BTS is a K-pop boy group from South Korea that debuted in 2013, and consists of seven members: RM, Jin, SUGA, j-hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook. They have broken many barriers in their careers by being the first Korean act to perform at the American Music Awards, and by winning the category for Social Artist at the Billboard Music Award in 2017. Their self-produced music is about the struggles young people face as they grow up, and explores the idea of what it means to love yourself. “Map of the Soul: 7” is their fourth album, with twenty songs, and it was released on February 21st, 2020. It is about their journey as a group for the past seven years. The songs highlight the progress they have made as musicians and as individuals. Today, I will be reviewing my four favorite tracks from the album: “Black Swan,” “ON,” “Inner Child,” and “Outro: Ego.”
“Black Swan” is the single BTS released with a music video that showcased a contemporary style of dance performed by the group MN Dance Company. The first half of the song talks about them losing their passion due to the fear of failure, but the second half is about how that fear shouldn’t stop them from doing what they love. It’s a song that hits close to home because as a person who is passionate about writing, I understand that feeling. I consider it one of my favorite tracks from the album because of how honest they are about the fears they have.
The title track for this album is called “ON,” and RM, the leader, stated that it’s a love song dedicated to their careers. It’s about how they learned to face their past, and accept their fate. “ON” is unique because the UCLA marching band was part of the production. It’s a song that makes me feel like I can do anything I want if I put my mind to it. The energetic beat can motivate anyone to get up and be productive. I have been playing the song everyday while walking to school to give me the strength I need to get through the day.
The track that truly stands out the most to me is “Inner Child,” which is a solo song done by V, one of the vocalists. I’m able to relate to the lyrics as V sings to his younger self about how scary it was back then to be a boy with big dreams, but to trust that time is on his side and that life will change for the better. It’s a comforting song because of the nostalgic melody and its message. “Inner Child” makes me feel as if I was talking to my thirteen-year-old self who was so afraid of the world, and now that I’m older, I feel more confident about overcoming hardships.
“Outro: Ego” is another solo song performed by j-hope, one of the rappers. It’s a song about embracing your past, and realizing that everything you’ve been through has shaped your future. “Outro: Ego” sounds like a celebration of growth with its trumpets and its very upbeat tone. It’s one of my favorite songs from the album because the lyrics are quite sad, but the beat makes it feel more hopeful. The track was a perfect way to end the album.