Written by Darrel Washington, Staff Writer
(Click here to to listen to the album!)
From seven guys sharing a small dorm and not being able to afford much food, to worldwide superstars who are often seen with very expensive clothing, musical boy group BTS, also known as Bangtan Sonyeondan or Beyond The Scene, have taken the world by storm and continue to rise in popularity.
On March 11, BTS announced their first album of 2019, Map of the Soul: Persona. The album, being the group’s next step after completing the Love Yourself album trilogy last August, had fans excited at its announcement. Two weeks before album release on April 12, the group released the music video for leading track “Intro: Persona.” The album is influenced by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung’s book Jung’s Map of the Soul which illustrates theories of psychology created by Jung.
The video featured group leader RM rapping along with the song while rapping in an empty classroom and being accompanied by an army of robots. He is confronted with various versions of himself, referencing Jung’s Map of the Soul. The track is a sample of the group’s song “Intro: Skool Luv Affair” from the group’s fourth album. This wonderful, upbeat track tells the story of RM discovering himself.
BTS finally released Map of the Soul: Persona on April 12, 2019 along with the music video for lead single “Boy With Luv” which featured American singer Halsey. Though not given many lines in the song, Halsey is seen interacting and even dancing with the boys in the video. The funk pop song illustrates feelings of happiness and love. Along with the rest of the album, the song was well received amongst fans and grew to reach number eight on Billboard’s Top 100 List as of the week of April 21st. BTS performed “Boy With Luv” for the first time on April 13 for Saturday Night Live and are scheduled to perform it with Halsey at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards on May 1.
Halsey isn’t the only artist BTS collaborated with on this album. British singer Ed Sheeran played a hand in the production of song “Make it Right,” along with group member Suga. The heavy R&B track features falsetto vocals and lyrics of wanting to make the world a better place.
BTS decides to give back to the fans with beautiful, melodic track “Mikrokosmos” and R&B track “HOME.” Both tracks provide lyrics dedicated to fans, who are called ARMY, with “Mikrokosmos” speaking of the endlessness of human abilities and “HOME” telling the fans that they are the ones BTS can turn to when they are tired or lonely, their home.
Sixth Track “Jaimais Vu” is sung by members Jin, J-Hope, and Jungkook and derives its name from the psychological phenomenon of when an individual commits a familiar act but it feels foreign to them. It connects with the storyline BTS told in old music videos about member Jin reliving the same day in order to change his friends’ fates.
The album closes with strong hip hop track “Dionysus,” named after the Greek God of wine and grape harvest. The song features lyrics dismissing criticisms with the help of powerful vocals and a rock influence. The name also references some of the concept photos released for the album showing members such as V and Jimin holding grapes.
With their album released and gaining much traction, BTS prep for their upcoming Face Yourself tour. The group has made it clear they have no intentions to slow down and will continue to lead the Hallyu (Korean) wave through the United States and the rest of the world.