'Map of the Soul: 7': BTS drop new album featuring collab with Sia, solos and MUCH more
The band have been teasing fans with a whole host of releases including Suga's 'Interlude: Shadow', an art film for 'Black Swan', and J-hope's 'Outro: Ego'
BTS's 'Map of the Soul: 7' is finally here, and boy, does this one pack a punch!
Celebrating seven years in the industry, this album is also the band's gift to their fandom ARMY, for the continued support throughout their career. It includes a special dedication to fans from member Jin too!
Having already begun promotions for 'Map of the Soul: 7' with an appearance on 'The Late Late Show with James Corden' where they debuted their performance for 'Black Swan', the band kicked off their album release today by releasing a snippet of their new song 'ON' via TikTok following which they held a comeback special on V-live.
In addition to their earlier hits 'Boy Wit Luv' (featuring Halsey) and 'Make It Right' (written by Ed Sheeran), this album includes new tracks like 'We Are Bulletproof: the Eternal' (a continuation of their previous song 'We Are Bulletproof: Part 2') and 'Louder Than Bombs' (co-written with Troy Sivan, Allie X, and Leland).
It also gives us a few duets and sub-unit tracks: 'UGH' from rappers RM, J-hope, and Suga, '0:00' (Zero O'Clock) from vocalists Jin, Taehyung, Jimin, and Jungkook, 'Friends', an ode to friendship from Jimin and Taehyung, and 'Respect', a rap track from RM and Suga.
Solos on the album include Jimin's 'Filter', Jungkook's 'My Time', Jin's 'Moon' (a dedication to the band's fandom, ARMY), and Taehyung's 'Inner Child', in addition to the already released tracks 'Interlude: Shadow' from Duga and 'Outro: Ego' from J-hope.
Given that the band members are gearing up for their mandatory two-year military service, we might be looking at more sub-unit and solo works from the members that remain active over the next few years. This seems like the perfect way to establish them as invidual artists in addition to creating a space for them to work as anything less than a full seven-member band. Every single solo on this album is absolutely stunning, and really showcases each member's skill and individual style perfectly.
Taehyung's solo in particular is definitely one of the highlights of the album. 'Inner Child' is a letter from the singer to his past self. Taehyung is often positioned as one of BTS's 'secret weapons', preferring not to be too visible to the public eye and he was also recently named as the most humble member of the group as well as one of the most hard-working idols in the industry. As one of the youngest members in the group, Taehyung might take a while longer before he heads off to the army so we might see a lot more solo work from him in the near future.
The music video for the track 'ON' was also released to coincide with the album launch. The song is a high-energy track that clearly says BTS are ready for whatever comes their way, and the video, full with marching band-esque routines clearly drives that point home. In addition to that, we also got some powerful choreography, stunning visuals, and next-level vocals from the members. They did not take this comeback lightly, that's for sure!
Speaking about the song during their VLive, RM said 'ON' was meant to be a diary of the last seven years, or more specifically, a highly condensed version of the BTS identity. It is also the band's declaration that they have accepted their destiny, choosing to constantly up the ante and make each release bigger than the previous one. The reason it sounds like a battle cry is because that's exactly what it is meant to be!
The album also includes a second version of 'ON' as a digital bonus track — this one a remix featuring pop star Sia!
In all, this is a solid album that is everything ARMYs could have hoped it would be — from tracks that are callbacks to BTS's beginnings to new additions that showcase the group's individual talents, to some star-studded collaborations and breathtaking performances. And they're not done yet!
BTS will soon be on the 'Today' show and later on MTV's 'Fresh Out' to talk about their album, and following that, they will be seen on a special episode of 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon' on February 24. Their carpool karaoke segment on 'The Late Late Show with James Corden' airs February 25, and they will also release a second video for 'ON' on February 28.