BTS Takes ‘ON’ 2020 With New Meaningful and Sentimental Album


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BTS’s “Map of the Soul: 7” features four versions, all with different colored covers, including shades of pink and white, blue and black, blue and red, and blue and orange. The number “7” symbolizes the seven members of the group as well as the number of years they have been together.

Cara Chan and Dheeksha Bhima Reddy

Korean pop group Bangtan Sonyeondan, better known as BTS, released its fourth full-length album “Map of the Soul: 7” on Feb. 21, with new songs telling a story of the group’s journey over the past seven years and its deep affection towards fans. BTS broke the record for the highest first-day album sales of 2020, beating out Halsey, Eminem and Justin Bieber, and “Map of the Soul: 7” became its fourth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 Chart.

With 14 new songs and six re-released tracks, “Map of the Soul: 7” displays BTS’s best content with beautiful messages. Leader RM, visual Jin, rapper Suga, main dancer J-Hope, lead vocalist Jimin, vocalist V and main vocalist Jungkook took inspiration from psychologist Carl Jung’s book “Map of the Soul,” according to Billboard.

The songs are laced with connections that people must overcome their shadow and ego to find their true selves. The album also features collaborations with other artists, including Troye Sivan, Sia and Ed Sheeran, who helped write, produce and perform with BTS.

“Black Swan” was the first song released and performed on “The Late Late Show with James Corden.” The emo-rap style music with auto-tune explains the feelings of an artist falling out of love with their art. This feeling of lost love is flawlessly shown through the Art Film performed by the MN Dance Company, which shows a young man trying to escape his shadow to find his creative will. Additionally, they released a new music video on March 4 showing BTS in a dark, ominous setting, closely relating to the movie the song was based upon, “Black Swan.”

Their main track “ON” with two versions—one featuring Sia—displays their personal growth. Lyrics like, “Can’t hold me down ’cause you know I’m a fighter” show BTS’s ability to overcome adversity.

Old, church-style music mixed with the unique sound of marching band instruments compliments their raspy, auto-tuned voices. BTS released two music videos for this track: one showcasing their dance, the other showcasing their acting abilities. It is set in its own thematic universe, merging influences from “Game of Thrones,” “Maze Runner” and “The Hunger Games” contrasted with Biblical motifs and “The Lion King”’s Pride Rock.

The gem of this album is the slow, anthem EDM track, “We are Bulletproof : the Eternal.” This song concludes the series that began with their songs “We are Bulletproof Pt.1” and “We are Bulletproof Pt.2.,” released in 2015 and 2013, respectively, the former being released during a special event after Bulletproof Pt.2. The lyrics of the song describe how BTS endured the hardships thrown their way, becoming stronger than they had been since debut.

BTS brings together different music styles along with a complex, but a significant message to keep their ARMY fandom entertained. Though most of the album is narrated in Korean, the music, as well as the clever use of English during heartfelt lyrics, captures BTS’s heartfelt emotions. For regular listeners who want to understand the meaning behind the lyrics and those who have refused to listen to music they can’t understand, “Genius” provides English-translated lyrics for every song as well as sub-notes to explain the significance behind each lyric.

“Map of the Soul: 7” exhibits BTS’s versatility as artists and once again demonstrates their producing and song-writing capabilities, earning them the title of the biggest boy band today.