Kim Namjoon (RM) sent ARMY into a frenzy this weekend as he announced the release of new music by sharing the track list to the 7 track mini album.
This marks his second outing as a soloist following his 2015 mix tape, RM for which he received accolades of positive reviews due to his honest lyrics, fast raps, and heavy tempos. Probing himself to not just be an Idol, but also a lyricist and storyteller. Having written most of BTS’ Love Yourself: Tear (which reaches #1 on the Billboard charts) you’d think he was co tent, but fans of the musical genius know he’s always working, writing and fine tuning his craft.
In complete contrast to his first set of songs, Mono, is an introspective set of songs. Transitioning effortlessly between English and Korean and was released simultaneously with a music video for the final track, “Forever Rain.”
The album can seem melancholic at times, especially if you give yourself the time to really listen to the lyrics, but it also seems as if RM has found a way to come to terms with a lot of his inner problems. He’s mentioned he’s now learning to love himself and we see that in many of the tracks from Mono.
“Tokyo” and “Seoul” serve as a sort of love/hate letters to the cities that have shaped and inspired Namjoon. He writes about homesickness and wanting to go home but at the same time wanting to leave. “If love and hate are the same word, I love you so/ If love and hate are the same word, I hate you so” he sings in “Seoul,” produced by English electronic duo Honne. This track is notably also one that Namjoon had teased via twitter a while back so fans were hoping it would be included in the album, and they were not disappointed.
“Moonchild” follows those tracks and tells the story of this person coming into their own. Accepting themselves and not stressing. This term was alluded to in V’s song, “4 o’clock” where RM sang “I call you Moonchild.” This track was written for fellow BTS member Jimin so it is safe to say that “Moonchild” is dedicated to Park Jimin as well since he is always hardest on himself when it comes to his performances.
Another notable track is “Uhgood” whose English title is a homonym to its Korean one “어긋,” which is related to a sense of being off or not fitting in. This track is especially touching since he sings about failure and wanting to reach his real self. “Sometimes I get disappointed in myself/I trample on myself once again,” these are lyrics a lot of today’s youth and even adults can relate to, the feeling of not being good enough. But the ending words give hope “Falling Short is such a painful thing/ If you don’t grab it then you can’t know it/My ideals and reality, so very far/ But still, by crossing that bridge/ I want to reach you/ The real you, the real me.”
The penultimate track of Mono is the sprightly “Everythingoes” with Nell. It features a lush, resounding electro-rock melody, and it builds steadily as RM and lead vocalist Kim Jong Wan, (who co-produced the song), layer their vocals together. The airy tone is bisected by a characteristic, forceful rap from RM as he ruminates on life. He sings, “everyday I pray that I become a slightly better adult,” showing us his inner turmoil, exposing himself to us before ending off with the sound of rain, leading into “Forever Rain.”
RM produced the entire album with Pdogg and Hiss Noise, and is credited with composing all seven tracks and writing all the lyrics, while he also acted as co-producer on each song with their respective songwriters. Following his own advice from his UN speech, he’s spoken himself, exposed himself, shared himself to the world and what a beautiful story he’s told.
What makes Kim Namjoon such a great artist is that he always takes his fan base into account. Mono was not only released on major streaming platforms but he also shared download links to obtain it for free. Proving that money isn’t everything when you want to share your art with the masses. ARMY are giving back to their leader as they stream and purchase Mono on iTunes, making it hit #1 in 50 countries within 2 hours of its release.
It’s been a big year for BTS and RM as they’ve charted #1 for both Love Yourself: Tear And Love Yourself: Answer, J-Hope’s Hope World, also hit #1 as did the Japanese album Face Yourself and looks like Mono will be joining the Billboard charts as well.
ARMY have also begun to create fan projects to show their support, thanks an appreciation for RM. speaking with one fan, Breanna, she’s begun a fan campaign where fellow ARMY can share their creations in hopes the singer will see them and know how loved he is. Fans are encouraged to Submit fanArt, Digital Art, Stream Mono, make; music videos, edits or mini movies using #projectRMono #mono and tagging @BTS_twt. We hope she’s successful on her mission and that Namjoon sees just how his words and music inspire millions.
Listen to Mono below and buy your copy on iTunes today!