BTS are back, baby! The K-Pop group has dropped their brand-new EP ‘Map Of The Soul: Persona’ today alongside the video for the project’s lead single ‘Boy With Luv’ featuring American songstress Halsey.
Having concluded their previous ‘LOVE YOURSELF’ series, the band has now returned on a quest to find one’s true self. As global superstars who play stadiums and are loved by countless fans across the world, BTS now looks to shape the future reflecting on and using the power they have gained while embracing all its shadows.
On the EP, BTS talks about the joy in finding love, and reaches out to the world with the messages they want to share with their fans. The band is especially curious about the stories of each and every one who have helped them become who they are today. BTS has already taken those steps through their UN ‘SPEAK YOURSELF’ speech and ARMYPEDIA, the global campaign re-living their 2,080 days since debut with BTS ARMY.
Wrapping up the campaign, they had commented, “We find strength and happiness in every moment. You’ve given us so much love, and now we want to get to know our fans more. We filled our album with our genuine feelings and the messages that we want to share with you.”
There are a total of seven tracks in this newest EP, through which BTS weaves together what they genuinely felt both within themselves and the ever-widening world around them. As its title suggests, the main single ‘Boy With Luv (Feat. Halsey)’ parallels ‘Boy In Luv’, which was released in February 2014. While the band’s prior release talked about young love, ‘Boy With Luv (Feat. Halsey)’ is about how true strength and love come from finding joy not necessarily in world peace and a grand order but in the smallest things in life. BTS surprises the fans by featuring Halsey, who adds her own layers to the fluttering emotions of the song. And much like a musical film, the music video presents their charming performances with splashes of colour and dazzling scenes.
Opening up the album with ‘Intro: Persona’, BTS once again asks the fundamental question: ‘Who am I?’ The band then explores the light that exists within all people in ‘Mikrokosmos’, declaring each person is a vast cosmos of their own. ‘Make It Right’, a collaboration with global hit singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, is a narrative about the love and healing of a real-life hero. Through ‘HOME’, BTS finds refuge from their hardships and loneliness where their fans are. ‘Jamais Vu’ is a unit song by j-hope, Jin and Jung Kook, while ‘Dionysus’ is a signature BTS hip hop track blasting powerful beats from start to finish.
1. Intro: Persona
‘Intro: Persona’ was created by sampling the beats from ‘Intro: Skool Luv Affair’, from the Skool Luv Affair album. It is a solo hip hop piece that builds on a rocking guitar sound and trap hip hop rhythm. RM’s amazing rap with organ strains tells a story based on the theme of ‘Who am I?’. Another way to enjoy the song is to listen to it side by side with ‘Intro: Skool Luv Affair’
2. Boy With Luv (Feat. Halsey)
A funky pop song going for a deliberately kitschy sound, ‘Boy With Luv (Feat. Halsey)’ contains melodies that are softer-sounding compared to some of the other well-known styles of BTS music. World-leading and Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping singer Halsey takes part as featured artist to add even more flair to the song. Having grown out of young love, BTS now talks about how true strength and love come from finding joy in the little things in life and reaching out to the world.
A pop rock song with a three-quarter beat new wave sound, ‘Mikrokosmos’ showcases a unique rhythm perfect for celebrating with fans on stage and provides courage and comfort to listeners.
Coming from human interest, the song declares that each individual is a precious star and a
‘microcosmos’ of their own: just like the flickering lights of the cityscape at night, everyone holds a vast cosmos within themselves.
4. Make It Right
‘Make It Right’, produced by world-famous singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, is a pop track with softly glimmering yet refined emotions. Intricately weaved together with RM’s lyrics, the falsetto vocals create a calm and delicate charm that allows the listener to experience the love and healing of a real-life hero.
‘HOME’ is a hip hop song that combines 90s old school sounds and trap rhythm. With its bouncy lead synth line and melody, the song talks about how BTS finds refuge from hardships and loneliness – that is, by returning ‘home’ where their fans are. ‘HOME’ is both an expression of gratitude and profession of their love for the fans.
6. Jamais Vu
A soft British pop sensibility meets the voices of j-hope, Jin and Jung Kook to create a moving and sincere message. The title ‘Jamais Vu’ is the French word that means “the eerie feeling of experiencing something for the first time although knowing that it’s happened before.” BTS sings that they will continue to get on their feet and keep running despite the unintentional mistakes and setbacks: ‘I go again, I fall again / Even if it repeats endlessly / I’m gonna go again.”
Years since ‘War of Hormone’ and ‘Rise of Bangtan’, BTS returns with their old-school hip hop style through ‘Dionysus’. The rap rock piece combines 90s hip hop grooves with metal guitar sounds. It expresses BTS’ desire to communicate with the world through their music and performances based on their experiences of joy and pain during their journey to become the artists they are now. With lyrics written by j-hope and ad-libs by Jin, the track presents powerful beats that blast through from start to finish.
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