week and it was that performance that really made me sit up and take notice of this song and it’s a good one. Jamais Vu is a subunit song with just Jin, JK, and J Hope and it’s another good song. It’s an easy-going song that really blends their voices together really well. The album ends with my favorite song of the entire album (which is good considering I liked every song) and that song is Dionysis which sounds like an eat, drink, and be merry song with Greek mythology vibes and it’s bomb. I like, hella love this song. It’s catchy as hell, fun to sing along to and their performance of this song? AMAZING!
Overall, this album was too short but still amazing. I wanted more and I’m glad that I discovered these guys AFTER both albums were released because my greedy ass would have been thirsty for more and just anxious for more. Every song on this album made me happy so while I wanted more music, what we got was stellar.
This is probably my favorite performance of all time. Everything about this performance hits all of my happy spots and I couldn’t get enough of the entire thing. From RM rapping Intro: Persona to Boys in Luv and then that amazing performance of Dionysis to end the entire show? Yep, all of it is the best.
Map of the Soul: 7
Release Date: February 21, 2020
Track List: Intro: Persona, Boy with Luv (Feat. Halsey), Make it Right, Jamais Vu, Dionysus, Interlude: Shadow, Black Swan, Filter, My Time, Louder than Bombs, ON, Ugh!, 00:00 (Zero O’Clock), Inner Child, Friends, Moon, Respect, We are Bulletproof: the Eternal, Outro: Ego
Favorite Song: Black Swan, UGH, and 00:00 (Zero o’Clock)
Favorite Line: 초침과 분침이 겹칠 때, When the second hand and the minute hand overlap, 세상은 아주 잠깐 숨을 참아 the world holds its breath for a very brief moment, Zero O’Clock, And you gonna be happy
BTS Releases 4th Studio Album “MAP OF THE SOUL: 7”!
A heartfelt story of BTS and their search for their “real selves”
BTS will release their fourth studio album “MAP OF THE SOUL: 7” on February 21.
Unveiled last year, the MAP OF THE SOUL series contains the honest and heartfelt story of BTS and their journey of discovering their true selves. The first chapter of this story, “MAP OF THE SOUL: PERSONA”, sang about the world and the joy of love, and the discovery of the self as it is displayed to the world; “MAP OF THE SOUL: 7” now turns inward to the shadow within in a candid acknowledgement that it, too, is part of the self.
“MAP OF THE SOUL: 7” looks back on the past seven years of BTS since their debut as seven members of one team. The journey was not always smooth sailing, and there were special travails that they had to endure in their rise as global superstars. Now, understanding that the scars left by those hardships is a part of their real selves, BTS accepts both “the self I want to show” and the “self I want to scorn” to at last tell their own story of finding their “real and complete selves”.
Bridging fine art and popular art through such initiatives as the global art project CONNECT, BTS, and the “Black Swan” art film featuring a modern dance interpretation of the early-release track, BTS is poised to show their latest growth as artists through “MAP OF THE SOUL: 7”.
Map of the Soul: 7 was the album that had just dropped when I first started getting into the group. They were preparing for the Map of the Soul concert before the ‘rona messed up those plans. That bums me out even though I doubt I would have spent $300 for concert tickets back then. I will drop that money happily now but back then? I’m doubtful. I won’t share my thoughts on the songs from Persona but I’ll do a rundown of some quick thoughts on all of the rest of the songs.
So we’re gonna start with Suga’s solo song Interlude: Shadow and this isn’t my favorite Suga song but I did enjoy it. What I like a lot about BTS’ music and Army is that there are a lot of theory posts and videos about each of their songs and I really love to delve into the posts and the videos to discover what message the boys are pushing. It’s really impressive how much thought and work goes into each song. The message behind Suga’s Interlude: Shadow is an interesting one and makes the song shine brighter because of it. Here’s a great theory post and it’s a definite recommended read. Next up, we’ve got Black Swan, which is one of my favorite songs on the album. I love that there aren’t any topics that are off-limits for these guys. In this song, they cover the topic of losing their passion for music and creating music and I think the song is beautiful. Each verse and the chorus just melt together in one of the best songs that I’ve ever listened to. Such a great song. Filter is up next and it’s a Jimin solo song. The performance for this song is probably my favorite thing about this song. It’s a good song but it’s not my favorite but that performance??? Oh yeah, super great. Jimin is second to none when it comes to contemporary dancing in my opinion. Jungkook is up next for his solo song with My Time and this is another one of those songs where the meaning just hits all of my happy buttons. The inspiration behind this song, JK’s performance to this song are done so well and I’m a big fan of it.
