BTS reminisces tale of 7 boys in its latest album


Shriya Vanparia

K-pop band BTS released the next part of the Map of the Soul series on Feb.21. The release marks the fourth complete album by the band, with 15 new songs and 5 from their previous album.

Sarah Habib, Staff Writer

Disclaimer: I am a fan of BTS, but have aimed to be as unbiased as possible.

Seven stories, seven shadows, seven boys and one dream. 

After 10 months, one of the world’s most famous boy bands is back and this time, it brought the past back with them.

From its time as struggling rookies, training years dancing and singing in hopes of forming into a group, to its rise to stardom, Bangtan Sonyeondan, or BTS, introduces the world to its darkest fears and insecurities after following through with its aspirations in their latest album, Map of the Soul: 7.

The album, which released Feb. 21, has surpassed the critical acclaim of its predecessor, Map of the Soul: Persona . The basis of 7 derives from a previous album,Wings, wherein the 2016 album, the men are faced with a new world of temptations and desires as they fly to fame. In 7, the seven individually reflect on their personal journeys through global stardom.

The album opens, after a five song montage from previous album Persona, with “Interlude: Shadow”, a hard set of rapping verses in which rapper Suga discusses how the light of fame brings its own darkness. But it’s not the only rapping piece: “Outro: Ego” is an introspective song with sounding background drums as rapper J-Hope assures listeners he knows himself and “trusts [himself]” through the obstacles fame throws his way.

While the powerful rapping pieces reflect aspects of morals with their quick verses and hypnotic beat, the smooth ballads of the album convey the more reflective, warm sides of the members’ beings and their nostalgia. Main vocalist Jungkook’s solo, “My Time” takes on R&B with smooth vocals as Jungkook croons how he grew up too fast in the spotlight. 

Lead vocalist Jimin’s solo “Filter” takes on a flirtatious, coaxing melody, one that contrasts  the physical insecurities he faced throughout his career, troubles sugar coated with sweet words yearning attention and satisfaction.

The boy group unites in defiant anthem, “ON,” a reference to one of its debut songs, “N.O.”, with the powerful instrumentals of a kinetic band as it chants in vigor, ready for any obstacles in its path, ready to “bring the pain on.” This composition varies from its deep crooning ballad, “Louder than Bombs”, a prayer-like melody that juxtaposes the victories and devastations the sounds of bombs can make, similar to the highs and lows of the rollercoaster ride of stardom.

And of course, what is a BTS album without homage to the fandom that joined it on the ride? The vocalist line’s (V, Jungkook, Jimin and Jin) song, “Zero O’ Clock”, is much like its previous songs, “Magic Shop” and “2! 3!”, in which BTS offers solace and a comforting hour for its fans, where they can find peace in their home of music. Sung with synergetic harmony, the vocal line pours in honey-toned pitches conveying its love, support and sympathy for the struggles its fans have faced in its lives, pain matching its own in some ways.

It has been seven years and millions of memories for the men who trained, cried, danced, laughed, fought and sang together. Their fears, their challenges and their shadows are drawing away but not without the light of their fans, their dreams.

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