On Friday, ARMY nation was well-received with the release of BTS’ new album, “Map of the Soul: 7.” Probably their most vulnerable album yet, the boys purposely overlapped the theme of light and dark to create a nostalgic history of their good fortunes and hardships over the last 7 years as a band. Since we’re remembering BTS from the start of their debut in 2013, it only seems fitting to reflect on their most notable songs from each studio album.
From BTS’ first full album “Dark & Wild,” “Danger” leaves the perfect impression of who BTS is as a group. Without diminishing the quality of the track, the boys impressively transition from verse to verse with the complex combination of V’s baritone voice; Jungkook, Jin and Jimin’s high-pitched falsettos and the distinct rap lines of Suga, J-Hope and Rapmon. To add to the intensity, BTS compliments the song with a challenging choreography that highlights their careers as not just gifted vocalists, but true performers.
‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’
In their second studio album, “Wings,” BTS displays a new side of maturity. As the band started picking up more momentum, they evolved in their lyrical production, cinematography and dance routines, making “Blood, Sweat and Tears” a token of their growth. Their lyrics are embedded in the idea of how they express themselves through their work. They conceptualize how art has reflected their emotions, while they in return shape art through what they create. This song serves as a clear reminder that passion is the main reason why BTS makes music in the first place and that the amassed success following them is only one part of the luxury.
This upbeat, melancholic pop song was released in BTS’ third full album, “Love Yourself: Tear.” As a recurrence in BTS’ history of music, their lyrics are once again dedicated to their fans. Comparing themselves to a kindhearted superhero from Japan, Rapmon says “I don’t have biceps or pecs I don’t have a super car like Batman / The ideal hero is my fantasy. But all I can give you is Anpan.” This song confirms their loyal commitment to their ARMY fanbase and provides a welcoming revisit to the energetic vibes that BTS has produced in previous songs, such as “Converse High” and “Just One Day.”
In this solo track, Suga bluntly talks about his dreams as an artist, “I wanna be a rap star. I wanna be the top / I wanna be a rockstar. I want it all mine / I wanna be rich. I wanna be the king.”
However, as his sentences drag out, his rage proliferates. Clearly, there seems to be a contradiction. Playing the trick of smoke and mirrors, Suga is skeptical of his own identity and questions which parts of him are real. He struggles to find an internal balance between his glorified life as an iconic k-pop artist and himself as Min Yoogi.
As the first comeback trailer, “Shadow” represents everything that “Map of the Soul: 7” stands for. Suga’s exasperated lyrics and insight pave the way for deep introspection, which is the main theme in the album.