Yashvi Singh, Delhi
World-famous K-Pop band BTS, released their much-awaited album ‘Map of the Soul: 7’ on 21st February 2020. This album holds special meaning for all the 7 members; RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook as it reflects on their journey of seven years, with each song depicting their own personal stories and thoughts. On June 13th,2020, the group will celebrate its 7th anniversary.
The songs of the album include revisiting previous themes to show the contrast from members’ initial days in comparison to where they are today. Each member gets their turn to tell their story individually as well as with sub-unit work shines even more.
The opening track or intro song Persona samples the group’s 2014 rock-influenced song ‘Intro: Skool Luv Affair’. This opening track is a solo song by the leader of the group, RM where he opens up about his identity, which is influenced by his ‘persona’ as a musician.
The following track, Boy With Luv featuring American artist, Halsey, is a pop anthem that was on Billboard HOT 100 for 46 weeks. This upbeat song is a joyous celebration of life’s smallest moments and how the members are happy to enjoy it, giving special thanks to the ‘wings’ that encourages them to fly even higher, as a metaphorical reference to their increasing success.
The relationship between BTS & their fans, ARMYs is not one-sided. The members have never held back themselves from reciprocating their love for ARMY. This time with their 3rd track Make it Right, where the members have shared how ARMYs have been the constant source of strength and motivation for BTS in difficult times.
Another track Jamais Vu is a sub-unit song by Jungkook, Jin & J-Hope. This song seems like a glimpse into the life of someone who is looking for a ‘remedy’ that will make their heart to beat again. The following track Dionysus, featuring heavy beats and Suga’s one of the most iconic verses, celebrates the victory over the criticism, BTS has faced over the years.
It’s no secret that BTS has always been vocal about their true feelings through their music, and Interlude: Shadow, a solo track from Suga, focuses on the downside of being famous and explores the dark side of his personality. The rapper shares his raw feelings that even though he has everything he ever wanted in the form of success and fame, he still feels empty, and his shadow is stopping him from being truly happy.
In the 7th track, Black Swan, the group talks about their fear of being distant with their passion and called it their ‘first death’. They confess in their lyrics that one-day their music will no longer move them, and that day could be today. The song ends on the hopeful note that they come to realise, that music is all they have and they’ll never let it go.
The next track is Jimin’s solo Filter which is surprisingly unique with its Latin beats and tunes. In this song, Jimin expresses his duality that has been stealing the heart of ARMYs since day one. He sings with his mesmerising vocals, about being someone’s filter and how he can make that person feel better by showing different sides of his personality. BTS’s maknae, Jungkook, divulges into his fast-paced life in wistful song My Time backed by R&B influenced beats. In this song, Jungkook talks about growing up in the constant presence of spotlight and looks back at his fast-paced life and the times he spent in the ‘airplane mode’, while his friends lived a normal life. He questions himself if he’ll ever find his own ‘time’ to enjoy the moments he has missed out on. Pop singer, Troye Sivan, wrote Louder Than Bombs along with RM, Suga & J-Hope. This track emphasises on the painful process of healing where the members compare their pain to the loudness of bombs, which is unbearably loud and destructive.
The empowering energetic single, ON backed by famous marching band ‘Blue Devils’ is one of the official MV of this album, that talks about facing the shadows, accepting the faults, and moving forward with the scars. Jungkook once again proves that he’s the main vocal through his powerful verse in the bridge.
The next track Ugh by the rap line; RM, Suga & J-Hope, express their rage towards the world which is full of hatred and anger. The diss-track dives into the ripple effect someone’s anger has. The song is ironic because they are dissing the people who are angry, by being angry.
The vocal line takes control with their melodies in the 13th track Zero O’ Clock, as they reassure the listeners that better days are ahead and you can always start over when the clock strikes at midnight (Zero O’Clock). The lyrics ‘And you’re gonna be happy’ is delivered to the listeners as an affirmation, rather than a promise. In Inner Child, V throws it back to the time when the stars were too far out of his tiny reach. As an ode to his past self, he celebrates his growing pains, and he promises his younger self that things will change.
The most playful duet of the album Friends is a track by ‘self-proclaimed’ soulmates Jimin & V, as they recall the times, when they met each other for the first time, to their fights over dumplings & teasing each other by calling names. Through this synth track, V & Jimin recall their trust & promises to each other as friends. Jin’s pop-rock influenced solo track Moon, focuses on the relationship between Jin & ARMY. He compares himself to the ‘Moon’ and ARMY to the ‘Earth’. Moon isn’t visible during the daytime from Earth, but the Moon always sees the earth. Just like that, he affirms that he will always look after ARMYs.
With a hip-hop beat, Suga & RM trade rap in their song Respect where they talk about the real meaning of respect while pointing out the two-faced people who ‘respect’ them in person but trash talk behind their backs. ‘We Are Bulletproof: The Eternal’ is a continuation of ‘We Are Bulletproof Pt.1’ & ‘We Are Bulletproof Pt.2’. This emotional track is like a heartfelt letter to ARMYs, which gives an insight into the group’s feelings during the last 7 years, from the pain of just being ‘seven’ to their gratitude towards the ARMYs for always being their shield from the racist comments & plagiarism allegations. They are thankful to the ARMYs who never left them and are still walking with them in their journey.
Outro: Ego serves as the outro track of BTS’s fourth full studio album. Rapper J-Hope takes the wheel in this track with an upbeat and vibrant record and recounts his past experiences and reaches the conclusion that he trusts who he was, is, and will be and accepts his real identity also known as ‘ego’.
The last track ‘ON’ is a slightly different version that features Australian singer, Sia. BTS has put their most smashing album that perfectly shows off their mastery in different music genres. Despite the versatility, the tracks hold a continuity in the lyrics as well as the sentiments. This album is like an open book to the ARMYs of what the members of BTS have been through as a group, and as a person. With this album, they have successfully carved their own niche, by becoming an altogether different kind of global phenomenon, that is way ahead of its time in comparison to many contemporary and generic music in present times. Here is the plalist for the entire album!