BTS Inspires and Dominates the World with Mature and Artistic New Album

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Laura Renfroe

South Korean powerful boy group BTS releases newest sentimental album “Map of the Soul: 7,” and it is already topping charts and “taking names.”

By Laura Renfroe, Pelahatchie High School

The chart-topping, charismatic, and all-time biggest boy band in the world right now just released their new album, and it has thrown the whole continent in a frenzy of euphoria and Spotify-streaming.

The record-crashing South Korean boy group BTS continues to stir the world and showcase their incredible artistry in 2020 as they come back with “Map of the Soul: 7.” To say the least, this album is like no other.

The album overflows with emotion and honesty about the struggles of stardom and overcoming those pain-filled days with the help of their fans and bandmates. It is an album of many bursting colors and flavors and offers invigorating genre diversity. BTS opened the floodgates to a fresh and promising era in K-pop with these new breathtaking songs. 

The seven-piece boy group is destroying records with over 4 million presales and dominating the entire top 20 iTunes charts. BTS’s “Map Of The Soul: 7” is already the bestselling global album of 2020. Not even including the jaw-dropping Youtube and Spotify streams to be counted, BTS quite literally breaks the internet once again.

Popular social media app TikTok first received the ARMY (BTS fans) power when BTS teased a thirty second clip of title track “ON” to fans. Following its release, TikTok promptly crashed and experienced some technical issues as eager listeners flooded the platform.  

An unfaltering indication from the buzzworthy presale numbers and chart-topping records, the ARMY has experienced a boom in fresh fans since their 2019 release of “Map of the Soul: Persona.” Fans roused from their 315-day-long wait for this new release, and it seems they are back and better than ever to support the boys on their new journeys in 2020.

The elite K-pop group sauntered out from their own relaxing, snow-packed vacation and into the stark spotlight with confidence and smoldering intensity as they released “Map of the Soul: 7” February 21. 

The album’s name “7” derived from the significance of the number to the group. There are seven members, and it has been seven years since their rebellious 2013 debut “2 Cool 4 Skool.”

The new album is like a poetic color palette mixed with dark underlying paints and upbeat reflections of the past. The maturity of the new album is reflective of the boys’ experiences and painful path to stardom. The soundtrack maps the journey starting from their Bangtan Boys roots of overcoming the shadow-self within them and combating society to earn respect to their friendship and self-resolve they feel today. 

“Map of the Soul: 7” is undoubtedly one of BTS’s darkest, sentimental, and relevant albums yet.

Each of the members contributes his inner thoughts in each track with in-depth, emotion-blooming lyrics and harmonies. Jimin’s “Filter” is a guitar-driven single with Latin elements and a message of how the 24-year old has to change his personality to please others. 

It displays a message of the idol heart-throb’s willingness to be anything and anyone for people, which can be both exhilarating and isolating for him.

Vocal power-song “My Time” by the youngest member Jungkook describes his path to adulthood and stardom and how it impacted his time as a child. BTS helped open the eyes of the public to the struggle of being a big-time star that is often clouded by scandals and critics: young idols often miss huge portions of their childhood.

Jungkook sings in the upbeat ballad about his wishes for having that precious time as a kid. V supports this heart-rending theme with his solo track “Inner Child.” He describes his vague memories of sun-filled days and daydreams as a child and reflects to his younger self who so wished to become the person V is today.

“Map of the Soul: 7” undoubtedly strips the cocoon around K-pop fame and showcases the dark cost of being in the spotlight, an elaborate, profound theme of the album.

Other tracks such as “Moon,” “Respect,” and “Friends” are a bit more light-hearted but just as valued and cherished by ARMYs. The members describe their love for their fans and their friendship with one another through tracks like these, making ARMYs ever the more thankful for these seven humble boys.

A high-intensity, ultra-dynamic choreography video called “Kinetic Manifesto Film: Come Prima” accompanies the title track hype-song “ON.” This video is a festival of rocking drumlines, leather fashion, ground-shaking bridges named one of the best of BTS’s ever, and of course, electric dance breaks. 

