Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Album review: BTS marches forward in the world of K-Pop with “Map of the Soul: 7”


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Photo Courtesy of Soompi

Story by Salina Vongsanith/Contributing Writer

BTS fans, also known as ARMYs, are probably either bopping, sobbing or dancing with joy to BTS’s latest album, Map of the Soul: 7.

BTS, the gigantic K-pop boy band, just released their 20-track album. It highlights BTS’s accomplishments, the struggles they faced and the relationships they built from the start with the help of ARMYs. BTS has finally come back to pay the love for all the fans that were patiently waiting.

Previously released tracks such as “Boy with Luv,” “Make It Right,” “Dionysus” and “Jamais Vu” from their last EP, Map of the Soul: Persona, are on this album as well.

BTS recently performed “Black Swan” live for the first time on ‘The Late Late Show” with James Corden as they showcased intricate movements for a strong performance. “Black Swan” is a mysterious, modern hip-hop track filled with artistic vibes.

Jimin’s solo track, “Filter,” exudes sexy vocals with some guitar-driven, Latin vibes marking him to be a versatile vocalist that pulls you in.

Jungkook’s solo track, “My Time,” reveals a message about becoming an adult and the career he’s been a part of since he was young. “24, feels like I became a grown-up faster than everyone else. / Don’t’ know what to with, am I livin’ this right? Why am I alone in a different time and space?” Jungkook reminisces and wonders if he’s missing out on some experiences with this solo track.

“Louder Than Bomb” was co-written with singer Troye Sivan, and gives fans an electro-pop feel.

BTS’s new title song, “ON,” features powerful lyrics with strong percussion in the background. They also collaborated with Australian singer-songwriter, Sia, as a special guest for the track of “ON.” In this track, BTS reflects on their pain and struggles that they faced during their 7-year journey as they remind the ARMYs that there’s always their “light in the dark,” according to J-Hope’s verse.

“UGH!” shows BTS’ best rapping skills from RM, Suga, and J-Hope with strong old-school beats that fit their explosively emotional lyrics. “Respect,” features RM and Suga’s strong rap through trap vibes.

“00:00 (Zero O’Clock)” is a track with the vocal line of Jungkook, Jimin, V and Jin, who slow it down to a soft mid-tempo ballad for fans to relax to. It’s the type of song you can add to your soft, chill or study playlist.

V’s solo track, “Inner Child,” is a pop-indie track. V reflects about the rough times he’s been through as an artist, but also picking himself and saying it’ll be okay and to smile happily with lyrics like “we gon change” that echo through the song.

Jimin and V’s collaboration track, “Friends,” highlights their stories and memories they have shared. It’s a special ode to their friendship. Jin’s solo track, “Moon,” dedicated his sweet vocals and love to the fans through the lyrics of this song.

As the album comes to an end, “We Are Bulletproof: The Eternal” leaves fan with a deep impression of BTS’s path, from debuting as a small K-pop boy-group band back in 2013 to what they have accomplished today. It’s a ballad track dedicated to their ARMYs: “We were only seven, but we have you all now, we are not seven without you,” referring to the fandom.

Map of the Soul: 7 has broken new records by being the most-preordered South Korean album of all time, selling more than 4 million albums, according to Forbes. BTS is getting ready to embark on a new world tour which includes several stops in the U.S., where they’ll kick off their first few shows in May.


To contact Lifestyles Editor Brandon Black, email

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