Louder than Bombs is up next and it’s a slower song that doesn’t get a lot of love but I love it. I love the feel, the sexy vibe and I think V’s vocals really shine on this song. ON is an intense song that brings the heat. The choreo for this song is amazing and it’s just a fun song all around. UGH! is a rap line song and holy shit it’s one of my favorites. The message behind it makes me so happy and I agree wholeheartedly! Stop being trolls on the internet and use your rage to make positive changes in the world. 00:00 (Zero O’Clock) is the vocal line song and it’s another one of my favorite songs on this album. Their message is another good one. No matter how bad things get for you, midnight is just around the corner and once midnight hits, the world will hold its breath for a moment and a new start is possible. You can always turn things around and be happy.
V’s solo song is next with Inner Child and it’s another sweet V song that only V could sing. It’s a beautiful nod to the boy he used to be and the man that he is now. V and Jimin keep the party going with their song, Friends. This is another fantastic song about their friendship. It’s not a song about friendship but about their specific friendship. Army’s will get all of the inside little tidbits on this song and it’s just a super special song that I enjoy a lot. Moon is a Jin solo song that made me happy, especially when asked about the song, Jin responded by saying, “Army is my world and I am their Moon” and that response was just as sweet and cute as this song. Next up, RM and Suga team up to bring us their song, Respect. It’s got an old school hip hop feel to it and I dig it. In true RM and Suga fashion, the message behind this one is delivered in an upbeat and fun way but they tell us that we shouldn’t forget that respect has many meanings and not all of them are great. We are Bulletproof: the Eternal is next and it’s another fantabulous song. It’s one that made me cry the first time that I listened to it, while watching the video. The song and the video do a great job of telling the BTS story from the boys themselves. It’s a song for Army and gah, it’s just so great. The album finishes out with J-Hope’s solo song, Outro: Ego. J Hope’s songs are upbeat, fun and colorful and that’s no different in this one. This song makes me super happy. It was the perfect way to end the album. Sure, there’s a remix of ON featuring Sia but that’s not my favorite song on the album. I much prefer the original version though I don’t hate the remix.
Overall, this was another amazing album and showcases just how hard the boys work. They always do a great job of putting together albums that cater to everyone and not just one specific part of the fandom. Hip hop lovers will enjoy Intro, Interlude, and Ego tracks along with UGH! and Respect. R&B lovers will love Zero O’Clock and Black Swan and fans of pop (k-pop or just regular ol’ English pop) music will enjoy Filter, My Time, Dionysis, Jamais Vu, and just everything. There really is something for everyone and this album is a testament to why BTS is so popular around the world. They really are that good and I definitely recommend this one if you want to have a good time.
Are you guys surprised that I didn’t pick one of their amazing group performances with even more amazing choreography? Nah, for me this performance was super cute and I smiled so hard throughout the entire song. They poke fun at one of their fights that was heard all over the world. Every single Army knows all about the fight between V and Jimin during V’s filming of Hwarang. At the same time that V was filming the k-drama, Hwarang (with Park Seo Joon and Park Hyung Sik), BTS was also preparing for a world tour. V came to rehearsals and he was super hungry so he asked one of the staff to get him some mandu (dumplings). When it was delivered, V wanted to eat it really quick and Jimin wanted to finish practice really quick, and …they fought about it. I love that the boys were able to take their fight that everyone talks about in every single interview and online everywhere and turn it into a song that brought them close together again. Jimin and V’s friendship is probably my favorite friendship of all and I just adore this performance so much.