“The name of the track wasn’t ‘ON’ in the beginning, but we came together and we had a meeting trying to decide what we wanted the title track to be and what we wanted to call it,” youngest Jungkook told MTV News. “Because this was a reboot, we wanted to take our old song ‘N.O’ and turn into ‘ON,’ so I just threw that out, and we really liked it, talked about ‘bring the pain on,’ and we put that into the lyrics — and that’s how we came up with the title track.”

 Other impressive tracks “Interlude: Shadow”, “Black Swan,” “Louder than bombs” (co-written by Troye Sivan), cypher song “Ugh!”, “Zero O’Clock,” and “Outro: Ego” all have their own unique, colorful characteristics and elaborate lyrics. The amount of work put into this 20-track-long album moved many ARMYs and undoubtedly paves a new path for K-pop.

ARMYs shared their love for BTS through Youtube comments and tweets, praising the impact the lyrics had on each of them.

One thankful fan under the user of “Hazel Moonchild” on Youtube wrote about the “Louder than bombs” poignant lyrics.

“‘No matter what waves pounces at us, we will never stop singing for you.’ [These] lyrics hit me on a deep level. You can hear the pain in their voices, [because] they have gone through so much but still continue to follow their dream and make us happy,” she wrote.

“They continue to lead us with their voices no matter which shadows they have to face for that. I can’t express how much I love them. I’m so thankful for them and that they shine in the darkness for us [because] no one else would,” she finished.

The arc of the album is unquestionably “We are Bulletproof: Eternal Journey.” This stirring ballad expresses their hardships and overcoming of hate. The members sang about how they shield ARMYs and how ARMYs, in return, shield them. 

The clear credit of BTS’s success was outlined in this song in thanks to ARMYs. The boys state how they are more than just seven members. The light of millions of fans blossom together and constantly inspire BTS to keep moving. 

“We were only seven,” they sing, “but we have you all now / after seven winters and springs, at the tips of our entwined fingers / yeah we got to heaven.”

This soaring tearjerker asked fans “why are you still walking with us?” Inspired ARMYs shared their thoughts of their journey with BTS, each story unique and full of emotion.

One fan wrote, “I developed throughout the year with big anxiety, mild depression, and hard challenges. [Then] I discovered your songs. Your music [and] lyrics started to glow into my heart telling me I still have hope to be able to love myself.” 

“I’ve never read [such] beautifully-made lyrics [as BTS’s] that can express my feelings, deep into what society ignores,” the fan continued.

BTS truly stupefied the world once again with “Map of the Soul: 7.” The mature artistry displayed in each track exhibits the finesse of BTS’s creative process. 

“I think we have grown as artists,” rapper Suga said, “and as musical trends change, we’ve also tried to follow the trends.”

BTS’s plans for the rest of 2020 are large-scale and promising. The official music video for “ON” will be released February 28, sure to break even more records. BTS will also kick-start their Map of the Soul Tour on April 11 at Seoul’s Olympic Stadium. 

This stadium tour will include 37 different dates across the world, US dates ranging from the 90,000-seated Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas to the Metlife Stadium in New Jersey. 

The StubHub ticket-selling site stated that there were almost twice as many tickets sold for BTS’s tour as the entire Super Bowl. BTS ticket sales in the first 72 hours received 560 percent growth, which beats the 378 percent acquired by Ariana Grande’s “Sweetener” 2019 tour and the 258 percent increase for Taylor Swift’s “Lover” 2020 tour.

With many of the tracks on the album stirring tears from the loving fans, hearing these album songs live will be an experience like none other.

“Do you know what it looks like when 90,000 people in an arena start sobbing in unison? Me neither, but we’re about to find out,” journalist Katie Halliwell joked about the sentimental album.

With BTS headlining the news with their new album and breaking every internet platform and record thinkable, we are sure to expect a fruitful year from the boy group in 2020. And lots of screaming, and possibly crying, ARMYs.

This story was originally published on Hatchie Headlines on February 24, 2020.