An “SNL” performance. Three Guinness World Records. Debuts at No. 1 on the U.S. and U.K. charts.
It’s an understatement to say that BTS, arguably the hottest boy group at the moment, has paved the way for K-pop with the group’s new album, “Map of the Soul: Persona.” The April 12 release from the South Korean group of RM, Jin, Suga, j-hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook is a mini album containing seven songs and a running length of 26 minutes.
This album drop is one that will always be embedded in my memory, not because I stayed up until 2 a.m. (!) for its release, but because even a week after listening to the album on repeat I still can’t seem to choose a favorite track. Perhaps this is the album’s strength. Each track exhibits its own personality, yet still represents the versatility of the boy group. From the rap and hip-hop sounds of “Intro: Persona” to the slow ballad “Jamais Vu,” BTS threw all of their eggs into one basket, and didn’t disappoint.
The first track of the album, “Intro: Persona,” is a fast-paced rap that features the group’s leader, RM. The track is perfect for rap lovers who are interested in expanding their music taste.
The star of the album is the next track, “Boy With Luv.” Anyone who watched “Saturday Night Live” on April 13 saw the boys’ performance of this song, which included mesmerizing choreography that perfectly coupled with the catchy tunes. The song also features American artist Halsey (who did not appear on the “SNL” performance).
This song’s music video, which dropped with the album, garnered three Guinness World Records: most viewed YouTube video in 24 hours (74.6 million views), most viewed YouTube music video in 24 hours, and most viewed YouTube music video in 24 hours by a K-pop group. All of these accomplishments are well-deserved, as the track’s catchy hook and chorus are bound to be stuck in your head for days. I catch myself singing “Oh my my my” randomly throughout the day.
Following that is “Mikrokosmos,” a whimsical song that captures the understated groove that BTS is capable of. The song is the perfect background track for any magical Disney movie. (Imagine “Peter Pan” or “Dumbo.”)
The next track, “Make It Right,” is in collaboration with Ed Sheeran, and features Sheeran’s typical downplayed yet energetic sounds.
While I claimed that I still don’t have a favorite song from the album, there is something about “Home” that makes me drop everything I’m doing and start singing. Like many of their other songs, “Home” features Korean and English, but also adds a sprinkle of Spanish to round it out. This track’s beat is most similar to my music taste. Just like a Honda CR-V, it’s the perfect crossover between pop and rap, all the while including downplayed R&B beats.
The song with the most distinct sound from the other tracks on the album is “Jamais Vu,” a balled that features Jin, Jungkook, and j-hope. Despite the language barrier, listeners experience the heartfelt feeling that is conveyed.
The first six tracks are the preparation for the piece de resistance of the entire album: “Dionysus.” Named after the Greek god of winemaking, the track is an anthem for those who like to have a fun time. BTS pays homage to the group’s earlier albums, and includes punk-rock sounds. The song is perfect for those who want a head-banging, jamming-out beat.
From the first track to the ending culmination, “Map of the South: Persona” is the prime representation of all that has made BTS so popular worldwide. The boy group has mastered worldwide domination, and this album only projects them several steps ahead of other artists. The singers assert their dominant and enduring position in the music industry, not as rap or K-pop artists, but simply just as artists.
The next time you’re looking for a change in music, consider “Map of the Soul: Persona,” which is the perfect length for a commute to and from work or school.