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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Korean boyband ‘BTS’ drops new pop album filled with poetic lyrics and rhythmic tracks

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
The members of BTS have been steadily on the rise since their formation in 2013

Korean musical group BTS has become the biggest boyband in the world as their international fame has increased steadily over the past few years, leading to multiple world tours.

On April 12, the seven members of BTS released their latest album “MAP OF THE SOUL : PERSONA,” a record that features a combination of pop, hip-hop, R&B and even rock.  According to Billboard, the album sold 196 thousand copies in the U.S. and had 37.4 million audio streams, making BTS the first group since The Beatles to earn three number ones in less than a year.

The album draws on ideas from Greek mythology and psychologist Carl Jung’s book “Jung’s Map of the Soul,”  specifically Jung’s concepts of the self being divided into the persona, ego, anima and shadow.

The opening track “Intro: Persona” offers an introspective look at one’s ever evolving persona, as conveyed in the album’s opening lyrics “Who am I? The question I had my whole life. The question which I probably won’t find an answer to my whole life.”

“Intro: Persona” discusses the different sides of RM and how he accepts and cherishes them all. RM is portrayed as Kim Namjoon, RM the idol, RM the rapper and “one of the next generation’s leaders,” as claimed by Time Magazine.

The first song features a sample from one of their older hits “Intro: Skool Luv Affair.” RM, the leader of BTS, shows why he is considered one of today’s best rappers as he changed his fast-paced rap flow several times throughout the track.

With this song, BTS seems to be entering a more hip-hop-inspired sound, similar to their beginning albums. However unlike in their first records, which were accused of plagiarism and inauthenticity, BTS is the only Korean group that can be called 100% authentic to themselves. The bandmates are unafraid to show their true selves, which can be seen through personal lyrics they compose themselves.

The next song is the title track “Boy with Luv” featuring fellow pop sensation Halsey, which  captures the feel of a first love through wholesome lyrics that portray the singer’s wish to know everything about their love interest.

As Halsey’s captivating vocals joins the band in both Korean and English, there are parts where the musicians’ voices flawlessly harmonize. Whereas in other parts, the performers break off into individual solos, showcasing the distinct style of every band mate. The warm and catchy tune is easy to sing along with, and is likely to be a huge summer hit.

The third track “Mikrokosmos” derives its name from the Greek word mīkròskósmos, which means ‘a small world.’ The lyrics focus on one person becoming more important than the entire universe.  In this song, only the singer and the muse exist, creating their own beautiful world.

The song’s easygoing melody allows the artists’ vocals and emotions to shine through.   However, the track can be somewhat overwhelming as the vocalist’s powerful feelings engulf the listener.  The fact that the band is able to pack so much emotion into only a few moments is impressive as the song evokes a nostalgic atmosphere.

“Make It Right,” co-written with British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, has an infectious rhythm that makes listeners want to sing along.  Contradicting their previous song “Am I Wrong” from their 2016 album “WINGS” that points out all the imperfections of society, “Make It Right” has the band promising that even though times can get tough, they will make things better for the listener.  This track is powerful despite its relaxed tempo.

In this song, J-Hope’s vocals are what stand out the most as his deep yet soft voice matches the beat perfectly when his verse comes in the middle of the song.  “Make It Right” has a special meaning as almost every BTS fan comments on how the band’s music has helped them through hard times.

Speaking of the BTS fans, the next song “HOME” is dedicated to their fanbase, which is nicknamed the “ARMY.”  BTS’ home expanded from Korea to the entire world because they have adoring fans across the globe.  The song details how their fans have become an escape for the artists, and they desperately crave their fans love as it has been with them since their debut.  Even after BTS had a rough start to their career, their fans passionately defended and praised them.  Their fans have stayed with BTS as they evolved as both artists and individuals, which the band is thankful for, and shows their gratitude in every opportunity they have.

In one of the final tracks off the album, “Jamais Vu,” the band expresses how they wish they were in a game that could be restarted once they reached the end. Instead, they are in the real world where there are no second chances.  The heartbreaking song asks listeners to give them “a remedy that will make my heart beat again.”

The album concludes with the track “Dionysus,” which surprised listeners in the best way possible by combining Korean pop with hip hop and rock.  It’s impossible to listen to this song without getting an adrenaline rush.  The band emphasizes the influence art can have by comparing art with alcohol, giving caution to those obsessing too hard over their art while also confidently speaking about their own work.

“MAP OF THE SOUL: PERSONA” is available to stream on all music platforms and BTS can be seen in person when the band begins their “Love Yourself: Speak Yourself” world tour on May 4 in California.

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About the Contributor
Sarah Turley, Staff Writer | she/her
Sarah is a rising senior at Suffolk University studying Print/Web Journalism. Originally from Albany, New York, Sarah has explored many parts of the world but always loves coming back to Boston. Usually seen with her headphones in or stressfully trying to buy concert tickets, Sarah is passionate and always up to date on music. After graduating, Sarah plans to work for a large market newspaper, national magazine, or web based site that expresses value and appreciation for the arts. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahCTurley

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Korean boyband ‘BTS’ drops new pop album filled with poetic lyrics and rhythmic tracks